Can you imagine a day of your life without a smartphone? 6.65 billion people cannot manage their personal finances, call a taxi, order food, or buy goods without a mobile assistant. According to Statista, in the third quarter of 2022, over 3.55 million mobile apps were available in the Google Play Store and about 1.64 million in the App Store. This trend motivates businesses to make considerable investments in mobile projects. One of the first important issues that managers must decide before launching a software product is which design approach to choose. We will look at why native mobile application development is the best choice for a business.
Peculiarities of native mobile application development
Native applications are programs created for a specific mobile platform or an OS. To build such products, developers use special programming languages for Android, iOS, and Windows. It’s like in everyday life. For instance, the native inhabitants of England speak English and have national traditions, so native apps “communicate” in the language of the corresponding operating system and possess unique functions.
Such system applications as “Clock”, “Calculator, “Calendar, “Phone Book”, and others are native. Other meaningful solutions are programs downloaded from the Google Play Store or the App Store. They use smartphone hardware and service resources for operation (camera, phone book, Bluetooth, Face/Touch ID, and so on). These are popular programs Instagram, Pokémon Go, Spotify, and others.
Users like the design adapted to a particular platform and the efficiency and responsiveness of native apps. But this is only a small part of their advantages.
Why it is profitable for a business to make native apps: key reasons
A business has two ways to bring an idea to life — through hybrid or native development.
Native mobile application development offers numerous advantages, including the following:
In the native environment, such apps work faster than hybrid ones
During native mobile application development, programmers optimize software for a specific platform. It directly interacts with native APIs without referring to intermediary programs. Applications that can use the processing speed of a device are more powerful than those that cannot do it. This is because they store visual elements and other key data on the phone.
Native mobile applications are more secure
Veracode estimated that 91% of iOS applications and 95% of Android ones have at least one security vulnerability. NowSecure has found that in business software, the risk of hacking is 3 times higher than in a standard product.
Such statistics are an argument in favor of a native application because it offers enhanced security. Hybrid solutions may have weaknesses depending on the platform or programming language. Proprietary software is created for one platform. Data is encrypted within a single system, which builds a more powerful barrier for hackers.
Native apps have a clear user interface
Native applications are built for OS interfaces of their devices. That’s why users perceive them as an organic part of the entire system. Such applications have interfaces that meet industry standards, making it easier for consumers to interact with the operating system.
To control an application, a person uses habitual gestures and manipulations. Hence, the UX of a native software solution is clearer and more interactive than that of its hybrid counterpart.
When working on native applications, programmers can use all the smartphone functions
Engineers have access to all capacities and features of platforms and OSs for which a native product is being built. Such an application seamlessly uses the device’s hardware and service components: GPS, camera, microphone, phone book, and so on. As a result, it accomplishes similar tasks more quickly than a hybrid application, resulting in a better customer experience.
Since native app developers don’t need to combine the functions of two platforms in one software solution and are not bound by restrictions, they create a perfect and unique digital product.
By creating native software, developers make fewer mistakes
Maintaining hybrid software in a single codebase is more challenging than maintaining two native applications in separate codebases. Additionally, native applications function independently of third-party tools and software, such as Xamarin or Cordova. Hybrid ones need a “bridge” to gain access to a device, which slows down their work and causes additional vulnerabilities.
Native apps update faster
A cross-platform development tool must be available before hybrid software developers can release new features. So, implementing newly released OS functionality is challenging.
Native application developers can use new SDKs to implement the latest features quickly and easily. With further updates of an operating system, users can benefit from new convenient features.
Native software scales easier
Programmers build the architecture of native mobile applications in such a way that it can withstand a large influx of users and a high load. Such a program uses the capabilities of a smartphone excessively, and it is easier to scale and develop it. All this guarantees excellent performance and a minimum of critical failures in conditions of growing traffic.
It’s easier to add native software to an application store
The App Store and the Google Play Store put forward certain requirements for software solutions. Cross-platform applications usually have more problem areas. Specialists should fix them before adding solutions to the store. Native programs are more “obedient”. This is because developers use platform-specific technologies from the very beginning and act under the rules established by a particular store.
The only thing in which native software solutions are inferior to hybrid ones is that it takes more time and effort to create them. To design almost identical programs for two different platforms, a company needs two teams that constantly interact with each other. Firms that cherish quality above timing can implement such a “double” project.
How to determine what kind of development is right for a mobile project
Native or hybrid development should not be an end in itself. The choice should be determined not by technology, but by the peculiarities of a planned software solution. If a manager chooses the cross-platform approach with limitations in interaction with a smartphone, there may arise problems if the need for uniformity manifests itself. It will take time and effort to add these functions later, using auxiliary tools and libraries.
To understand which type of development to choose, you should answer the following questions:
— Is high performance important for your software solution?
— Does the product need access to smartphone hardware and functions?
— Does your company require software that works on a variety of platforms and devices?
— How much money can you invest in the development of an innovative mobile application?
— When should your software reach the target audience?
— Are regular updates needed
If a business needs high-performance software with access to vital device functions and support for multiple platforms, native development should be a priority.
Native development may seem an arduous task that requires plenty of resources, time, and money. But with a properly selected app development company, you can easily overcome these difficulties. Outsourcing makes it easier to find programmers who are proficient in certain technologies and specialize in your industry. Experienced engineers will offer business-friendly options for implementing a native application, considering the requirements and wishes for quality, budget, and timing.