Web applications could be changing the app market dynamics in recent times. But native apps remain the top option. While web apps and PWAs will provide minimal app value at a cheaper mobile app development cost, native apps offer you the best performance and feature-richness opportunities.
At the baseline, you aim to get a successful mobile app development for your startup. Hence, your app requirements will determine whether you choose native mobile app development. Should you prioritize performance or budget? Do you even need native app features? What fits your Y situation most?
In this article, Emphasoft answers the pertinent questions. What is a native app, what makes native apps unique, and what are its disadvantages and gray areas?
Let’s get right in!
What Do Native Apps Do?
These software applications are created to run on a specific operating system. That is, only devices with such OS can operate the app. Take Android and iOS, for instance; native apps built for Android can’t work on iOS and vice versa.
These apps have a native development environment, compatible programming language, and a central distribution market. For instance, Android is built on Android Studio using Java or Kotlin, while consumers access its apps on Playstore. In comparison, iOS apps are built on XCode, using Swift.
Being native makes the software take control of the device’s full functionality. You can integrate them with geo-location, cameras, biometrics, mics, light sensors, calendar, push notifications, and more. Besides, your app can provide custom interfaces and functionalities. You can also access user data and analyze them to make better decisions.
Pros of Native Applications
Performance and Functionality
Native apps are built with a platform-specific language, providing the best functionality options. Since the app is made for the device, development services can go to any length to tailor the user experience.
As a result, these apps have fast processing times, are responsive, and integrate seamlessly with API components. They can adapt to different screen sizes, work offline, connect with the device hardware, have novel device features, and lots more.
Great Customization Features
Native mobile app development means access to the device’s ample development tools. Hence, you can adapt these features to build unique solutions for your use cases. There are more Design and navigation options, more hardware components to incorporate, and an enabling environment to create your app.
Critically, you won’t worry about migrating features to a different device. You can also integrate changes and tweak as much as users demand.
Ease Of Access
Another critical feature of native apps is their accessibility. Developers can easily create software in an enabling environment like Android Studio and XCode. They can also publish their Android apps on Google Playstore and iOS apps on Appstore. Consequently, such a platform reaches a broader audience base to advertise apps and increase downloads.
Over the years, your app will warrant being able to handle a growing user base and more feature sets. Without being ready for scalability, growing demands can affect your app performance.
All things being equal, native apps provide more scalability options than web apps. Its wide range of feature sets means you can always upgrade your app to satisfy new features and growing users.
Undoubtedly, hybrid and web apps can boast top-quality security protocols. But the architecture of native apps means that it has more robust security characteristics when all things are equal.
Take, for instance, these apps written with natively compiled code. So, its source code is not easy to access. Compare that to web apps built with languages like HTML. Such language is easier to access, study, and attack.
Besides, Play Store and App Store provide an enabling platform for security. It has a struck vetting process so that your app enjoys the best protection. Hence, it’s not surprising that 99% of mobile malware attacks come from non-native app environments.
Cons of Native Applications
This app is written with natively compiled code and offers limited versatility. A source code for a native app can’t be remodeled to fit into another environment. That is, code written for Android apps can’t work on iOS apps.
Instead, you’d have to rewrite the code to fit into the unique protocols of each operating system. You’d have to recreate the UI without affecting the user experience maintained in the original app. The app itself has to function.
Doing this usually takes lots of effort. Plus, the app is highly prone to errors and bugs.
Higher Development Time and Cost
Offering flexibility means more overhead for mobile app development. Most people want their apps for multiple platforms, mainly Android and iOS. Each environment requires different development needs, hiring expert teams, and procuring tools.
Each team goes through the same process differently. As a result, the cost and time typically spent on cross-platform mobile app development doubled.
Support and Maintenance
Multiple developments also translate to multiple maintenance. Companies need to realize that most development work starts after launch. You’d have to update the app as frequently as required. This maintenance phase becomes expensive as you have to perform the same process for multiple platforms.
Your app may require urgent updates that could otherwise affect its integrity. You’d have to update multiple systems, which slows down the process. In the meantime, users have to make do with subpar features.
Compare that to a cross-platform app. You build a universal code base across different systems. Hence, you have a single updating task during maintenance.
High-performance and multi-functional apps may increase your app usability, which translates to a better user experience. But it may also demand downloading large files, more storage capacity, and high battery usage. Even sometimes, native apps may lead to users’ frustration after downloading an app only to realize that it doesn’t fit their use.
Conversely, a web app allays such frustrations. You’d know how an app works before downloading it. It also takes fewer data to download and little memory space or battery usage.
Should I Go For Native Apps?
Well, you decide that. Meanwhile, it’s always advised to build a minimal product using web apps to test the market. Once your app becomes full-fledged, you can create apps for each operating system.
At the baseline, your decision still edges on what your app needs. Does it require geolocation or biometric authentication? Then, creating native apps might be better. If it’s just a simple app like a to-do list, creating native apps might be a waste of resources.
Are you still in doubt? Consider mobile app development outsourcing at Emphasoft to access your options. They can help you assess your app goals, tailor it to what you need and develop a quality product based on full-cycle development.