Consumer mobile applications are currently driving most of the experiences and expectations behind mobility. Users want a great application experience with seamless usability and speedy load times, as well as rapid release of new features and updates on a regular basis. The same expectations are placed on enterprises when they release mobile applications, either for use internally or as a service to develop applications for others.
Mobile application development platforms (MADP) are currently on the rise to help application creators meet these demands. MADP is software that enables companies to quickly build, test and deploy applications on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
There are three broad mobile application types that can be created by leveraging MADP:
1) Native mobile applications
Native mobile applications are smartphone apps that are coded in a specific programming language. This enables the app to leverage the features and options of that operating system, which could include iOS, Android or Windows.
For example, you may download an app on your iPhone that isn’t available on your friend’s Samsung Galaxy. When you install the application, it asks permission to gain access to your phone’s camera and list of contacts. This type of application is a native mobile application - it can only be used on the specific OS for which it was built.
2) Web applications
Web applications are applications that are built using web technologies. One version of a web application is a mobile optimized website. That’s when developers first create a fully-functioning website that can change its layout if a mobile browser is detected. This would ultimately provide mobile users with the same content they would find on the traditional website but with a streamlined mobile viewing experience.
3) Hybrid applications
Hybrid applications are built by using a combination of native and web technologies. For example, a native application could have an internal web browser built in so that users can access content via the browser. Hybrid applications also allow for new features to be leveraged instantly by customers because they are available via the web site and positioned in to the mobile app container already installed on the mobile devices.
How mobile application development platform (MADP) can help when creating applications
When creating applications, leveraging an MADP solution can provide developers with an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows for programming in different languages that are popular throughout the development community, such as Java, .net, Swift, etc. Having the flexibility and capability to use these different languages makes developing unique types of applications for either internal IT or for external customers significantly easier.
Mobile development has necessitated the need for agile and DevOps processes to be included as part of the application creation process. In today’s connected world, DevOps brings together system administrators’ and developers’ responsibilities and capabilities to serve a common goal of delivering high-quality applications. MADP software has features that support continuous development, continuous deployment and integration to source code, quality systems (for defect management right from the platform) and help desk systems all to help increase delivery speeds as well as improve the velocity of new releases and bug fixes or new version updates.
What to look for when shopping for a MADP solution
There are several different features that can help determine which MADP solution is right for your organization. For example, does it have the option of being installed on the cloud or specifically on-premise? Being able to leverage the cloud is great for companies with developers located around the country or world, but on-premise installation might be better depending on the vertical industry to which your organization is aligned.
Whether you’re creating mobile content for internal IT or customer-facing, understanding both current and future growth needs is going to be key when selecting a mobile application development platform solution. If you need help shopping, bring in a trusted IT services provider and MADP expert to help figure out what solution is right for you.