A Quick Review to Mobile App Architecture Guide [Updated]

a quick review to mobile app architecture guide 2023 itechnolabs

Apps for mobile continue to increase in popularity, driven in part due to the worldwide pandemic as well as the shifting requirements on how and how users interact on mobile. In the Mobile App Trends 2023 report, installs of apps increased 31% from year to year, and engagement of users, measured by session duration time, increased by 4.5 percent. There are more than 2.22 million apps available on the Apple app store, as well as 3.48 million apps available on Google Play. Google Play store.

The need for new applications isn’t going out of fashion, with the sales of 5G-powered devices increasing the demand for new apps with post-pandemic devices’ behavior continuing to be prevalent, which includes the desire for convenience shopping and delivery services, as also free time-fillers, such as games or fitness apps for home use. While certain aspects of this behavior were affected by COVID but the vast majority of these trends are increasing. B2B, as well as B2C customers, demand mobile-first interaction with all types of businesses which is driving numerous organizations to think about developing mobile apps.

This guide will explain the fundamentals and nuances of the mobile app’s architecture that can aid in the development process for mobile apps for the market of 2023.

What is Mobile App Architecture?

Mobile app architecture is an array of guidelines, methods, rules, and patterns that are used to create a mobile app. These guidelines help developers develop an application that is compatible with the requirements of business and industry standards.

Mobile App Architecture vs Mobile Tech Stack

mobile app architecture vs mobile tech stack itechnolabs

App architecture for mobile is frequently used interchangeably, though not correctly when referring to the tech stack for mobile. A tech stack for mobile devices is the collection of technical frameworks and technologies which comprise the front and back ends of a web or mobile application (the aspects are the application) however, it is not as concerned with business or needs of the customer (the what of this application) or the process of developing the app (the method of making this app).

The mobile app’s architecture comprises every component of the app, all the inquiries about the reason, what, and how – which includes the data that is collected, the method by which data is transferred and what the app’s design looks like, and for which platform, and with what technology stack.

What Makes a Good Mobile App Architecture

There are a lot of apps created today that do not have any structure or reference to the standards. The absence of architecture can result in an application that:

  • It takes longer and is more expensive to create
  • It is difficult to maintain, especially if staff changes
  • It is more difficult to build on or to build on.
  • The test isn’t easy to do
  • More susceptible to making mistakes

A solid mobile application design will follow solid software development practices (KISS, DRY, SOLID) at the right phases in development to speed up development. It will also provide clear data flow, making work more efficient, and gives an understanding of the best way to expand or scale the app in the future.

A clear mobile app architecture can allow flexibility and agile development techniques which improve the efficiency of testing, and also make maintenance in the future easier and less susceptible to bugs. A well-designed mobile app structure can save time and money both in the short and long term.

A well-designed architecture will not be specific to a particular platform and instead apply to the native and cross-platform options and will result in a consistent method of development. If we imagine the mobile app’s design as a blueprint for the process of how we develop a mobile application and then create layers (the bones or the bones, as you would call them) for the way we develop the core elements of the application.

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How Many Layers are there in Mobile App Architecture?

  • Presentation Layer
  • Business Layer
  • Data Layer

how many layers are there in mobile app architecture itechnolabs

The most well-known model of mobile app architecture is represented by three layers including the presentation layer, business logic, and data.

1. Presentation Layer

The presentation layer is comprised of the entire process and components that deliver the app to the user. When designing the presentation layer developers focus on what the user will see and experience when using the application. In other words, the presentation layer consists of part of the user’s interface (UI) and the user experiences (UX).

  • Users Interface (UI) is concerned with design-related issues like fonts, colors as well as the overall design.
  • The User Experience (UX) manages how a user interacts with the application through an in-depth understanding of the user’s needs and experiences.

When developing layers for the presentation designers must decide on the correct platform and type of device to ensure that the presentation will be in line with the requirements for each.

2. Business Layer

The business layer deals with the rules and logic accountable for data exchange processes, and workflow control. The business layer is responsible for:

  • Security
  • Data caching
  • Logging
  • Validation of the data
  • Outstanding management

The business layer may be located either on the server or the user’s device, based on the functions of the app as well as the resources needed for each operation.

3. Data Layer

The data layer comprises all utilities for data, the service agents, and data access components that support data transactions. The data layer is divided into two parts:

  • Persistence – access to data with data sources using API
  • Network – network communication, routing, error reporting

Data layer design has to be able to incorporate considerations regarding validation and the ongoing maintenance of data.

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Android Mobile Application Architecture

Apps designed specifically for Android are a type of native application – an application designed specifically for a mobile platform. Android apps are created to work with Android and Java languages (Kotlin as well as Java) for devices made by various manufacturers, including Google, Samsung, Sony, and Nokia. There isn’t any single design that is recommended for Android but the most widely accepted Android architecture for mobile applications can be described as Clean Architecture.

