Methods in which applications are being developed are many and, over the years, these methods have been continuously polished. The demand for new applications for different uses is increasing and the people developing the apps are limited. The way people have been using mobile phones has changed with the release of the critically acclaimed iPhone back in 2007.
Before the usual smartphones that we know today, companies developed phones with a type of user in mind. Some companies focused on developing phones made for those that love listening to music, other versions for the would-be photographer, made to take impressive photos. There was also the type of phone that was considered a complementary accessory to one’s fashion style, and so on.
What is an Application?
An application is a piece of software, a program. The term is mainly used for the programs that can be installed on either phones or tablets. Software, application or programs are terms that can be used interchangeably between them. To better differentiate between them, it is important to take notice of a few simple factors and how each one of them works individually. To better understand what apps are, it is good to also understand programs and software.
Programs can be viewed as a set of instructions that the operating system or computer uses to perform a task that usually runs in the background without the user’s input. Software refers to a program or a group of programs that work together that are used by the computer. Lastly, an application is a group of programs designed with a user interface that is made for the user to interact with. Apps cannot run on their own, it requires user input and the necessary software (a group of programs) to function. Apps come in many different varieties. From entertainment apps such as games to utility apps such as location-based services and communications apps such as email and messenger.
Applications can be web-based and do not require the user to download it on their phone and can run on any device. However, those that are available for download through an app store are usually developed with an operating system in mind. Apps made for Android cannot run on iOS, therefore, 2 versions of the application must be developed. The saying is that ”there’s an app for everything”.
How an Application is Designed?
The features that an app will have during a brainstorming session are without number but usually many developers say that over 90% of what is being proposed when designing an app is left on the cutting room floor. An application must be developed with an emphasis on simplicity and function. Refusing that 90% amount is the best thing that an app developer can do to be able to focus on the application’s main purpose. The simplicity of an app is also the result of smaller screens and it may take a while for developers to reach a point where the application is reduced to only a few buttons and button presses to do what it is supposed to do.
The operating system and phone favored by most developers tend to be the iOS and iPhone because there is little difference between each of them, resulting in a smoother design and testing process. Android phones, on the other hand, take a bit longer to develop because of many versions and devices from different companies. The amount it takes to develop an app will vary greatly, but even the simplest of applications usually take about a month to be completed. There are 3 major application types: native, web and hybrid applications.
- Native Applications are the ones that can be downloaded through the app store and written in the operating system’s native language such as Java or C# for Android or Swift for iOS. Their performance on their respective OS is sleek and offers the best user experience.
- Web Applications are those that are located remotely on a server, delivered over the internet with the help of a browser has the possibility of working on different platforms.
- Hybrid Applications brings together the best of both worlds. They offer the sleek performance of a native application with the flexibility of a web application. The app contains a web view (an isolated browser instance) using a wrapper that can communicate with a native device. These apps would not have been possible without the tools which permit the communication between the web app and the native device.
Gaming Apps – Games for the Masses
The most downloaded apps from the respective stores are gaming apps, followed by business and productivity apps. During 2018 the mobile gaming environment was dominated by casual games. Casual games are the type of games that are the most appreciated by the masses. An example would be the world-wide phenomenon of Angry Birds. Lately, social media integration into these gaming apps has become an important part of mobile game development. In a study conducted last year, it has shown that the average mobile user spent around 120 minutes on social media. Implementing social media into gaming apps can develop a gaming community based around your gaming application.
Casinos have been present in the online space since the early times of the internet, but these last few years with the easy distribution of apps, their games have become very popular among the public, especially social casino apps. I have mentioned before how gaming apps are developed in such a way to also try to include social media in one way or another. Social casinos can be played directly in the browser the same way that any online casino could, however, using their respective app is much easier and faster, as it instantly grants access to their list of games, with no need to browse to their website. As social casinos, players can experience the game with friends. Among the many games that an online casino offers, there are some brands such as Slotpark that focus mainly on a specific type of game, in Slotpark’s case the type being slot games which, due to how the usual slot games are played, are a joy to be experienced on mobile.
As a final note, apps can add more convenience to people’s lives. Their design is simple and easy to use by anybody and can perform the required tasks with just a few taps on the screen. This has also led to a major shift in how websites are designed for mobile. This was shown when Google made changes to the way that websites are being ranked and started to take into consideration a page’s loading speed on mobile. Web developers are now required to also prioritize developing a website that is friendly to mobile users, designing them in a way that is more responsive and easy to navigate on mobile devices.