The moment you consider developing a mobile app, you will have to decide a platform between native apps and hybrid/cross-platform apps.
Adopting a mobile application development platform relies upon your budget and time-scale of the app.
Under each platform there are various pros and cons, however, I personally believe that going native is the best option when it comes to performance as well as its look and feel. Native apps bring forth various advantages in order to get ultimate user experience and the best performance possible.
Defining native mobile app
First, let me explain what is a native mobile app?
When talking about the “native apps”, an app must be written in each OS. Basically, they are device-specific.
To be more precise, the native apps are developed using technologies or tools specific to a particular operating system, so it can be iOS, Android, or Windows. It has to be written separately and hosted independently.
Similarly, you have a choice of platforms/devices to develop a mobile app.
Your app can be developed for Android, iOS, Windows or on all three.
Every platform has its own programming language such as:
- Java for Android
- Objective-C or Swift for iOS
- C# for Windows
However, in cross-platform apps, it uses a single tool to write a mobile application for multiple devices at the same time.
Native app development has complete control over the latest technology available on mobile phones that are the device features like GPS, compass, camera, accelerometer, etc.
Even cross-platform apps can have access to some of its device features, but only native is the way to go in order to have full access over the device features.
Well, there are more of it that you would like to know. Check out.
Advantages of native mobile apps
The native language comes with a series of advantages for mobile apps. Let’s see what are they:-
1. Performance: An app is always fun to use when it is easy and fast to access. When using native apps, its performance is something you can count on. Because of its speed and quick response, even Facebook and LinkedIn both have shifted from hybrid HTML5 based apps to native ones.
2. Smoother and faster user interfaces: An app should deliver the best user experience. Whether it is about look and feel or the device features, it has to be user-friendly and smooth to use.
- The code that runs native apps resides locally. There is no time wasted waiting for static content like button images, navigation styles etc. to be downloaded from the web.
- Native apps are optimized for device hardware – CPU / GPU.
The above two factors result in a fast, smooth and fluid user interfaces.
3. Cheaper in the longer run: The lure of cross-platform HTML5 based apps is that you write the code once and run it on multiple platforms.
- While on paper this sounds perfect, HTML5 based apps are notorious to get it right. To get pixel perfect design on every device consistently is not easy. And you can end up spending a lot more dev effort than you anticipated.
- Tools and SDKs available to develop and maintain native apps are provided by Apple and Google and are far more sophisticated. They make development and maintenance easier and faster.
- Cross platform experienced app developers are relatively expensive and fewer in number.
4. No limitations for app feature requirement: The code for an android app, is written using Java language on various tools like, Android Studio and Eclipse. Similarly, a developer code iOS apps using Objective-C or Swift programming language in a tool called Xcode.
When a native app is being developed, both (Eclipse and Xcode) offers native design tools for the app feature requirements which are available from the marketplace for that specific platform.
- Native features and new technologies can be easily implemented into the native mobile app environment tools that are provided for the each individual platform.
- Hybrid apps have limitations on implementing many native features. The developer has to count on the framework and tools to build the app.
So, unless the framework and the tools are not up-to-date, those features cannot be implemented in the hybrid apps. Whereas, in native apps, there are no limitations.
5. Higher standard development environment (IDE): When an app is required to debug, native development tools give adequate development environment to test and fix bugs in a short run.
Hybrid app environment will take up a lot of time, may be some hours to fix a bug, whereas native development environment is easier and can be debugged in just a few minutes.
If you are concerned about the performance, look and feel of your app, you should opt for the native programming language. There are some good reviews can be seen in App Store market about native apps. However, choosing platform between iOS and Android, which should come first depends on your budget and time.
If you are still having any confusion in choosing the right platform for your app between native or hybrid application development, check our article on Cross-platform Application Development and how you can make it work for you.
Eventually, the app should contain great features with the best user experience that your users will get fascinated by its look and performance.
At Riktam, we often create native apps and has created more than 300 Android and iOS apps for renowned firms like Tata Capital, Digicel, HCL America, Kellogg corporation and more. We are one of the best mobile app development companies with over a decade of experience in developing apps. You can also come to us for developing your unique mobile app effectively.