Mobile App Ecosystem

The most popular mobile operating systems at the moment are

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows Mobile

Android has the largest market share by far, followed by iOS. Windows has only around 1-2% of the mobile ecosystem.

Types of mobile apps

They different ways available today to develop mobile apps.

  • Native mobile apps
  • Hybrid mobile apps
  • Web apps

Native mobile apps

Native mobile apps are designed to be installed and run natively on the platform. These types of apps take the full capability of the mobile phone features, they have full access to the phone hardware and OS device frameworks.

  • Native mobile apps for Android are built using the Java programming language.
  • Native mobile apps for iOS are built using Objective-C and Swift.

They are also alternative ways to build native apps using platforms like Xamarin. Xamarin lets you build native mobile apps using C#. It accomplishes this by compiling the resulting code to its native equivalent. Apps built this ways are not distinguishable from apps built using the native tools and languages.

Hybrid apps

These apps run in a browser environment but some capabilities to the native features of the phone. They can access the camera, device location and many other device sensors and also take advantage of the device frameworks.

These apps are usually built use web tools such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Tools like Phonegap are used to build hybrid apps.

The same issues that affect mobile also affect hybrid apps since they built using web technologies.

Web apps

These are full websites optimized for mobile. The same website functionality is made available on the phone using responsive design. This allows the use the same code base but bring along the security issues for websites into mobile.