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Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling

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Chapter 6. Types of Mobile Applications

As we’ve already discussed, the mobile ecosystem is a large and deep pool. In fact, it probably isn’t a pool, but an ocean—a really, really big ocean. An ocean is a good metaphor to put the different types of mobile applications in context. You see, in order to traverse an ocean, you need a sturdy boat. Boats of course come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each with their pros and cons. Some are fast and agile, but carry little cargo. Others are large and lumbering, but can carry tons of people or cargo.

Mobile applications aren’t that much different from boats in this seafaring example. You have a number of choices in what medium you use to address your goals, each with their own pros and cons. Some are quick to create but accessible to fewer users. Others address a larger market, but are far more complex and costly.

Alas, deciding what medium type (or types in some cases) to use gets only you halfway to your destination. You have to decide in what type of application context you want to present your content or information. In other words, what type of application is best suited to your problem or need? Should your app be focused on presenting information? If so, how concisely should you present it? Or is your app better suited to be an immersive experience? If yes, how immersive should it be, and is it a widget or a game? You might think it sounds silly to mention making a game, but for the mobile user, a game can be a great way to get your ...

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