What Kinds of Mobile Applications Enterprises Need in 2019

Different Types of Mobile Applications Development and Evolution in 2019

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

Since the opening of iOS App Store in 2008, the number of mobile applications (‘apps’) available on Android and iOS platforms has already showed an exponential growth beyond 2 million. Nowadays, city dwellers manage all kinds of matters through their mobile phones, from online banking, social media accounts, gaming, video-shooting to daily transaction. Some may even choose mobile phones over their wallets if they have to leave home. When it comes to connection, mobile apps become indispensable to clients and staff of enterprises of all sizes.

Your mobile device has quickly become the easiest portal into your digital self. — — Phil Nickinson, Editor of Android Central

Mobile apps development was a craze before and after 2012. All you needed to make your first bucket of gold is to develop a convenient and user friendly app at that time. But modern-day companies can select suitable types of mobile apps to be developed according to their own business needs, resources and time constraints by drawing reference from the flourishing apps market. To help you narrow down your choices and find the right one, we will briefly explain to you different types of mobile apps development.

Native App


Native app is written in the same set of native code language used in writing the mobile phone system. From the earliest iOS’s Objective C to Swift and Android’s Java to Kotlin, writing apps in the native language is regarded as the most direct way in apps development. In theory, native app makes the most efficient use of all  features in a mobile phone and provides the best user experience.

Native app has an edge over other types of applications in utilizing the features of a mobile phone, in the sense that native app could adapt the changeCost matters and time is tight, the market always automatically adjusts and seeks new paths in apps development. The hybrid apps were born.. Native app is the first to use and adopt new features, such as the popular Machine Learning and Augmented Reality (AR) in recent years.

On the contrary, developing native apps incurs a comparatively high cost. Considering that the market is a blend of products out on iOS, Android and Windows, the app you developed is generally expected to support users from multiple platforms at the same time. Otherwise, writing the apps in separate sets of native code languages for different platforms may properly double the cost and duration required for apps development.

Examples of native apps include: Camera+, iCalender

From Hybrid Apps to Cross-platform Apps

Cost matters and time is tight, the market always automatically adjusts and seeks new paths in apps development. The hybrid apps were born.

Imagine that hybrid app installs a web browser in your mobile phone, as web browser is in nature universal among various mobile phones, so you can open a simulation of mobile app in the form of website through this browser. That’s how the primary shareable coding of an app could be displayed in the form of website. For the remaining features of an application that could not be displayed on a website, the parts must be written in the native code language of respective platforms. If you have to launch an application for both Android and iOS platforms, choosing hybrid over native app saves around 25% cost and duration of development to create the same effect.

In 2105, apps written in Iconic based on AngularJS and Cordova had bloomed and swept the world. However, the core problem of hybrid apps is the deficiency in user interfaces performance. In view of the very limited capability of Android and iOS browsers at that time, the user experience of hybrid apps was much worse than those native apps offer. For the experienced mobile phone users, a glance is enough to tell whether an app is hybrid. Corporate images may be adversely affected when clients had a bad experience on their hybrid apps.

But you don’t have to give up user experience for the sake of paying less with cross-platform app as a successor of hybrid created by mobile apps development companies. The biggest difference between cross-platform and hybrid is the improvement made on user interfaces experience. Cross-platform is no longer browser-based, indeed, it provides a common set of framework for user interface development, within which native user interface could be written, greatly rectifies the deficiencies of hybrid app in user experience. Development frameworks for cross-platform apps, for example, include React native of Facebook, Xamarin of Microsoft, Flutter and Vue Native of Google.

Although these development frameworks claim themselves to be development tools for native apps, being able to create a comparable user experience and efficiently utilize mobile phone features like native apps do, it still takes months for cross-platform apps to support the latest features added to mobile devices, falling way behind native apps do. If your business pursues timely support for the latest mobile phone features in your app, you may think twice if cross-platform is the best choice for you.

