By 2020, the global mobile application market is predicted to reap $188.9 billion in revenues! An average of 2.3 hours is spent by people every day using applications. At such a time, regardless of which sector you are in, you are likely to benefit from getting an app for your service or product.
Deciding that you want to invest in developing an app is just the start. The real question that arises after it is what method you wish to follow for developing it. Do you want a native, web or hybrid app?
Well, out of the three options, native app development certainly has a lot of merits.
What is the native app development?
Before delving into how native app development is beneficial, it is first imperative to understand what native app development is. Here, you develop an app, particularly for a given operating system. If anyone wants to use your app, they are required to access it through app stores. In other words, you make an app for iOS, and then make it available through Google Play Store. When developing an app for specific operating systems, professional app developers like App Vertical must use specific programming languages. For instance, in the case of Android, Kotlin or Java is used while iOS requires using Swift or Objective-C as the coding language.
During the app development process, the platform you build it on themselves provide development tools, interface components and SDK to app developers. At least this is the case with both Apple and Google, which are two of the biggest platforms.
Compared to hybrid and web app development, native apps have a plethora of benefits. Considering that mobile app development is becoming more of a necessity rather than a value-added component for most companies, it is essential for you to understand why you should opt for native app development.
Advantages of Native App Development
Here are some of the benefits associated with native app development.
At the end of the day, how well your app performs has to be one of the most critical aspects. In today’s world, the key is not just to be present on digital platforms like applications. Instead, you need to deliver value and convenience through your offerings. If you don’t, users will abandon your app and move to others who are offering them what they need. And let’s face it, everyone requires optimal performance from the app they use.
The best thing about native mobile app development is that such apps are optimized and developed for a particular platform. This ensures that the app works flawlessly in the given platform. You will find apps like AirG spam to be extremely fast and responsive on Android. This is because they are tailored to suit the specific needs of the platform.
Native apps are compiled using the core programming language as well as the API of a specific platform. This is why native apps rarely lag and are much more efficient than other options. Moreover, native apps also tend to have a higher speed than hybrid and web apps. This is because when you download the app on your device, the app is stored in the device, thereby allowing the software of the app to use the device’s processing speed. Both the content and visual aspects of the app are stored in the phone, therefore reducing load time.
Previously, mobile developers and companies alike thought that native app development only had the benefit of using the right coding language with the right platform. However, the truth is that native app development is much bigger than that. Native apps deliver performance not just because of the native language but also because of the native user interface, experience, and overall architect delivered. Each of the elements ensures that the performance of native apps is unmatchable.
Data protection has become a priority for users. While the world has accepted the recent migration towards digital platforms, this has come with its own challenges. And the most significant hurdle has to be the vulnerability of the data. A lot of applications require users to fill sensitive personal information along with credit card data (for payment). If this data falls in the wrong hands, it can be misused and can lead to identity theft and fraud. This is why recent data breaches have been so alarming.
Another key advantage of developing your app on native platforms is that such app development is much more secure than web or hybrid apps. In the case of hybrid apps, because they are dealing with various platforms, it has to fight off more viruses and attacks. And web applications rely on a wide array of browsers and technologies. It is hard to be full proof in them all.
Compared to this, native apps are dedicated to one platform. This allows you to guarantee reliable protection of customer data. The fact that native apps are more secure means that more people are likely to download it. So, not only does native app development ensure the security of your service but it this very advantage may attract customers towards your app compared to others.
Superior User Experience
If you have ever used a native app on your device, you might have observed how integrated it seems to the rest of the device. This is because native apps tend to benefit from using a given devices’ operating system interface.
Apart from this, native apps are much more intuitive and interactive than other kind of applications. This translates to superior user experience for all. Since they are developed for a specific operating system, each decision during the app development process is aligned with how to elevate the user experience while working with the guidelines of the operating system. This is why the apps that are made on native platforms are intuitive and natural. Each of them has UI standards that they must comply with. This eliminates the learning curve as well since native apps have familiar interface and elements. The increased familiarity with the interface means that users are more likely to try and continue using the app in the long-run.
Accessing the full feature set of various devices
Since native apps are developed for a given operating system and platform, they can access the full features of the operating systems. For instance, let’s say your app requires GPS or microphone. If you build a native app, you don’t have to work on building these features within the application. Instead, you can leverage the features of the device and directly access its hardware for such functions.
