For a business that wants to stay connected to their customers and reach out to new prospects, having a mobile app is a must. However, mobile app development is all about making informed decisions so you will have to consider numerous factors to create a powerful app. It is claimed that if you want to get a fully functional app, you should choose a native approach. In this article, we cover the advantages and disadvantages of native apps to help you figure out whether native app development is your case.
Native apps are built for a particular platform. They are coded in a programming language specific to that platform. This means that if the app is designed for Android, it will be built in Java; if it is designed for iOS, it will be built either in Objective C or in Swift.
How Native Apps Work
Native apps work on a specific operating system and require complete access to all the functionality of a device.
Both Apple and Google equip app developers with their own development tools, interface elements, and a software development kit (SDK). When combined with a sophisticated set of tools, SDKs can give you the high-performing app you need.
Google provides Android Studio, and Apple provides the XCode. These are specially designed integrated development environments (IDE), software suites that include a code editor, a debugger, and a compiler. They are used for software writing and testing. IDEs are utilized to fix bugs and reduce the time for development and, thus, make the development process more efficient.
Native Apps Pros
The development of native apps has a few significant benefits.
Native apps are built and optimized for a particular platform, which enables the app’s better performance. They are faster and more responsive in comparison with hybrid and cross-platform apps because they are created using a programming language and APIs specific to a certain platform. The load time is faster because the contents and visual elements are already stored on a device, so, native apps are easier to navigate.
Hybrid apps rely on a variety of technologies and due to their non-standard nature, such apps tend to have more security and performance issues. Native apps, by contrast, rely on a particular programming language and underlying technologies and, thus, provide better security. Native mobile apps also enable companies to benefit from mobile device management by providing remote management controls of apps on individual devices.
Better Look and Feel
Native apps provide a superior user experience. Such apps are built for a particular operating system so they stick to this system’s guidelines. Because of the fixed UI parameters for each platform, a native app has a more natural flow, allowing users to interact with apps in a familiar way.
Fewer Bugs During Development
It is more challenging to maintain two different apps in one codebase than maintaining two apps in two codebases. Since developers don’t have to rely on cross-platform tools like Xamarin or Cordova, fewer bugs occur during the development process. When building a hybrid app, there is an added layer that developers don’t have control over which can increase the probability of bugs occurring. Every time a new feature is launched in the UI kit, the development team has to wait for the tool to support it.
Developers who specialize in native apps have access to new software development kits to start creating their apps with the most recent features. Because of the reduced lead time, users of native apps get access to new platform features right after they update the operating system.
Native Apps Cons
Despite the big advantages of native apps, they still have some drawbacks.
Building an app for only one platform and not taking into consideration other platforms could result in missed opportunities. The reduced target market can lead to revenue losses for your business.
Native apps can be accessed only at the app store – Google Play or Apple App Store, and the downloading process comprises several steps where users should go to the app store, find the app, accept the terms and conditions, download the app and sign up. Some people are too impatient to follow all the steps so you may end up losing a share of your prospective users.
Costly and Time-Consuming
Since native apps are built for one specific platform, creating native apps for more than one operating system (for example, for both Android and iOS) can significantly protract the development process. The code is written for one platform and can’t be deployed on another one, which means that it will take more time (and money) to rewrite the code for a different platform. Moreover, if a company needs to build apps for several platforms, it may need to hire additional specialists.
If developers launch a new update they have to first submit the upgrades to the app store and then wait till users update the app to the new version. If users fail to notice the update they may quit your app due to an unfixed malfunction.
Even though native apps are fast and high-performing, challenges like the high cost of development and increased time of development make business owners turn away and look for cheaper options. However, if performance, good design, and reliability really matter for your project, then look no further than native mobile app development.