Even so, cross-platform apps have already met over 90% of user requirements. Popular apps we use in everyday life such as Instagram, Evernote, UBER, Twitter and Netflix are all cross-platform, without doubt cross-platform apps have mainstreamed in the mode of apps development.

From Web Apps to Progressive Web Application (PWA)

(Source: https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/)

Web apps are, simply defined, webpages. But most of these webpages are built under the framework of Single Page Applications (SPA) and could bring users an impression and feeling similar to mobile apps, along with the improving technical capability of mobile browsers in recent years.

When it comes to user interface experience, web apps still perform below the before mentioned apps even with the improvement in current mobile browsers. Web apps also face limitations in function diversity, like failing to read QR codes, receive messages from Bluetooth devices and process payment through Apple Store/Play Store. But if you are planning to launch an app featured with simple data like text and images, web app is definitely the one for you.

Based on the characteristics of web apps, iOS and Android took corresponding actions in enhancing their capabilities and bring Progressive Web App (“PWA”) to the world. When you browse through iOS’s Safari or of Android’s Chrome, you can select and add any webpage to the screen of your mobile phone, and the webpage will then pop up in a look similar to mobile app. PWA looks exactly the same as other apps in the eyes of general users, with PWA, you can even use the features originally provided by native apps only, such as pushing messages, retrieving coordinates, taking photos and making use of the mobile compass function.

Another breakthrough achieved by web apps and PWA is that no download from App Store is required. Users have thousands reasons refusing to download an app, say limited Internet access, inadequate phone memory or having too many apps and one more is just too much. Web apps and PWA kick all these concerns out, to start with, users simply need a second to scan a QR code or search on Google. Such a fast and convenient experience in starting an app is definitely enjoyable to customers when promoting your new products.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that web apps take the least time and cost among all types of apps development. Web apps support nearly all mobile phone platforms and desktop computers at minimum cost, are well-suited for services such as online shopping and room booking that do not engage exclusive features or functions of mobile phones. To get a taste of PWA, try Starbuck’s website at https://app.starbucks.com.


Besides apps designed for the public, many enterprises actively seek apps designed for internal use to facilitate corporate management and operation, particularly in supporting staff to claim reimbursement and apply for leave. PowerApps of Microsoft is what you are searching for.

PowerApps are affiliated to Microsoft Office 365. To begin with, staff only needs to download PowerApps from Apple Store/Play Store and login their accounts to a simplified user interface provided by PowerApps, on which staff could manage daily office matters through the small-sized applications pre-installed by administrators. PowerApps also collaborate and couple with OneDrive, SharePoint and Power BI of Office 365 to form an integral system, facilitating administrators and managers to extract data and reports for better understanding on the operation of the whole company.

The development cost of PowerApps is around 20% of general software applications, however the bundled cost of regular subscription fee for Microsoft Office 365 counts, as every PowerApps account must be linked to an Office 365 account. That’s a generous sum of money. But if your business is an existing customer of Office 365 and you are looking for applications to facilitate daily office operation, PowerApps works for you.

Game Development Engine

Unity and Unreal Engine are specifically designed for game development, supporting mobile apps as well as gaming platforms like PlayStation, Switch and Steam, commonly used in developing cross-platform games. Unity and Unreal Engine are strong in 3D presentation and game computing that are compatible with both game development and mobile apps, their hottest game creations include Minecraft and PUBG.


web software的圖片搜尋結果
(Source: https://collectivedata.com/technology/web-vs-web-enabled/ )

Yes, we know, there are many choices. To find out the one that suits you best, making the most efficient use of your precious time and money, feel free to contact us ONES Software for enquiries. We are here to provide our expertise in mobile apps development.

