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Why Mobile Architecture Matters – Designing Apps for Success

Why Mobile Architecture Matters – Designing Apps for Success

If you’re going to be developing mobile apps, you need to understand how important architecture is to the success of your app. Not only do you have different mobile operating systems and screen sizes to contend with, but you also need to make sure that your app works in multiple languages and can handle multiple currencies and localization. Make sure your mobile architecture takes these things into account or you could end up failing before your app even gets launched! 

 

What is Mobile Application Architecture? 

 

In short, mobile application architecture refers to how your app will be built. There are a variety of different architectures that you can choose from when developing your app. The best type of architecture for your app will depend on its core functionality and the resources you have available to build it. This guide looks at some of these different types of architectures and explains when they would be appropriate to use in an app project. It also includes factors to consider while designing the app's architecture to make the end product scalable, stable, and high-performing. The three most common types of mobile architecture include web apps, single-page apps (SPAs), and native apps. Each one has its own pros and cons, depending on what type of app you're building. 

 

Web apps are cross-platform but require users to be connected to the internet; SPAs take up less space on phones than native apps do but require more development time, and native apps offer many advantages over both web and SPA options but may not work across all platforms. When deciding which option is right for your app, think about your specific needs first before making a decision. For example, a hybrid or cross-platform approach might make sense if you want an app that will work across multiple platforms. 

 

Why is it important to choose a good Mobile App Architecture? 

 

When designing an app, one of your primary concerns should be how scalable it will be. With such a huge variety of mobile devices available and more being released every year, you need to ensure that your app is easily adaptable across different devices. For example, someone using your app on an iPhone will have a completely different experience than someone using it on a OnePlus. Additionally, you also need to keep in mind which devices are more likely to use your app. For instance, iOS apps are much more popular in the United States than Android apps.  

Now let's take a look at some common architectures for developing mobile apps. The architecture you choose will depend largely on the type of app you're building, your target audience, and what platforms or operating systems you want to support.  

The most basic architecture is the single-tier client-server model, where all functions exist solely on the client side with no server interaction needed. However, this model doesn't allow for scalability as only one computer is involved.  

Another option is the two-tier client-server architecture, where each tier interacts independently with the other.  

However, if this were a three-tiered system, data would need to pass through two intermediaries before reaching its destination, leading to unnecessary delay and security vulnerabilities. 

Layers of Mobile App Architecture 

 

To understand what makes a good mobile app architecture, we have to first look at how it’s organized. Depending on your platform, mobile app architecture may vary in complexity from simple to complex; but most apps will follow a common design pattern. That is, apps are typically made up of three key layers: 

  1. The Business Logic layer 
  1. Data Access layer and  
  1. User Interface (UI) layer 

Check out these ten awesome UI design ideas  

In addition, other layers may depend on the type of app you're building. For example, when developing an augmented reality application or an application with location-based services capabilities, there may be additional layers like the 3D engine or map API server. One of the most important things to consider about these various layers is who controls them. Developers should think about their individual strengths and assign each layer accordingly to stay focused on their area of expertise. 

Android App Architecture 

Although Android apps can be created with any general-purpose programming language, including C++ and Java, they are most commonly written in Java. These architectural patterns include MVP (Model View Presenter), Event Bus, Clean Architecture and Repository Patterns. But the most commonly used one is Clean Architecture when it comes to Android Apps. 

iOS App Architecture 

 

You could argue that iOS’ native app architecture is one of its biggest strengths. For starters, it’s a set of programming tools and functions already built into iOS. As you develop your app, you can take advantage of a set of pre-built functionalities like multitasking and push notifications. Plus, because these tools are built in, users don’t have to download new pieces or updates for them—they just work! Another benefit of using the Apple App Store is that all your code is also uploaded automatically for safekeeping. Another bonus of using the Apple App Store with an iOS device (iPhone, iPad) is that everything you need to develop an app is right there on the device. 

Hybrid Mobile App Architecture 

 

Hybrid apps carry the characteristics of Native Apps and Web Apps. Codes of this need to be written only once and still can be accommodated on multiple platforms. It’s also easy to update but when it comes to complex and rich features, this architecture does not rank high on the list. 

Cross-Platform App Architecture 

 

Cross-platform architectures allow you to build an app once and deploy it on multiple platforms. This is commonly done by using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a single codebase that runs in a browser and sends commands to native code when certain events occur. One of the most popular cross-platform frameworks today is React Native. A hybrid mobile app architecture has the same structure as cross-platform architecture but uses both native and web components within a single codebase. You can use frameworks such as Apache Cordova or Ionic Framework to create apps with this type of architecture. 

Factors to consider while choosing mobile app architecture 

 

It’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mobile app architecture; but instead, there are multiple strategies available to address different business needs. For example, if you are building a proprietary mobile app that requires control and security over data, you may want to consider developing a highly controlled and secure native application using platform tools. In other cases, however, your development team may prefer to take advantage of technologies like WebView or Cordova. These technologies enable the rapid production of cross-platform apps with a minimal coding effort by leveraging the capabilities of web browsers. There are many factors to keep in mind when deciding on app architecture, including performance, security, availability, and cost. When deciding on app architecture, it is also important to decide how many layers there should be in the design. There can be anywhere from 1 layer all the way up to 7 layers in mobile app architectures. These include: 

  • UI/UX interface 
  • Type of Device 
  • Navigation 
  • Frameworks 
  • Push Notification 

 

 

And finally,

How to finalize a good mobile app architecture: 

 

First and foremost, know your audience. When creating a mobile app, you’ll inevitably be designing an experience for one or more distinct groups of users. Determine who these groups are and what they need from your product to best tailor an architecture that supports their needs. Additionally, recognize that no app is designed in a vacuum—there’s value in considering how existing apps within your industry have approached their own architectures to save time and resources down the road. Pay attention to current trends in technology, both within and outside of your field. There's always something new on the horizon that could change the way we think about design and development. 

Sharon Mariam Koshy

Loves getting creative with mundane topics in addition to geeking out over books and movies.