When businesses decide to invest in mobile app development, they are bombarded with terms they may have never heard before. One of the more popular terms they will pick up is—Native app. But what is it? And will it be the right choice for your business? Read on to find out.
What is a Native app?
A Native app is developed for a specific mobile operating system and is installed directly onto the device. Native apps can be accessed via icons on the device’s home screen. Since native apps are developed for the specific platform, they can benefit from access to device features such as the GPS, camera, compass, contact list, and so on. Simply put, native apps are built according to the guidelines of the mobile device’s operating system.
Native apps are usually able to work very fast as they harness the power of the device processor. Native apps, in some smartphones, can control the device as well as incorporate standard operating-system gestures or app-defined gestures. Moreover, native apps have access to the mobile device’s notification system.
Native app languages
Native apps are written in the language that the mobile operating system will accept. In the case of the iOS platform, Native apps are written in Objective-C or Swift. For Android, Native apps are written in Java or Kotlin, and for Windows, the language is usually C#.
Native app advantages
App performance is crucial for a pleasant user experience. By its very design, Native apps are faster and reliable than other app types. The structure, contents, and visual elements of Native apps are already available on the mobile device, this makes for a smooth experience as everything is instantly loaded. Think of Native apps this way, it is like downloading a website’s content to your phone in one go and then being able to access that content instantly regardless of your phone’s connectivity. So when it comes to performance, few can deny that Native apps are able to provide superior and high-quality performance.
Many experts consider user experience to be the key to an app’s success. For many users, a negative user experience will prevent them from using the app again in a hurry or they may switch to a competitor’s app. Users expect a great experience using an app. Users often prefer that the app’s visual cues, interactions, and controls should be seamlessly integrated with the device platform. This is where Native apps are at an advantage. Native apps are created using the mobile device’s operating system in mind and using the guidelines in them, so native apps can provide a smooth, integrated user experience.
Security is a necessity when it comes to apps and smartphones. A single security breach could leave unprecedented amounts of data vulnerable and accessible to hackers. With Native apps, everything is coded into the app’s infrastructure, as well as being encrypted. A Native app can have an embedded certificate. Native apps are developed using the official API, which is tested extensively. Native apps have longer update release cycles, so it is expected that the updates will have more secure, reliable, and well-tested software.
Native apps are well-known to have the best speed among all app types. Since Native apps are written in the language best supported by the platform, they run faster and more seamlessly than other apps.
It is unlikely that Google and Apple will drop support from their flagship products, Android and iOS, respectively. So Native apps redeveloped on these operating systems will be fully supported by these tech giants. This entails that Native apps will benefit from the stability of development and maintenance.
As Native apps are built to be integrated into the mobile device’s operating system, they enhance the user experience by increasing the interactivity of the app. The app is much more intuitive as well because it works seamlessly with the specific platform’s UI standards.
Native apps can be accessed at any time and users can use them even when their device is offline. The app will usually show the previously loaded data.
Native app disadvantages
A Native app is developed for a specific mobile device platform, so the codebase they create for the app cannot be shared. An Android Native app will not work on an iOS device and vice versa. So developers have to create different codebases for every platform.
Native apps take more time to develop as the app is built to be compatible with multiple operating systems. This entails a higher development cost as well. The need for different codebases may mean the need for different development teams as well. Since the app has a different codebase for different platforms, maintenance costs also increase. Overall, it takes much longer to develop a Native app.
The Bottom Line
There are many advantages to Native apps. And while the initial development costs may be high, Native apps help businesses save money in the long term by offering a great user experience and high-quality performance.