It’s been a decade and three years since apps became a thing.
Today, there are now millions of apps available in the leading app markets — a far cry from the first few hundreds in App Store’s first iteration. As the globe progresses more deeply into digital solutions, we find that apps, too, are evolving, allowing users to experience several benefits and solve multiple problems.
But what precisely are apps?
For this blog post, we’re tackling what apps are, what they intend to do, and what the future may look like with apps around.
What is an app?
An application, more referred to as an “app,” is a digital product utilized in mobile and desktop devices. There are two primary types of apps at present: native apps and web apps. The first one is the type we install on our phones. These are the programs we download from an app market and see on our mobile’s home screens. The other one is the app we can access through browsers like Chrome, Safari, or what have you.
Native apps are virtual commodities that function and thrive using your phone’s operating system. These apps harness the power of your device and utilize your phone’s technology and capacity to work. Depending on what the app is for, they can save and edit content, access your contacts, and respond to commands.
On the other hand, web apps, as the name implies, are apps you can open everywhere browsers are available—tablets, laptops, desktops, and phones. Mostly used to access the web anywhere, web apps are perfect for business professionals, social media users, and service-based entrepreneurs.
Comparatively, native apps take much longer to build since they’re coded differently, depending on the operating system. This means that if you want a native app to be available in both Google Play and App store, you’ll have to build them twice. A web app isn’t faced with this kind of dilemma as these apps are designed to work in browsers, making them easier to create and faster to publish.
The expansion of web apps
While native apps aren’t going anywhere, web apps have seen an exponential rise in the tech industry. This is because these apps are more flexible, a tad more feasible to build, and have much lower maintenance costs compared to native apps. What’s more, these apps are incredibly easy to update and extend faster download times.
The noticeable downside, however, is that web apps are unable to access a phone’s features and content, limiting what a user can do through the app. Still, this reality isn’t entirely deemed a drawback since native apps and web apps exist to fulfill different needs.
Whereas native apps are made to help users optimize their mobile gadgets, web apps are used primarily to interact with others or to execute commands. Think of these apps to be like websites but a lot more interactive.
Nonetheless, entrepreneurs looking to resort to web apps will have a lot to be thankful for. As many things online are evolving, so, too, are web apps. The advent of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is bridging the gap between native apps and web apps, allowing shortcuts to be installed on a phone and letting users immediately open the app in one click. Developers now have the opportunity to make their PWAs available on Google Play too.
Unsurprisingly, it was Google that paved the way to establish PWAs in 2015, and the numbers today are adding up. Studies reveal that more leaders are turning to PWAs, with a few entities seeing a nearly 70% increase in traffic and user engagement.
The future is No-Code
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise why the rise of web apps are more apparent today. No-code platforms like bubble.io, for instance, are at the forefront of helping non-coders build the apps they dream of without needing the technical background conventional developers bank on.
Visual programming has played a critical role in the expansion of the app market and citizen developers are becoming more mainstream.
But even when someone isn’t bent on learning the no-code ropes, one can still rejoice because the number of reliable no-code app development agencies is increasing too. This means that business leaders and creatives can now focus on the core of what they do and turn to app development agencies without splurging substantial amounts of cash.
From marketplaces to startup apps, the list of what no-code providers can build is long and winded. Apps built on these platforms are notably faster, too, allowing entrepreneurs to get more work done and generate revenue much earlier than those who turn to traditional software development.
The evolving app landscape
Overall, times are changing and native apps aren’t the only staple solution for virtual growth through mobile anymore. Experts are finding out that customer engagement is reliant on a plethora of things, and web app solutions are definitely part of what helps expand a brand’s reach.
Whether native app or PWA, one thing is certain: apps are here to stay and entrepreneurs who invest in them are only future-proofing their businesses.
Do you have an app you wish to build? We can help you!