In Clean, the structure is based on the principle of layers and the inversion of control. Clean concentrates on the same three layers as described previously as well as the business layer often called”the layer of domains. In a Clean structure it is the case the business or domain layer is not dependent on the other layers rather, it should leverage interfaces. Although this may be difficult to understand, it can allow easy access to add apps and scale them with time.

iOS Mobile Application Architecture

Native iOS apps are developed using Objective-C and Swift languages, with Apple providing clear best practices over app architecture with the MVC model (Model-View-Controller). Other options are also available for iOS but MVC is the most popular. The MVC model is comprised of:

  • Model – The layer of data (persistence models, model objects, managers, parsers, and network code).
  • View Like an application layer. it is a reusable layer that represents the application in front of the user.
  • Controller A mediator level that connects to an abstraction using the protocol.

The MVC model supports fast and parallel development. It also can create multiple views, which is a fantastic alternative in mobile-based development.

Hybrid Mobile App Architecture

Hybrid mobile apps rely on both web and native applications. Hybrid apps utilize native apps for “shells” for the back end but use platform-neutral JavaScript HTML and CSS as front-ends. Hybrid applications use plugins like Apache Cordova or Ionic Capacitor to connect native features of the platform.

Hybrid mobile applications are among the most efficient apps to build across a variety of platforms. They are also easy to update, but they are not the best choice for more complex interactive, feature-rich, or interactive applications.

Cross-Platform Application Architecture

Similar to hybrid architecture cross-platform development, cross-platform development makes use of the same codebase, but with specific platform capabilities in every native shell. Cross-platform apps depend on frameworks and not web languages, such as React Native and Xamarin. Cross-platform apps provide a user experience that is similar to native, frequently rendering the method more appealing.

Important Article: An Ultimate Guide of Web Application Architecture: Components & Layers

Important Factors to Consider When Developing Mobile App Architecture

  • Device Type
  • Developmental Frameworks
  • Bandwidth Scenarios
  • User Experience Design
  • Navigation
  • Push Notifications vs Real-time Updates

important factors to consider when developing mobile app architecture itechnolabs

1. Device Type

When creating a mobile application start by choosing which platform to use (iOS, iPad, Android, Windows, Cross-platform) Then, you should consider the various models of smartphones that are available and there are many! These are crucial details to help identify the best dimension for development.

The following aspects are crucial to think about when designing an app for mobile devices:

  • Size of the screen and DPI
  • Resolution of the screen
  • CPU (processor)
  • RAM (memory)

The aim in this stage is to provide the best-quality experiences across all sizes and platforms (tablet and mobile, model variations) so that everyone regardless of the device of choice, enjoys the best experience possible.

2. Developmental Frameworks

Frameworks for development are considered when creating the mobile app’s design and also in the development of the technology stack. Frameworks include libraries and templates and elements for creating web applications, both for the front- and back end.

Frameworks that provide front-end functionality for mobile applications are Bootstrap, Foundation React, Foundation, Angular, Vue, and Backbone. The back-end (server-side) development frameworks depend on the programming language and platform of choices such as Ruby on Rails, Flask, Django, Laravel, Swift, Xamarin, React Native, and Flutter, among many more.

3. Bandwidth Scenarios

It is crucial to know more about the user you want to target. In the world, people have different limitations on bandwidth and some countries use 5G, while others are still having slow connectivity. The graphic-intensive, highly interactive application will not work for apps that are targeted at users in rural areas, like.

4. User Interface/ User Experience Design (UI/UX Design)

In the case of the design of mobile apps, it is important to consider how it is a key factor in the first impressions (how it appears as a solid UI) and also in keeping users on the app (how it functions – solid UX). A robust UX layout is crucial to the success of online businesses, however, the mobile UX is complicated by the ever-changing expectations of the user and best practices for every operating system (OS) and type of device.

The mobile app’s architecture has to keep in balance UI against UX in the development phase. Learn the fundamentals of mobile UX design and the most current mobile UX trends in the year 2022 to ensure that the app is worth the investment.

5. Navigation

Navigation is the direct interaction with the design which affects both the front and the back end. A well-designed mobile UX design allows users to easily find the best way to move around the page and browse further sections. The ability to navigate is crucial to users. The following best navigation practices will ensure that the mobile app is simple to use, which reduces the amount of friction during the user journey:

  • Hamburger Menu The three-line menu found in the top bar or navigation drawer on the top bar is popular in mobile apps due to its ease of use. Improve navigation by hovering over the menu, which reduces the number of clicks.
  • Search A properly placed search bar increases the user experience, with the standard location being at the top right.
  • Rails, bar drawers, tabs, or bars There are numerous ways to navigate the app, such as fixed buttons in bars (top or bottom) rails (a vertical bar) as well as drawers (hidden navigation) as well as tabs (screened content with fixed titles).
  • Familiar icons – Familiar icons such as home, search, photos, folder, etc. aid in navigation.
  • Labeling intuitively helps to distinguish data with labels that explain the intention behind the button, option, or feature.
  • Website organization categorization may help with navigation on the web or is more complex depending on how categories are designated and placed. Refer to best practices for information architecture.
  • Gestures – supporting gesture-based navigation (swipes) can streamline navigation.
  • Scrolling how the application supports scrolling in comparison to fixed elements.
  • Navigation in the thumb zone Design using your thumb in mind to ensure improved accessibility.

