Android, iOS & Windows Phone App Development

Understand the differences between responsive, hybrid and native mobile app development.
Learn about the things to complete before publishing your mobile app.

Explore Platform Features

phone app development

Global Mobile OS Marketshare (2016) – Source: IDC

Consolidation of Mobile OS Market Share

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2017, “market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them”. It also forecasts mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will fuel demand for apps in the enterprise that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile fragmented mobile phone OS market has consolidated into three major players – Android, iOS and Windows Phone. However, businesses still have develop applications for all the major platforms to reach a critical mass of users. Each OS has its own set of guidelines and best practices to deliver applications. Add to that the complexity of independent coding languages. This means that enterprises have to hire mobile developers for each platform making mobile app delivery an expensive proposition.

Before committing to mobile application delivery, the key stakeholders would do well to understand the different options to deliver applications on mobile – responsive, hybrid and native.

Responsive vs Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development

Responsive Web Apps

Responsive web design emerged as a new way of building websites and web apps that adapt their UI to the size of current browser window. This became possible with fluid grid layouts, flexible images and media queries. While, responsive web design is highly suitable for websites, data-oriented apps may not find it very suitable. The app needs to be opened through a browser URL and not the typical fashion of mobile installed app. More importantly, the apps cannot leverage device capabilities resulting in a less engaging experience.

Native Apps

Native apps provide the best experience on mobile devices, as they are specially built to the platform/OS. Each mobile platform has its own development tools and SDKs, which enables professional developers to build native apps leveraging device or platform specific features. The problem with native apps is that you need to develop individually for each platform (iOS or Android or Windows), using different technologies (ObjectiveC or Swift for iOS, or Java for Android) making it an expensive proposition. Hence, native apps are suitable for consumer-facing apps or games.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid Apps are built using HTML5, just the way a Responsive Web App would be developed and then packaged into a thin native container and libraries that provide access to native features of the device. That way, Hybrid Apps combine the best of Native and Responsive Web Apps, namely ability to run as a typical Mobile App and use device capabilities, while being built using familiar web technologies. Not only does Hybrid App development offer better use of available skills and people, but also the ability to build Apps that follow UI guidelines of the device platform.

The table below lists out the main differences between responsive web, native and hybrid mobile app development so that enterprises can take an informed decision before committing to mobile application delivery.

Responsive Hybrid Native
Same application, but mobile friendly Yes No No
New code base for each mobile OS No No Yes
Invocation like true mobile app No Yes Yes
User experience Satisfactory Average Best
Use of device capabilities no Yes Yes
Ideal for Websites Business and Data Apps Games and Consumer Apps
Cost of Development Low Low High

WaveMaker Hybrid Mobile App Development Platform

For an enterprise who is looking for practicality over a true user experience of an application, a responsive / hybrid model of development is the way to go as it provides a reasonably good UI with the ease of development as it runs on common web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JS which are common skills most developers possess. WaveMaker supports both Responsive Web and Hybrid Mobile applications.

With WaveMaker, you can use the inbuilt layouts, themes and templates that confirm to the platform guidelines resulting in near-native experience for both iOS and Android. You can also connect to backend services (MBaaS) of your choice (like AWS Mobile Services and Azure Mobile Services) for identity management & sync, analytics, push notifications, and more.  WaveMaker also simplifies access and use of device features like camera, location, network, battery, contacts, local storage and more.

Android, iOS and Windows Phone App Publishing Checklist

  • Understanding the publishing process for Android
  • Following the Google Play policies and agreements
  • Testing for quality
  • Confirm the apps platform and screen compatibility ranges

Learn More

  • Follow apple’s recommended iOS coding style guide.
  • Understand apple’s layouts, architecture, fonts and text
  • Make sure your release build is on the right production servers
  • Follow the app store review guidelines

Learn More

  • You need to have a Microsoft developer account
  • Adhere to the Windows app properties guidelines of name, description, categories, ratings etc.
  • The app package must pass the  WACK test (Windows App Certification Kit)
  • Understand the Store listings page

Learn More

Explore WaveMaker Mobile App Development Platform