Which companies only develop mobile apps?

Developing mobile apps - this is how you choose the setup for your company

Pure web resp. We have already discussed native apps above. We present the three mixed forms:

Progressive web app

A progressive web app (PWA) remains a web application, but uses so-called service workers in order to be able to access obvious and standardized elements of the device. A PWA also stores data in the phone's cache to ensure offline operation. A PWA is called up directly via the browser, so it can be started from a Google search on the mobile phone without actively downloading an app. On Android devices, a PWA automatically reports that it can be installed locally on the device as a web app. Once installed, push notifications can be sent for e.g. updates. A PWA basically works on all devices and operating systems, but access to the device hardware and data is restricted. In addition, a PWA cannot be sold via the App Store or Google Play.

Hybrid app

Put simply, a hybrid app uses a native framework and maps web content in it. Frameworks such as the JavaScript-based «Cordova» provide the framework for mobile devices. Various UI frameworks such as "Ionic" are based on this. The content displayed in this frame is based on web standards and can be interpreted by all devices. It is like a picture frame with a wide variety of hanging devices. Fits on many different hooks in the wall, whereby the canvas clamped in it, i.e. the content, remains interchangeable. Developers create the content in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript once. The framework does the "translation" for the various devices and operating systems and offers extensive access to hardware elements and memory data.

Since the framework is native apps that load web content when in use, companies can sell their apps on the various app platforms for iOS, Android and Windows. The app is installed locally on the user's device, which ensures communication and access. The big advantage is that the developer only has to program the content once to get three quasi-native apps in the end product. Although access to the device itself extends further than with a PWA, even with a hybrid app, you have to pay close attention to the performance of the loading times and computing power. Often, content is also downloaded from the Internet in a hybrid app and processed in real time.

Cross-platform app

This variant of app development uses development tools such as Xamarin, React Native or Unity. The developer programs in the language of the tool, at Xamarin e.g. C #, the tool itself converts the source code during creation so that native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone are created. However, depending on the set of features, access requirements to specific device parts or the involvement of third parties such as Facebook or Google, there is no getting around individually adapting the individual apps created from the source code. This type of app creation can also cause problems when generating pure HTML5 web apps, as the standards cannot be 100% complied with. Roughly speaking, around 80% of the code can be programmed once on the tool, but 20% development effort is incurred on the various app derivatives for customization.

As an advantage, the highly individual access to each device type with all sensors and third-party interfaces must be brought into the field. These apps can also be sold via the high-reach stores at Apple and Google. The additional effort must be justified, then cross-platform apps are very worthwhile, since a large proportion only needs to be programmed once.