This is quite a difficult distinction to make, it is hard to generalize the types of mobile apps properly as mobile apps can have features of one or the other category. In real life you may have a mobile with certain features of this category and few of the other. but for our purpose of navigating you through the process of building one this may help.
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This category include mobile apps that are installed on mobile phones or tablets and are used for specific purposes. example calculators, calendar , notepads etc. These mobile apps are often limited tot he resources of the specific mobile device and the functionalities are very basic that enhance the productivity of the user . However, a lot of them have the capacity to connect to external resources and databases to make use of uptodate data and information. example of such mobile apps include map and navigation apps, weather mobile apps etc...
This category includes mobile apps or software used by specialised mobile devices such as handheld scanners, measurement tools, data capture devices, and devices with special sensors and components. Apart from the niche market they represent, such mobile apps require specific programming skills and development technique, hence they are more often ignored by most mobile app development service providers. One unique identifying feature of such mobile apps is that the apps usually tap into the specialized hardware components of the mobile device, example the radio reader module on HF or UHF RFID handheld scanner
This type of apps are basically used to provide content to user via mobile apps. the content could be hard coded to the app in form of pages and sections that can be accesses va navigation menu ( example; company app with five pages "home page", "mission and vision","our products and services", "our portfolio", "contact us" ).
These kind of mobile apps could be useful when author wants to provide content that is used again and again for example Bible app where content do not change and is used frequently. with a little search and index function the static content will be presented fast and conveniently.
Enterprise mobile apps are mobile apps deployed as part of an enterprise system that work hand in hand with a backend system and database. Within the enterprise system the mobile apps have a very specific functionalities that addresses the specific mobile strategy component of the solution. More often these mobile apps are a combination of all the above mentioned categories. Example of such mobile apps include banking apps, post office tracking app, elearning mobile app etc ..
Enterprise apps usually are deployed as a mobile extension of an enterprise solution simply offering mobility to the system or it could be that they have specific function that is relevant to mobility example field data capture system.
These kind of apps are generally similar to the simple static content based mobile apps except that the content is not static or is not hard coded in the app itself. rather is is stored and updated via connection to a remote database. Once the mobile app is downloaded and opened by the user it connects to a remote database server and so that the mobile app is populated with the latest data from a remote database once the user requests the page.Example of such mobile app is news apps, audio and video portals and content delivery mobile apps. Another distic feature of such mobile apps is the fact that these apps are part of a content management system which include back end software that is used by the content publishers to create, edit and publish data that will be consumed by these mobile apps.
Native mobile apps are apps that are downloaded and installed ( from Google Play, App Store, Amazon or publisher website and/or from special link sent from manufacturer) on the user device ( smartphone or tablet and sometimes specialized devices). The user will have to open the app on his/ her phone or tablet. These types of app utilize the user's phone and can access the camera, memory, GPS module, GSM module, Accelerometer, contacts, SMSs, etc easily. They can communicate with the outside world via the wifi or 3G of the phone.
Hybrid apps as the name suggests are partly native and partly web pages. Basically they take the best of both world where by user downloads an app that is installed on the device and opens a browser to display content from a website partly.
These type of mobile apps are particularly useful for corporates and businesses with online portals which are utilized by clients. Examples of such apps will be banking apps, booking and event management apps etc.
These are small websites, so to speak, that run on the smart phone's web browser that act, look and feel like native apps. Basically when the user touch on the app icon the application opens a web browser that connects to the app website (local or remote). They are typically written in HTML5. With the advancement of HTML5 Web apps seem to take over native apps as businesses can have website and web app as two-in-one. Infact most users don't notice whether it is web app or native app they are using once it is on their phone. Nevertheless, you as an owner need to make the decision of what type you need to invest in.
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