To find out more features and details of Bookings ONE, contact us at:

Enquiry Hotline/Whatsapp: (+852) 5538 3410

Email: hello@ones.software

Website: https://ones.software/



Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

由2008年 iOS App Store 開張至今,十多年間手機應用程式的數量,不論是Android 還是 iOS 的平臺上,都已經達致200 萬個以上。今天,都市人每日都透過手機上網去做各種各樣的事,網上理財、Facebook IG、打機拍片、買賣交易。有些人可以忘記帶錢包出街,但不能不帶手機出街。所以對於大小企業來說,不論對外的客戶還是對內的員工,手機應用程式還是一種不可或缺的重要媒介。

Your mobile device has quickly become the easiest portal into your digital self. — — Phil Nickinson, Editor of Android Central


原生應用(Native App)


原生應用(Native App),意指用該手機系統原生的程式去編寫應用程式。由最早期 iOS 的 ObjectiveCSwift,或者 Android 的 Java 到 Kotlin ,都是最直接的開發方法。而理論上,原生應用理應可以最有效地利用到手機的所有性能,而達至最佳的手機用戶體驗。

原生應用可以緊隨著手機系統的升級而改變,所以它能夠比其他類型的應用程式,更能盡用手機本身的功能。例如這幾年相當流行的機器學習(Machine Learning),還是擴增實境(Augmented Reality/AR),這些功能都是原生應用可以第一時間使用得到。

但相反地,原生應用的弊處在於開發成本較大。在 iOS / Android 各據市場一方,有時甚至要顧及 Windows 用家的時候,除非在特殊的要求下,否則基本上是必須同時支援兩個平臺以上的用家。在多個平臺都要分別開發的情況下,開發的成本與時間翻兩倍亦屬平常。

原生應用程式的例子有:Camera+, iCalender

混合應用(Hybrid App)→ 跨平臺應用(Cross-platform App)

當原生應用其時間和開發成本上的問題越趨明顯,市場自然有相對的解決方案應運而生,而這就是混合應用(Hybrid App)

混合應用的基本概念是在手機裏面放置一個網頁瀏覽器,透過這個瀏覽器就可以去開啓一個模擬手機應用的網站。因爲瀏覽器在手機來説是共通的,所以把主要能夠共用的程式,都以網頁的形式呈現。而網頁未能實現的功能,就用該平臺的原生程序去編寫。以同時推出 Android、iOS 兩個平臺的應用程式為例,混合應用能以大概1.5倍的開發成本和時間,就能做到原生應用兩倍的效果

在2015年,使用 AngularJS + Cordova 作爲根基的 Ionic 曾經瘋魔一時,以 Ionic 編寫的應用程式大量湧現。然而當時混合應用的核心問題,在於用戶介面表現的效能。當時的 Android、iOS 的瀏覽器性能上都非常有限,在用戶體驗上,混合應用會較原生應用差得多。有經驗的手機用家,也許一眼就能看出哪個應用程式是否混合應用。企業形象亦有機會因為其混合應用程式的用戶體驗較其他遜色,而有所減損。

為了減省開發成本,而又不放棄用戶體驗各個手機應用程式公司不斷摸索,其中跨平臺應用(Cross-platform App)可說是混合應用的後繼者。和混合應用的最大不同之處,在於它們針對用戶介面體驗上進行的改善,不再使用網頁和瀏覽器,而是提供一套共同的用戶介面開發框架,給開發人員去編寫出原生的用戶介面,這樣大大改善了混合應用在用戶體驗上的不足。Facebook 的 React native, Microsoft 的 Xamarin,Google 的 Flutter 或者 Vue Native,這些都是跨平臺應用的開發框架。


即使如此,跨平臺應用依然能達到現在超過 9成以上用戶的需求。大家經常接觸到的手機應用程式,包括 Instagram, Evernote, UBER, Twitter, Netflix 等等,都是屬於跨平臺應用,可見跨平臺應用已是今天開發模式的主流。

網頁應用(Web App)→ 漸進式網絡應用程式 PWA(Progressive Web Application /PWA)

(來源自: https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/)

網頁應用(Web App)講白了就是單純的一個網頁,不過這種網頁多用所謂單頁應用 (Single page Applications/SPA)的框架來建立。隨著這幾年手機上的瀏覽器發展越來越進步,網頁應用已能夠給予用戶相當接近手機應用的感覺。