The best method to ensure a pleasant customer experience (UX) when it comes to navigation is to conduct research and feedback from users. Wireframes play a significant role in the process of the initial testing of the app’s appearance and how it will be used.

6. Push Notifications vs Real-time Updates

There’s a delicate balance to be struck between nagging users and irritating users about the frequency of notifications and methods. The frequency of notifications can affect capacity, which could be a factor in user retention.

Push notifications for mobile devices are messages sent by apps to notify users that they have an in-app update or within the app (such as updates to products and offers as well as reminders) or from a user. Android users are automatically signed in to receive push notifications however iOS users have to sign up, and generally with a lower frequency (51 percent iOS against 81 percent Android).

While some may find push notifications annoying, they are an effective advertising tool. The most effective push marketing happens when it is customized or creates a sense of urgency.

In addition to scheduled push notifications mobile apps are using real-time technology to provide more interaction with their applications. For instance, an app for delivery can utilize real-time updates to give notifications when an order is accepted and picked up, cooked, and tracked on an interactive map. Another example is fitness and health apps as well as home appliances that receive real-time notifications (such as alarm systems). As with push notifications, real-time updates are timed and have a place to ensure that they don’t end up overburdening the users with a flood of notifications.

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How to Choose the Right Mobile App Architecture

  • Budget
  • Audience Analysis
  • Key Feature Requirements
  • Platform Choice
  • Development Time
  • Start Developing A Test App

how to choose the right mobile app architecture itechnolabs

Here are the factors to keep in mind when you are deciding on the design of your mobile products:

  • Budget

The decision to choose a particular architecture is based on the skills of the developer as well as market analysis and the method of development. Unfortunately, the demand for quick agile development frequently outpaces available IT abilities for developers working on native platforms and cross-platforms Time and delay could make an app obsolete before it’s released on the market.

  • Audience Analysis

Determine the personas of users (backgrounds as well as their needs and objectives) Competitive analysis, flexible user story flows wireframes, mapping, and testing prototypes.

  • Key Feature Requirements

Let business needs guide the feature lists and determine if the application is suitable to be used in Native, Hybrid, or Cross-Platform development.

  • Platform Choice

The best practices in UI UX and UX will differ based on the particular platform.

  • Development Time

Certain architectures take longer to design specific elements or integrate, which should be integrated into the overall design and the final decision.

  • Start Developing A Test App

Agile development emphasizes continuous feedback and iterative development with a focus on input from the customer which can only be obtained from an application that is tested. The app is very basic and has basic functionality and navigation. It also gives valuable feedback on how well the structure is functioning to please the intended user.

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Do You Want to Know About Mobile App Architecture Before Development?

do you want to know about mobile app architecture before development itechnolabs

The development of any mobile application requires attentive consideration of the design and technology stack. Being aware of your business requirements and user story can assist in planning the features you want to add to your app, how to integrate them, and the way these features will be linked via layers. Many variables influence the choice, and when false assumptions are in play, could result in an application that does not satisfy expectations.

If you’re trying to speed up the timeline to market, do not have the internal resources required to build the app you want to launch, or just looking to rely on experts who have hundreds of hours of experience in the development of native or hybrid applications, as well as cross-platform mobile apps Contact iTechnolabs.

Frequently Asked Questions for Mobile App Architecture

  1. How important is it to have a good mobile app development architecture?

A full-fledged mobile app ecosystem, all its constituent elements, and the relationship they share with each other makes a mobile application architecture.

It is essential to have a good mobile app architecture because of the reasons stated below – 

  • With a good mobile app architecture, your app has the flexibility to withstand the enormous exterior shifts and mould itself accordingly
  • What would a mobile architecture be if it can not ensure the utmost protection of data with nil chances of its breach? Useless, maybe!
  • Never ever forget that a good mobile app architecture ensures that you need not have to loosen your purse strings in order to pay for the app development cost
  • Not just that, a good mobile architecture is easier to test multiple times for any glitches and can be seamlessly maintained
  • A mobile architecture should be made in such a way that you need not create another version of it to update it from time to time
  • Last but not the least, what is the use of a mobile app architecture if it cannot ensure that the app works without hiccups and hence, resonates seamlessly with its users

2. What is hybrid mobile application architecture?

  • Simply, a hybrid mobile application architecture is used to craft hybrid apps that can run across with ease over diverse platforms
  • Such apps have become possible because their architecture makes use of both web and native codes
  • Web programming languages such as JavaScript and HTML are used to make the front-end design of the app
  • This front-end design of the app is wrapped in a layer of backend design of the app which is coded in native technology so that the app has access to the hardware element of the devices on which it is run
  • It is clear that it is both easy and economical to develop hybrid applications for your business growth and development
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