The technology behind mobile apps is complicated and constantly changing. Luckily, there are just a few core concepts that you should know. Here they are, in a convenient list format.

Things you should know:

  • There are two platforms worth thinking about, Android and iOS. Nobody makes apps for anything else in 2021.
  • Android Apps are made with the programming languages ‘Java’ or ‘Kotlin’
  • iOS Apps are made with a programming language called ‘Swift’, or ‘Objective-C’ if it is an older app.
  • It is possible to build Android Apps and iOS Apps at the same time, using the same code. An app that does this is called ‘Cross-Platform’. Cross-Platform apps are made with lots of programming languages, including Ionic, Cordova, React Native, and Xamarin.
  • It is technically possible to ‘convert’ an existing website into an app. This is generally not recommended because it is usually not allowed on the iOS app store.
  • iOS apps must be approved by Apple before they can appear on the App Store. Anyone can create an app and submit it, but if they break any of Apples rules the app will not be published. Any mobile app developer will have a good understanding of those rules.
  • Creating apps on either platform requires creating a ‘developer account’. On app stores apps appear as “AppName by DeveloperAccountName”, so if that is important to you then you will also need a developer account. Otherwise, an app developer should have an account you can publish under.

That should be just about everything you need to know about the technology behind making apps!

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