Accelerated in part by the global pandemic for the past couple of years and the shifting demands of users, mobile apps continue to be very popular and in demand. When it comes to mobile applications, the mobile app architecture refers to a set of techniques, processes, patterns, and rules to develop a mobile app. These rules help developers build an app that meets not just the business requirements but the industry standards as well.
How to Choose a Mobile App Architecture
The choice of the right mobile application and the software app development company largely depends on the target audience, which platform or platforms it will be deployed on, the functionality and features you want to include, the money and time you are ready to spend on the development, and of course the skills of the development team.
According to Saigon Technology, an app development company, Mobile app architecture is defined by three main application types, namely, native applications, hybrid applications, and mobile web applications. Native apps work offline, are user-friendly, fast, and work seamlessly on suitable devices. Nevertheless, they need considerable money and time during development and require frequent updates.
Let’s check out the mobile app architectures to determine which to choose.
The iOS Architecture
The Apple system, unlike Android, offers developers more guidance in developing the iOS mobile architecture based on the Model-View-Controller or MVC model. iOS developers, however, are not limited to just one architectural pattern. This one is the most commonly used in iOS applications.
The three layers of the MVC model:
- Model – a layer that holds all data, which includes model objects, persistence, managers, parsers, and networking code.
- View – responsible for visual representation and is the layer that interacts with users and does not have any domain-specific logic. This makes the classes in this layer reusable.
- Controller – the layer that mediates the interaction between the model and the view.
With the MVC model, iOS developers could:
- Build transparent communication between application layers
- Dramatically accelerate the development process
- Get a simple-to-test codebase
- Get a simple-to-maintain and well-structured codebase
The Android Architecture
There’s no singular mobile architecture for Android. Furthermore, Google does not provide specific guidelines or a particular architecture. Nonetheless, through trial and error, the Android development community has concluded that what works best for Android apps is Clean architecture.
Clean architecture is very effective for Android application development because it separates architecture layers from each other. The layers are made independent while still being able to exchange data. There typically is a circle of four layers for the Clean architecture:
- Use Cases – app logic
- Entities – business logic
- Interface adapters – convert data from the use instances format to the external agency format. This includes Gateways and Presenters Controllers
- Drivers and frameworks – the outer layer made up of tools and frameworks
The explicit layer independence and structure make the Clean architecture:
- Independent from the User Interface
- Easy to test and troubleshoot
- Easy installation of the different plugins
- Independent from external frameworks, libraries, and databases
Hybrid App Architecture
Hybrid applications are a solution to native applications that only function on a single platform. Furthermore, the solutions involve using web technologies. They run within native applications and display web-based content in the native application wrapper. The content could be put on the app or could be accessed from a web server.
Hybrid apps have access to the device’s hardware while being web-based, combining native and web screens. Also, the apps could be found in app stores. Usually, hybrid apps are considerably faster and cheaper to develop compared to native apps. Furthermore, they’re also easy to maintain.
However, hybrid apps have connection limitations, cannot work offline, and are slower than native applications. Reaching the native functionality could be difficult since not all the device’s features could be integrated into the app. The main objective of software developers when building hybrid mobile apps is to create an app with one code base that suits iOS and Android platforms.
Mobile Web Architecture
The mobile web architecture is based entirely on web technology and could be accessed via URL in a browser. A lot of mobile web app providers create icons for more convenience. These icons are placed on a home screen and could be launched there. However, the app is not installed into a device but bookmarked on the screen.
Nevertheless, mobile web applications don’t have access to the features of a native device, such as cameras, GPS, and others. They could be difficult with screen sizes; thus, software developers have to make many adjustments. While they work online, they have limited functionality, which could impact the user experience.
A mobile app’s success relies heavily on its architecture. That is why when considering building an app, it’s important to thoroughly consider the features that you want to include, how to deploy them, and how they would be connected in the architectural layers. The mobile app architecture you choose depends on several factors, thus it’s a great idea to plan the development process with the development company and choose which is most effective to develop an app.