The future of mobile and web development: insights from a mobile app development company

Written by Adrian Cucerzan
Published on Apr 26, 2023
Read time 10 min
Category Uncategorized

In recent years, the world of software development has seen incredible advances in technology, and the future of mobile and web app development has become even more exciting.

The proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices has made mobile apps a central component of many people’s daily lives. In addition, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies means that web apps are becoming more important than ever.

As a result, the software development industry is evolving rapidly, with new technologies and approaches emerging all the time. In this article, we will explore the latest trends and developments in mobile and web app development, and provide insights from a mobile app development company on how they are preparing for the future.

The “Rise” of Progressive Web Apps

One of the most significant trends in web app development is the rise of progressive web apps (PWAs). PWAs are web applications that use modern web technologies to deliver an app-like experience to users. They are designed to work seamlessly across all devices and platforms, from desktops to smartphones.

PWAs offer a range of benefits over traditional web apps. For example, they can be installed on the home screen of the user’s smartphone and tablet, and can send push notifications just like a native app. They also offer offline access, so users can continue to use the app even when they are not connected to the internet.

One of the key advantages of PWAs is that they do not require users to download an app from an app store. Instead, users can access the app directly from their web browser, which is already installed on most devices. This makes PWAs more accessible and easier to use, especially for users who are not tech-savvy.

Another advantage of PWAs is that they are more cost-effective to develop compared to native mobile apps. Native apps require separate development for each platform, which can be time-consuming and expensive. In contrast, PWAs are built using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are already familiar to most web developers. This makes PWAs a more efficient option for businesses that want to provide a mobile app experience without investing in native app development.

Sounds too good to be true? Of course! If only these advantages are presented, one would think “Why not everything is PWA?”. Well, there are bigger disadvantages for using such a technology, for example: using the smartphone/tablet features like camera, sensors (GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity), advanced graphics and animations or if it needs to connect with other apps from the device. Also the offline mode doesn’t offer advanced features and it only works if it was once online and downloaded versus the native mode where you can start offline by default.

Another BIG disadvantage is the possibility to be discovered from the App Store and Google Play, because PWAs cannot be published on the stores. So the only way to discover it is through searching on Google/Bing/a.s.o.

These being said, Mobiversal, a mobile app development company, would recommend using PWAs just in certain situations where the end user knows from other means about the app and is kind of obliged to use it. 

To give an example of where we would recommend cutting costs by building a PWA: Booking.com has a native app where clients can book hotels and apartments. Beside that app, they also have the Pulse app where managers of the accommodations configure and manage the page and booking. From our point of view, the Pulse app could have been a PWA (note that this is an example, because right now the Pulse app is not a PWA, but it could have been one), because it doesn’t require advanced device capabilities or offline mode.

The Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

Cross-platform development has been gaining popularity in recent years as businesses look for ways to reach a wider audience with their mobile apps. Cross-platform development frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin have made it possible to build native apps that work seamlessly across different platforms, including iOS, Android, and even the web.

The main benefit of cross-platform development is that it enables businesses to build apps that work on multiple platforms using a single codebase. This can save time and reduce development costs, as developers don’t need to write twice the whole code for each platform. Instead, they can write code once and use it across all platforms, with small exceptions, making app development more efficient. Here’s an article we wrote two years ago about the cross platform mobile app development.

In addition, cross-platform app development can help businesses reach a wider audience with their apps. Instead of having separate apps for iOS and Android, for example, businesses can build a single app that works on both platforms. This can be especially beneficial for smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to build separate apps for each platform, until they validate their business idea.

Cross-platform development can also help businesses stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and features. Because cross-platform frameworks are constantly evolving, businesses can take advantage of new features and capabilities without having to completely rewrite their code.

While cross-platform development has many benefits, it also comes with some challenges, such as:

  • Ensuring that the app works well on each platform, which involves writing code dedicated for each platform
  • Achieving the best performance and user experience
  • Maintaining the code for newer operating systems: when a newer version of Android or iOS is released, some things will not work anymore, until the cross-platform tool releases an updated version, and only after that you will be able to adjust the code to work, which can add a double delay (compared to the full native described below)

Businesses need to carefully consider their development goals and user needs when choosing a cross-platform development framework, and should work with a mobile app development company that has expertise in this area to ensure that their app is feasible for cross-platform development and that it’s built to the highest standards.

The Future of Native App Development

While PWAs and Cross-platform are gaining popularity, native app development is still an important part of the mobile app landscape. Native apps offer several advantages over PWAs, including better performance and access to native device features such as the camera and sensors.

To make a parallel, let’s think of gymnastics and how the scoring system works: the bigger the difficulty of the elements, the bigger is the maximum score it can reach (these are before doing the exercise). The same is with development of mobile apps: PWAs are the ones with the smallest difficulty, cross-platform are the next and Native development is the environment which can receive the maximum score of all.

Currently, native app development requires separate development for each platform, such as iOS and Android. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller businesses or start-ups that want to reach a wide audience faster and cheaper. You can read more about native mobile development this article from our blog.

The Importance of User Experience

Regardless of whether a business chooses to develop a PWA or a native app, user experience (UX) is becoming increasingly important. In today’s competitive app landscape, users have high expectations for the apps they use. They want apps that are easy to use, fast, and visually appealing.

To deliver a great UX, software development agencies are focusing on user-centered design principles, such as designing for the user’s needs and preferences. This involves conducting user research to understand what users want and need from an app, and using that information.

If you think you don’t deliver the best experience for your clients, check our article about having an UX audit for you app.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of software development is constantly evolving, with new technologies and approaches emerging all the time. Mobile and web app development is becoming more exciting with the rise of progressive web apps (PWAs) and cross-platform development.
While PWAs offer several advantages over traditional web apps, such as offline access and cost-effectiveness, they also come with some disadvantages, such as limited device capabilities and discoverability.
Cross-platform development allows businesses to build native apps that work seamlessly across different platforms, saving time and reducing development costs. However, it also comes with some challenges, such as ensuring the app works well on each platform and maintaining code for newer operating systems.

Ultimately, businesses should carefully consider their development goals and user needs when choosing a development framework and should work with a mobile app development company with expertise in this area to ensure their app is successful.

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