Mobile devices are everywhere, and with them come mobile applications. They’ve brought the world to our fingertips and have become an integral part of day-to-day life. From keeping us connected to friends and family to providing information about the world around us to letting us work from anywhere, mobile devices and their apps can do just about anything.
The number of apps can seem overwhelming, but thinking of them in terms of types and categories can make them a little easier to consider. While these lists can still be quite long, they provide convenient ways to break apps into groups with similar characteristics. Below, we’ll look at some of these groups that you can find in modern business settings.
Before we go into the types of mobile applications available, let’s take a quick look behind the scenes at how they’re programmed. The four major programming types are native, hybrid, web, and progressive web. If you’re interested in using any of these to develop a custom mobile application for your business, reach out to Orases to find out more about their mobile app development services.
Native apps are programmed to work on a designated operating system (OS) using a programming language specific to that OS. In the case of smartphones, this will either be Android OS or Apple’s iOS. While native apps can more fully utilize the features and functions of the OS they’re designed to run on, they can’t be used with any other OS. This is often because the programming languages used natively are often more complicated to add features to, and platform-specific development and support can be expensive.
Native apps will have the best compatibility and easiest configuration for their designated OS. However, the trade-off for these benefits is the necessity of longer release cycles and complicated, time-consuming design processes. The most common examples of native apps are the built-in utilities and functional apps of mobile devices, like the call function on smartphones.
man using mobile phone with multiple appsMobile apps can also be designed to run on mobile web browsers. These apps don’t require any installation and don’t take up any storage on the mobile device. They require an internet connection to function, though you can access web apps from anywhere as long as you have that.
The connection to outside servers also presents a security risk for your devices. Though an Internet connection is required, they don’t require regular updates on the user’s part since the web page is regularly updated and refreshed. However, they do take longer to develop than native apps, and since they don’t have any software saved on the device, they don’t offer the same functionality and device-level control as other types of mobile apps.
You can also use them on almost any OS without the need for multiple sets of code in different programming languages. Unfortunately, they still don’t have the same level of interactivity as native apps, and more complex hybrid apps may slow down or have problems with lag. Despite their versatility, they are rarely high-performance apps and are more often used for things like social media apps.
Progressive web apps are website extensions that function similarly to web apps. They can run on any device with any OS and take up less than one-fifth of the space of a native app. However, progressive web apps may have trouble integrating with some hardware due to compatibility concerns.
They also don’t provide support for all web browsers, so users that favor unsupported web browsers may be unable to use a progressive web app unless they’re willing to switch from their preferred web browser.
Like mobile web apps, these apps can’t access many newer device features such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. However, they refresh and update like web pages and web apps, making access easy. In addition, because they are predominantly web-based, you can share them with a simple URL.
Types of Applications by Use
With an app for almost everything, one of the simplest ways to classify them is by what they do. While there are too many types to be discussed in one article, we will cover nine key types that may be useful for a business. If you’re looking at utilizing or building a mobile application for your business, it’s important to consider the size and complexity of your business as well as how many different types of apps you’d like to implement.
These versatile apps are designed to create documents, spreadsheets, and more, as well as for managing schedules and collecting information. This app type can be used from entry-level to C-suite and comes in many forms, from dedicated calendars to business card and receipt scanners to image and video editing. As a result, they frequently improve employee performance and productivity as well as offering uniform capabilities throughout the business.
While these apps are often associated with vacation and leisure time, they can be useful for business as well. If you have employees that frequently go on business trips or travel to attend continuing education or seminars, apps for booking hotels or flights, navigating unfamiliar streets or long stretches of empty highway, and translating languages in a foreign country can be incredibly useful. They can make the trip run more smoothly by ensuring they can find all the information about the area with the push of a button.
Tools and Utility
Like office productivity apps, tools and utility apps are intended to streamline processes and increase efficiency. This type of app includes world clock apps, memo pad apps, data protection apps, and even more. They’re great ways of accessing information and being able to rapidly utilize it to make small decisions without extra input or oversight.
These purpose-driven apps are designed with an organization-level view of things and address the larger needs of the organization rather than focusing on the individual. These often include things like time and expense tracking, managing approvals or other oversight tasks, and tracking enterprise resource plans to ensure everything is running as it should. This type of app isn’t limited to large organizations and can be used by everyone from schools and local interest groups to governments and multinational corporations.
Communication apps help your business stay connected. They can utilize messaging, video chats, file transfers, or remote access to get information shared quickly and easily. These apps keep things running flawlessly and ensure everyone has access to all the information needed no matter where they are. Furthermore, they’re designed to let teams communicate from across the country or the globe so they can make decisions without delay.
Mobile payment apps have emerged as a convenient option for those who don’t want to carry cash. Integrated into many OSs as a mobile wallet, people can use them at any number of outlets without the need for wallet shuffling or specific store cards. Many of these are often used for peer-to-peer payments and purchases at farmer’s markets and independent sellers.
However, larger establishments like banks and grocery stores have also implemented compatible technologies to take advantage of the growing popularity of these apps. Depending on the app, some mobile payment apps offer invoicing, recurring bill payments, and even report generation to track income and spending.
A necessary part of any large undertaking, project management can be streamlined and efficient. Many project management apps also have accompanying laptop and desktop apps to allow for work from any device. They can be complex and have intricate features to manage every detail or as simple as a calendar with places to note daily tasks and deadlines. Many of these apps are flexible enough to be used with any project management method, agile or otherwise.
E-Marketing and Sales
E-marketing and sales apps are a growing sector that supports the expansion of the e-commerce industry. The number of online purchases is continually growing, and more and more of these purchases are from mobile devices. These apps cover everything from searching for the best hotel and airline rates to building loyalty programs and customer relationships.
Many e-marketing and sales apps also support social media marketing to target customers where they’re most likely to be as well as provide a unified way of managing corporate social media accounts for customer engagement.
While this type of app might not seem like an immediate candidate for business use, they can be great tools for a variety of purposes. For example, people can use them to set up training modules for new employees, annual training, or recertification.
They’re also a great way to provide verified, reliable information for customers to browse through without worrying whether or not what they’re reading is correct. These types of apps are a great supplement to other types of apps in this list, and you can even build these features into other apps to allow users to accomplish a variety of tasks within a single app.
Mobile Development Services for the Future
If you’re looking for software development services, including mobile app development, Orases can help. Orases can handle all your software needs, including the development of software for internal use, UI/UX development and management, security and compliance, and much more.
Schedule your consultation today to get started with Orases expert software development services, and see what they can do for your organization.