Native Mobile App Development: Features and Advantages
Having a convenient mobile app for your service is critical, whatever it may be. Companies and organizations rush to develop these as soon as possible because it increases coverage, interactivity, and revenue. Developing an application, however, is not as simple.
Barring the problem of having to actually know how programming works; you need to work out which OS you prefer. Depending on this, you’ll have to work with one of two main development approaches. Native Mobile App Development constitutes the first, and it basically implies building applications for one specific system.
App development 101
Before jumping to development techniques, catching up on the subject of application building would be reasonable. In regards to operating systems, how does it work?
The majority of applications work on iOS or Android. Regardless of what you pick, you’ll have to use one of many programming languages. Sadly, these systems aren’t interchangeable and the same application can’t run on both. In addition, some languages are better suited to develop stuff for one or the other operating system.
That is why people who develop iOS apps largely use languages like Swift, while Android developers prefer Java and others. They simply have everything for a comfortable development process, while also being technically suitable for the system.
So, what is a Native Application in this context?
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Native App Development explained
Native Mobile App Development is an approach that implies using specific programming tools for a specific OS in order to reach the best possible outcome. So, Native Android app developers would use programming languages, toolkits, and so forth that correspond with the inner workings of your device as best as possible.
People use this approach because of three major advantages:
- Technical security
- Streamlined development process
- Complete compatibility with the system.
This approach is contrasted by the completely opposite technique, the Cross Platform development. There are various ways of creating an app that works on several systems at once, but there are also obvious disadvantages to this approach. Most such applications are Web-apps downloaded from a myriad of websites and not an app store.
Each approach has its merits and flaws. With Native Development, there are several very serious upsides.
An app designed specifically for an operating system is much less prone to technical difficulties. This happens because of two things.
Firstly, the Cross Platform toolkits (such as Hybrid) aren’t almighty. They can account only for so many problems in both systems. Even if a toolkit deals with all problems within both systems (which it can’t do), the very next update on either OS will overturn everything.
Secondly, even the best Cross Platform solutions don’t automatically solve all the problems. The developers will have to write twice as much code and correct twice as many mistakes. It’s a long, difficult process, and that’s why many Web-apps don’t seem quite finished.
That’s why there are infinitely more bugs on the Cross Platform Web-apps than on the dedicated Native applications. There are simply too many loose ends to tie, especially compared to many programming languages well-suited for a specific OS in a comfortable, well-tailored environment.
Comfort of development
As clear from the previous paragraph, you really don’t want to optimize your app to both operating systems manually. Many Android- or iOS-specific toolkits are well-optimized for their job. You really can’t do the same with any Cross Platform solutions: the two systems aren’t just differently wired, they are also conflicting in some aspects.
Hybrid and the likes of it are trying to extend their reach too far, which results in overextension. Not only is it a longer, more difficult path, but the Hybrid and Web apps also use development solutions that don’t quite attune to the latest changes in the software.
After the iOS or Android gets updated, many dedicated toolkits are quick to adapt according to the new rules. Cross Platform tools are slower on the uptake, so when there’s already a new concept within the code of the OS, the new corresponding tool is yet to appear.
Better user experience
If you use toolkits and coding solutions that fit an OS you’re aiming to develop for, it’s likely going to be much easier to figure out for a user. It happens because many popular apps use similar or even identical toolkits, which prompt them to adopt similar solutions for the structure, mapping, and design of their apps.
It’s much easier for a developer to use tried and tested options rather than develop new stuff. For this reason, the creation process also gains from these uniform approaches to development.
Cross Platform developers do try to use techniques people like, but they are often limited by their toolkits, which harms both the developer and the user.
Better phone connection
It’s no secret that modern apps interact with the technologies of your device a lot, including features like flashlight or GPS. Although somewhat intrusive, it usually improves your overall user experience with the app. For some apps, the entire idea is foiled unless the app can use your phone’s features.
If it was developed specifically for an OS your device is using, then this connection between the device and the app will be at its smoothest. Cross Platform solutions don’t provide the same quality and comfort.
It’s estimated that Native apps operate faster than their Cross Platform counterparts (that is, if you boot them on the same OS). This stems from better optimization and a higher level of perfection (although that depends on the app’s individual quality).
As a result, the apps execute their orders faster and require less memory if you tailored them directly for one of the platforms.
Issues of the Native Development
Although natively-built software boasts better quality than their Cross Platform counterparts, it can’t be denied that the latter provide more coverage for less effort. It’s only longer and more complicated to develop Web-apps because you normally aim to tailor them to several platforms at a time.
The Native apps are easier to create because you only focus on one operating system during the creation process. To create something for other OS, you’ll have to master toolkits that suit these additional platforms better. That means you’ll likely have to master a new programming language.
If you compare the two approaches this way, then it’s evident that a Native approach is longer and more demanding, but also possesses more quality and is well polished. You spend more time on a better product. Cross Platform development normally means you use just one programming language to provide for more than one operating system.
As such, it’s easier and faster, but the result is often full of bugs and shortcomings. If you decide to develop your Web-app for just one platform to cut your losses, you’ll find that it makes absolutely no sense, and it’s almost like Native Development, but with a programming language that may not be the best choice for it.
Does Native Development suit me?
Depending on your end goal for your product, you could consider the option of Native Mobile App Development approach. If you only want to develop for a single operating system, then it’s:
- Higher quality (on average)
- More comfortable to develop
- More optimized.
You also need to consider that developing an app for just a single platform limits your user coverage. But consider this: releasing an application that fits all major platforms may attract even less coverage simply because people rarely look beyond their designated app stores for new services.
It’s actually a rather good idea to use both approaches as extensively as possible, eventually. It means developing natively for Android & iOS (and maybe other platforms) and creating a separate Web-app that suits them all simultaneously. Of course, it takes time and resources, and there’s still a question of what to do first.
It depends on whether or not you see all the advantages above as worth limiting your immediate coverage, while also accounting for preferences of your customers. If you know your customer base has roughly a 50/50 division between iOS and Android users, then a Web-app may be a wonderful idea. There’s really no wrong decision here, and everything depends on your particular situation.
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