What is the meaning of native in the mobile app

     Native applications are those which are developed for particular mobile operating systems with specific platforms. For example, you could have a native mobile application that is intended to run exclusively on iOS, the operating system used by Apple mobile devices. The native application built using software development tools (SDK) for a certain software framework, hardware platform or operating system. Native apps are written in a programming language specific to the platform they’re being developed for. This would typically be Objective-C or Swift for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android. Building a native app is a time- and resource-consuming process, but it pays off with great user experience and performance, which is crucial for your app’s users. Native apps typically have better performance with rendering and animations than hybrid apps.

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What is a Hybrid Application?

A hybrid app is created as a single product for use on multiple platforms like Android, iPhone, and Windows. It can get access to all the native platform features. Created with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, it is basically a web-based program put in a native app shell and connected to the device hardware. Developers create one code base, then make small changes to tailor the app to each platform.  A hybrid app is a mobile app that contains a web view (essentially an isolated browser instance) to run a web application inside of a native app, using a native app wrapper that can communicate with the native device platform and the web view. The inner workings of a hybrid application are similar to a web app, but it installs like a native app.

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The differences between a native application and a hybrid application

Choosing between a native application and hybrid application is important both for design and long-term app maintenance. They both have similar features and design but the underlying technology is different. As the name suggests, hybrid apps are a combination of web apps and native mobile apps. You can build them using web technologies: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You can also upload them to app stores and users can install them as native Android or iOS applications.

The most important advantages of hybrid apps are portability and the simplicity of development. You only have to write the code once and your hybrid app will run on different operating systems. Whilst, native mobile apps have to be written in platform-specific languages such as Java, Swift, or Objective-C. Hybrid apps typically run a web app through a container or WebView, a browser that can be contained inside of a mobile app. WebViews are in-app browsers that allow mobile applications to access and display web content. This is how Android and iOS devices are able to run hybrid apps built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as native mobile applications.

Hybrid applications perform differently than native apps in several ways. Hybrid applications are based on web apps and contain the same navigational elements as web applications. Additionally, there is no offline mode for a hybrid application — it only works with an internet connection. Native apps, by contrast, can operate offline.

The cost differences between these two concepts are minimal. Developers have to write code to launch on different operation systems. On the other hand, the time developers have to spend is different. A hybrid application is preferable when it is crucial to construct the app faster.

native vs. hybrid, development

Advantages of Native App Development

·         Better, fast and responsive experience: Native mobile apps directly interact with native APIs without depending on middleware such as plugins and WebViews. Native apps offer the fastest, most reliable and most responsive experience to users.

·         Consistent UI and better UX: As native mobile apps are developed using native SDKs (software development kits), their UIs look consistent with their platform. There are dozens of UI/UX differences that make users feel at home. By building native, you don’t have to compromise with UI/UX that you hope will be user-friendly for all platforms. This ensures a better user experience, as there are no discrepancies between the OS and app design.

·         Immediate access to new features: Native mobile apps can immediately access the latest iOS or Android features. As web technologies can’t directly use native APIs, hybrid apps have to wait until there’s a plugin that supports the new feature.

·         Easy access to wider device functionality: Native makes tapping into the camera, microphone, compass, accelerometer, and swipe gestures super easy.

·         More security: Web apps rely on different browsers and underlying technologies such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS. Developing a native mobile app is a great way to guarantee your users reliable data protection.

Disadvantages of Native App Development

  • Development cost: It needs separate development effort for each platform because each device has its own version of the app which increases the development time. The maintenance and update costs grow proportionally to the line of supported OS devices in native app development.
  • Development time: Native apps need more time to develop as compared to hybrid apps. Creating and implementing the design for every device dimensions like numerous varieties of Android, iPhones, tablets, etc. takes longer to complete the app. Each platform code will have its own release cycle and updates which adds to development time and cost.
  • Complicated maintenance: Users of different devices could be using different versions of the app, which can complicate maintenance.

Well-monitored native mobile apps can greatly help you achieve your business goals. They crash less often, get higher ratings in app stores, and ultimately, lead to happier customers and more downloads. Additionally, native apps have the added advantage of functions that are specific to the OS on which the app is built (e.g., camera, GPS, address book, etcetera). Furthermore, a native approach offers the best in class security for a mobile application, the best performance, a highly responsive user interface, and access to all native APIs. In other words, the original investment may be higher but a company will save time and money in the long run while offering a great user experience and an industry-standard app performance.

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