What Is Mobile Development?
Mobile development is developing for mobile devices like iPhones, Android phones, or tablets. There are a number of unique considerations that go into making quality applications for these platforms.
Perhaps the most obvious is that the platforms aren’t cross-compatible. If you develop an app for Apple’s iOS you’ll have to redo the whole thing if you also want to roll out on Android. Being a well-rounded mobile developer, therefore, requires having a command of a variety of languages, coding environments, and technologies. But plenty of people specialize in iOS or Android, so that’s a perfectly fine thing to do as well.
Mobile platforms also have unique constraints. Laptops and smartphones may both have batteries, but you’re much more likely to be sitting down near an outlet when you use your laptop. Not so for smartphones, which means that any applications built for a smartphone needs to be as lean as possible to spare the battery.
What Is Web Development?
A web developer can focus on front end, back end, or full stack development. This means they can either spend most of their time working on the ‘front end’ web page, the ‘back end’ server and database, or a mix of the two.
How Are They Different?
Superficially mobile app development and web app development might look similar. After all, both involve creating things within the context of smartphone limitations.
But there’s quite a lot of difference in how mobile and web applications are built. There are differences in the languages used (you’re unlikely to code an iPhone app in Python) and in how long it takes to get a product to market (you don’t have to rebuild a web app for different kinds of computers).
Each is a rich, challenging, and rewarding domain that could be the springboard into a new career.