App Wars, Episode 1: The field and the spoils

There are 5 main types of apps you can build in 2016. Do you know them all? More importantly, did you know there’s a bit of a war going on between the two main factions?

One one side, there are native apps. On the other, web apps. Both sides would love to dominate the app world. Both sides have created first and second generation players.

This series of blog posts wants to introduce you to each type of player so you can pick the right one for your project.

TLDR; Try our cool candied nibnut app to help you decide!

App Types

Before the iPhone (2007, almost 10 years ago now! It seems like such a long and short time at the same time…) there was only two types of apps: desktop, and web apps. Web apps in 2007 looked very different than those of today, but they were around.

Today, we have 3 more types of applications – things have more than doubled in less than 10 years. Leaving aside desktop apps, which are quickly becoming a niche, the 4 types of apps today are:

  • Native (often called “mobile”) apps
  • Hybrid apps
  • Web apps (let’s call them 2.0, because they are much, much better than their 2007 grand-daddies)
  • Progressive Web apps

Easy to decide, it is not

We’re all human, developers included, and we all have a strong tendency to stick with what we know. Our comfort zone taints our decisions – always.

So if you approach a web developer, there’s a good chance he will strongly lean on the web app side of things. Vice-versa when you talk to a mobile developer. I’m not suggesting they are not being professional, or malicious or anything. We just normally all lean towards what makes us comfortable.

What I have seen, however, is a lot of web app dismissal. The native app hype is so big right now, everybody wants to build one. But they come with their lot of problems and offer absolutely no guarantee of success. Lots of native apps (if they even) get installed, and are only used once. Then the user forgets about them.

That’s a lot of sweat and money for very little return. Most of these apps could have been built cheaper and faster as web apps first, then transformed into native apps, if they were successful.

In this series of posts, I will walk you through each type of app, so you can be better informed when you discuss your project with your developer.

In the last installment, I will try to give you the (few) cases where your decision will be easier to make.

Join me tomorrow for the second episode: “The apps empire”.