在效能層面上,現在的瀏覽器下網頁應用的效能已經比幾年前進步不少,但當然還是遜色於上文提到的兩者。以功能方面來看,網頁應用也有很多未能做到的功能,例如讀取 QR Code、藍牙裝置信息等等,亦無法利用如 Apple Store/Play Store 的付費功能。但如果企業的應用程式只是如購物網般以文字、圖片等簡單數據為主的話,網頁應用絕對是一個不錯的選擇。

基於網頁應用的優勢,iOS 和 Android 亦作出相應的性能強化,於是 就有漸進式網絡應用程式(Progressive Web App/PWA)的出現。當你使用 iOS 的 Safari 或者是 Android 的 Chrome 去瀏覽網頁時,用戶可以選擇添加該網頁到手機桌面上,這樣網頁就會以一個類似手機應用的模樣出現。對於一般用戶而言,PWA 看上去和其他手機應用程式沒有分別。而這些應用程式還可以用到很多原生應用程式才有的功能,如推送信息、讀取坐標、相機拍照、運用手機指南針等等。

網頁應用/ PWA 還有一個相當突出的優點,就是不用透過 App store 下載就能直接使用。現在用戶拒絕下載手機程式的原因有很多,譬如上網流量有限、電話容量不足、手機已經安裝過多應用程式等等。而網頁應用/ PWA 就是省卻這些用戶的顧慮,用戶可以簡單到只要掃描一下QR Code,又或者在 Google 搜索一下就可以開始使用。這種快捷的體驗,對宣傳新產品來説,是相當有效。

最重要的是,網頁應用的開發成本和時間是各種開發模式之中最短的,用最低的成本,就可以支援近乎所有的手機平臺,甚至電腦桌面都能同步使用,很適合一些如網絡購物、預約房間等等不需要用到手機很多功能的服務使用。不妨嘗試用手機去Starbucks 的網頁 https://app.starbucks.com, 來試一試 PWA 的威力。


除了面對大衆的應用程式外,現在很多公司都積極尋求給予内部員工使用的應用程式,例如員工申報開支、請假等等,以方便公司内部管理和運作,而Microsoft 的PowerApps正正就符合這些功能。

PowerApps 其實是附屬 Microsoft Office 365 的應用程式,員工只需要上 Apple store/Play store 下載 PowerApps 並登入,PowerApps 就能提供一個比較簡單的用戶界面,管理人員可以在 PowerApps 上放置各種小型應用程式,員工可以透過這些應用程式去處理日常公司事項。PowerApps 也會和 Office 365 的 OneDrive / SharePoint / Power BI 等等有互相的聯動,以構成一個一體化的系統,管理人員則能透過 PowerApps 所產生的各類報告以得知公司的運作。

( 來源自:https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/powerbi-powerapps-visual/)

固然,PowerApps 的開發成本是普通應用程式的 20% 而已,但其主要成本反而來自 Microsoft Office 365 定期的訂閱收費,皆因每個使用 PowerApps 的用戶,都要有其 Office 365 的賬號才能使用,成本自然不菲。但如果閣下的企業本身已經使用 Office 365 的服務,而又想利用一些應用程式去方便公司日常運作的話,PowerApps 還是一個不錯的選擇。


Unity和虛幻引擎(Unreal engine),這些開發引擎都是專門開發遊戲用的。它們所支持的平臺不局限於手機應用,甚至可以於 PlayStation / Switch / Steam 等遊戲平臺實現。現在常見的跨平臺遊戲很多都是以這類型開發的,這類型的應用強項在於 3D 的表現和遊戲運算,不論遊戲開發,還是一般手機應用程式亦能使用到。如 MinecraftPUBG 這些膾炙人口的遊戲,都是用 Unity / 虛幻引擎來開發的。


手機應用程式開發類型比較 (2019)

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