Pros and Cons of Native Mobile Apps
By Sriram Surampudi
What is a Native Mobile App?
- When it comes to application development, it’s important to understand what you’re working with in terms of platform-specific operating systems. Native mobile apps are the applications which are developed for specific platform/ operating system using its Software Development Kit (SDK). That is, developing an app using a programming language native to the device and operating system for a target platform. We use platform specific tools and APIs to enable all types of functionalities in the app.
- Development Tools & Languages to Native App
- We have several mobile operating systems and platforms to develop Native Apps. But most used by the users around the world are Apple’s devices and Google’s Android devices
Apple Native App:
- iOS is a Mobile Operating System created and developed by Apple Inc. (formerly iPhone OS). It powers many mobile devices including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It is the second most popular mobile operating system globally after Android.
- Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for macOS containing a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS.
- Xcode supports Objective-C and Swift programming languages to develop the applications.
Google Native App:
- Android is the mobile operating system developed by Google. It is based on a modified version of Linux kernel and other Open Source software. It is primarily designed for Smart phones, tablets, Android TV and Wear OS etc.
- Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Google’s Android Operating System. It’s built on JetBrains, IntelliJ IDEA software and designed specifically for Android Development.
- Android Software Development Kit (SDK), application will be created for devices running Android Operating System.
Android Native Development Kit (NDK), it is a toolset that reuse the code developed using C/ C++ programming language and incorporate it to the app through Java Native Interface (JNI).
- Android apps can be written using Java, Kotlin and C++ languages.
Pros of Native App:
- Performance & Productivity
- One of the major benefit of the Native apps is performance. The developers will be provided with the standardized SDKs, APIs, set of tools, Libraries, Code samples and documents. Developing Native apps with these SDK, APIs and tools for a particular platform deliver high performance and user experience. Apps built on Native platform are able to work more and consume moderate amount of energy from the battery.
- In the whole development process, we will concentrate on a single task and all our efforts will be focused on it. As a result, that there will be much refinement in the app development which makes app more efficient and the development process becomes productive.
- Safe & Secure
- Native apps are relatively safe and secure. As they will be installed on the mobile and hence use the security features of the mobile device.
- Native apps are accessible through the respective app store. And they need to be approved by respective app store to download before they will be offered to users. This means they are completely tested before placing app in the store.
- User Experience
- With a Native app, it is not only the coding language but also the Architecture and UI/UX are Native.
- Features Usage
- Every mobile platform has its own Operating System, APIs, SDKs and development tools. Using these we can develop more sophisticated apps which can interact with the Camera, GPS, Database System and Bluetooth etc.
- Testing of the Native app is much easier in case of a single platform.
- Since it’s a single platform app it is easy to control the productivity of the resources.
- Dealing with the problems and fixing of it is much easy while developing app for single platform.
Cons of Native App:
- Budget/ Maintenance
- If we need to develop the same app for different platforms we need to implement the same functionality multiple times in different platforms with different development teams. This leads to increase in the number of resources and which increases the time and cost.
- Code Reusability
- There is no chance of code reusability if we need to develop the same app for different platforms. Because we need to develop code using different languages which are supported by the respective platform.