What does this mean?
Well, it translates into faster execution of your app and smoother experience of your customer. This is because there are some features that work best when in-built in the device. This way they don’t make your app a tad too heavy for smooth functioning. It also ensures that the feature is compatible with the device and hence works flawlessly. Think of it this way. Let’s say you develop a camera within the app. However, the quality you based it on is not present on the platform it was downloaded on. This means that user experience is bound to be subpar.
Another feature that can be leveraged when you build your app on native platforms is Push Notifications. In the case of iOS, such notifications will go through the APNS server while in Android, they will go through GCM.
What do you think is easier? Having two apps in two different codebases, or two apps on one code base? Indeed, the former is easier to do and reaps better results than the latter.
In the case of native app development, you don’t need to rely on cross-platform tools like Cordova or Xamarin. Instead, you develop it all using the tools relevant to the said platform. The lack of dependency on third-party cross-platforms means that there are fewer changes of lags and bugs.
Easy to launch
A key characteristic of native apps is that they follow the guidelines of the operating system they are built for, to the tee.
Now, regardless of what process you use during the app development stage, the fact remains that to access the masses, you need to make your app available on app stores of Apple, Android, and Microsoft, etc.
Here, native apps tend to have an edge over the web and hybrid apps. This goes back to the fact that native apps are required to follow Android or iOS guidelines completely. This makes it easier for the app to be accepted and launched through the various app stores.
This, in turn, ensures that your app is available to use by your target audience.
Native apps work offline
Not everyone is connected to the internet all the time. Many people find it hassling to use apps that require 24/7 internet connectivity. The good thing about native apps is that they can operate even without an internet connection. This is because they rely on the device’s storage for their content and visuals rather than delivering the features through a connection via the internet.
Since native apps remain accessible to people, regardless of where they are. As an organization, it opens the door for you in terms of who your target audience can be. Rather than limiting it to an area or a specific class, your users can be present anywhere, even in remote locations!
Native apps help maintain aspect ratio
What is the aspect ratio? This value refers to the proportion of the width of your device to the height of your device. At the end of the day, the quality of an image boils down to its aspect ratio.
Apps which are not developed on native platforms tend to collapse or misfunction when it comes to relaying images and videos. This is because the aspect ratio of the app does not align with the platform it is being viewed on.
This doesn’t happen in native apps. And that is because such applications have better autonomy on the size, orientation, and resolution of the app on the device.
Since developers are well-versed and have access to all the layout features of the given platform during the app development process, their screen size is retained by the native app. So, the aspect ratio that the app developer creates remains the same when it is reflected on the platform. There are distinct features built into the OS to ensure this. This includes the Auto Layout feature in the iOS and Constraint Layout function in Android. Apart from helping in maintaining the aspect ratio of the app, these two features also play an integral role in keeping visuals high-quality by providing an array of DPIs depending on the screen size.
Integration to new features
We live in a world which is continuously progressing. This is notably true in the case of technology. While hybrid and web apps are mere bystanders in this advent, native apps can be a part of it all without much effort.
Native app development allows you to leverage both current and new features of the platform you build your product on. Let’s take iOS as an example. With the recent move toward Apple watches, every time a new watch comes in, the native app can use its functionality to further hone its app for the better.
In the case of other methods, you might be required to invest your time and energy in developing the right API, but in the case of native apps, all of it is presented to you on a silver platter. Whether it be secure offline storage or watch notifications, you can easily integrate it all to your app.
Whether it be double tap, multi-touch or zooming, if your device supports specific designs and patterns, native apps do too. And that is the beauty of native app development. It considers that varying devices differ from one another on the smallest of things. For instance, the location of the back button will differ depending on the OS and model of the device.
When you take this intricacy into account, native app developments help you in developing an app that is highly usable. Its interface, design, and functionality have no match because they are created keeping in mind all the small and significant differences that may persist.
Native app development is undoubtedly a compelling way to develop your application. While it is not the only way, compared to the other two options, it clearly has a lot more merits. Regardless of which method you decide to adopt, make sure you do invest in developing an app. In today’s world, it is a necessity. Know where your customers are and then proceed accordingly.
Make sure to hire professional app developers for the project. The quality of your app can make or break your entire brand image. The decision should not be taken lightly.