Native mobile applications are built and developed to be used on one specific platform or operating system (OS). The Android OS (native Android app) and the iOS hold the largest shares of the mobile market. It would make sense that they would be built and supported by two entirely different companies. Moreover, they are available on different app stores like App store for iOS, Google play store for Android, and many alternative Android appstores. With this mindset comes the different coding languages in the app. Apps for iOS use Swift or Objective-C. Meanwhile, apps for Android use Java or C++. This barrier means that for a company to have an app on both platforms with maximum efficiency, they need to separately develop each.
Things to know about native apps
Each app store has different guidelines. This does up the cost for Native app development, however, that the mobile app development cost becomes worth it, depending on what your app requires. Native apps have many functions that other app types can emulate but never fully execute.
The phrase “maximum efficiency” is an important phrase when it comes to native apps. Developing for a specific platform allows for the best performance and independence of browsers and other APIs. This is vital to maintain user bases on either platform, especially if your application needs to use features like GPS, the camera, Bluetooth, and many others. User interfaces and user experience are also a key to success. By developing a native application, developers can make the experience authentic and comfortable for users on that platform.
Another facet of mobile app design that relies heavily on Native app development are games. Mobile gaming has experienced a boom for some time now and continues to do so with an ever-expanding base. Therefore, developing a game natively is a must. It allows for maximum performance, which mobile games need in order to stand out and not wither in a competitive marketplace.
Regardless of developing any type of app one key success to focus on is application marketing strategies. Invest on it since deploying the best marketing strategies is the other half of success.
Technologies Native Mobile Apps can take advantage of
Since iOS and Android are the biggest platforms in the market, we will focus on these two platforms. It is in the vested interest of both platforms to foster app development. Phones have become less and less about their initial purpose, which was to make phone calls. According to Buildfire, the average mobile users use nine applications a day and thirty every month. The advancements get further and further from the days of the Nokia snake game. With both platforms being able to offer the basic functions of making a call or sending a text, the value of the apps they offer is what sets them apart. Therefore, creating a space where app developers can develop on their platform with more ease is paramount to having more apps on their platform.
Apple introduced Xcode in 2003. This integrated a development environment (or IDE) which allows for developers to make apps for Apple’s various operating systems. When the iPhone and apple app store were launched, apps were exclusively made with the Objective-C language. As time and technology progressed, Apple needed an improved solution, so they introduced the open-source Swift in 2014. Swift is newer and provides a better encryption and faster performance. That is why it is widely accepted by the iOS development community and preferred to Objective-C.
Android apps, on the other hand, are in Java. James Gosling introduced Java language in 1996 and it quickly spread across multiple platforms. Websites, video games, mobile apps, the works. Even Twitter and Netflix used this language. Android also offers their own IDE, Android Studios. It can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux. App development is more accessible than ever which amounts to easier app development than the past.
Where do Native Mobile Apps work best
We touched briefly on where Native mobile apps are a must. Video games and navigation softwares have technical needs that hybrid apps cannot appease as well. Each platform is going to have its own bugs and specific requirements. While that does not hold back the functions of certain apps like Instagram, it does affect others. A good and simple way to put it is “can your app function in a browser?”, Because hybrid apps are essentially web apps being viewed through a native shell. So, it all comes down to the functionality that is required.
WhatsApp is a great example of an app that needs to be developed natively. This is due to the high amount of security and encryption the app advertises. With a Native app, everything stays on the device and the exchange is encrypted from end to end. Video and voice calls can be hosted with ease and up to eight participants can be called. File sharing is another factor where security is paramount. WhatsApp also has live location sharing, which needs to update the location, like a navigation software would. With every update, WhatsApp accesses to the full breadth of features the platform has to offer, giving it an edge in the messaging app marketplace.
Spotify is another fantastic native app. One of the main draws of the app is the storage of music on the device. Doing so allows users to enjoy their music offline. Integrating Spotify Radio is another option that users enjoy. Hosting files offline used to be risky for companies, but with Spotify, the files are only accessible through the app and cannot be shared. Netflix uses a similar feature for movies on the mobile apps as well.
Some drawbacks for Native Mobile Apps
There are a few cons when it comes to Native Mobile App development. Having to deal with two separate sets of rules from each app store can be a hassle. There is also the maintenance of two source codes and effectively two entirely different environments. An OS update on Apple could affect your iOS app, while your Android app runs well. There are also the updates (ex. iOS updates) that have to be developed for each version separately. Thankfully, as third-party development tools progress, the gap between the two platforms are closing. However, the constant maintenance is still something to consider today. The developers still have to talk about the updates with the respective app stores. They cannot update it from their own servers, and users still have to download updates.
Another con is the cost associated with developing two different apps. The mobile market is mostly segmented between iOS and Android. Depending on the region you are hoping to launch your app in, you could consider doing so on one platform first. Clubhouse has done just that. They have launched in the United States, where Apple controls the smartphone market by roughly 6%, so the app is currently only available on iOS. Due to the two different platforms, developing the app can also be much more complex than a web app. You will need skilled developers, ones who understand each platform. This also increases the time it takes to develop an app for both platforms. This is a significant factor, as someone may beat you to the market.
At the end of the day, Native Mobile Apps offer the most features out of all. Developing natively ensures the UI and UX elements are taken care of and familiar to the users. The maintenance and costs of Native Mobile Apps are drawbacks for newer teams. However, everything depends on what your project requires. The decision you make must be an informed one, as changing your priorities mid-project can be tricky. Investing into a web app design but then realizing it cannot fulfill what the project needs is money thrown down the drain. Consulting with professionals is a great way to avoid that. They have worked with many clients and have developed many apps as a consequence. Therefore, an experts opinion is crucial here.
Here at Twelfth Dram, we have sat down with many companies in Vancouver and beyond, and have delivered many projects with astounding results. We will usually consider many factors such as the time, the budget, and the best route forward. You can even book a free discovery call today. We can advise you on what steps to take next and what your project requires. Don’t doubt. Trust Team As A Service (TAAS).
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to develop a Native Mobile App?
Everything depends on the size and scope of your project. With the myriad of features and tools available, we would have to determine what your project needs. We do so in a discovery session. Afterwards, our services start from $8,000 for a prototype. As we understand more about the necessities of your project we can give you a more accurate quote. Book a discovery session
How long does it take?
Depending on the size and scope of your project, it can take anywhere from one and half months to design a prototype to five months to launch the first release of your product. Book a discovery session with us so we can discuss your project in greater detail and provide you with a more accurate timeline.
What is the process?
Our development process starts with a discovery session, where we will get to know you, your business, and your needs, gain a better understanding of the scope of your project, and be able to provide you with a time and cost estimate. Following a 6-step process, we use Agile SCRUM. Which is a software development framework that allows us to address complex adaptive problems. Also creating an environment where we productively and creatively deliver products of the highest possible value.
Each iteration includes: Design, Code, Test, and Deploy. These activities are repeated in usually 2-week sprints. Our proven process makes client needs our top priority. After an initial discovery session, we commit to regular deliverables that keep you in the loop every step of the way. Learn more about our process.