A Complete Guide to Native App Development [Benefits + Comparison]

Even though it is difficult, you did it.

You found a great app idea. But, the very moment you got an app idea, you have realized that this is not all to create a great app.

Now, you are juggling between choosing native app development or hybrid app development, which can probably make or break your app’s success.

A slightest mistake of yours, on the very first stage, could risk your money and your time. We also know that deciding on one approach involves a lot of considerations. Considerations like app development cost, platform, performance, and several essential factors.

To ensure you make the right decision, we have crafted this blog for you. Reading this blog, you will understand more about the benefits of native apps and get to know when you need native apps for your requirements.

What is Native App Development?

A native mobile app is targeted towards a particular mobile platform. This means, an app intended to work on the iOS platform will not work on the Android platform and vice-versa.

Moreover, native apps are considered to be a better solution for mobile app development. The following factors are the reasons and capabilities of native apps that can dominate any mobile app available in the market. Let’s check the benefits of native apps and learn why users prefer to create a native app.

Benefits of Native App Development

Now, you must want to understand this better with a simple question in terms of programming.

What does native mean in programming?

Suppose you want to create an app, particularly for an Android platform. This means you will probably choose Java or Kotlin to build your app. Now, this app built natively will run only on the Android platform and will be known as a native app. And this goes the same with the native iOS platform.

Want to Create a Native App?

Get a free consultation from a mobile app expert.

Now, you must be wondering how a native app is different from a hybrid app apart from working on a particular platform. No, there are various differences between native mobile apps and hybrid mobile apps. Let’s find out those prominent differences of native apps and hybrid apps:

What is the Difference Between Native vs Hybrid Apps?

Before we move forward, you need to know what is a hybrid app. This way, you will be able to connect and understand more about the differences between native and hybrid apps.

Hybrid applications are also known as cross-platform apps. The reason being that it is a combination of native applications and web applications. We have just discussed native applications, but talking about web apps, these are websites that act the same as any app. However, web apps cannot be installed on a device. You need a browser to access web apps.

Hybrid apps use technologies, such as Apache Cordova, Xamarin, React Native, and Sencha Touch. Many companies like Skype and Walmart use this hybrid app development technology. Also, hybrid apps use a single code base to work on multiple platforms, where you use different code base in native apps. This is also represented in the following image.

native apps vs hybrid apps

This was the brief introduction of a hybrid app. Now, you will be able to relate more to the differences between hybrid vs native apps. So, without any delay, let’s find out those differences one-by-one:

FactorsNativeHybrid
Programming LanguageSwift, Objective-C, Java, KotlinHTML, CSS, JavaScript
Frameworks & ToolsXcode, Android Studio, & IntelliJ IDEAReact Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic
PlatformSingle platformMultiple platforms
SpeedHighMedium
PerformanceFaster and more reliable as they are built for the specific platformUsually slower than native as it depends on the processing speed of the user’s browser
Access to Device-specific FeaturesAllows use of device-specific functionalitiesLimited use of device-specific functionalities
Access to Mobile DevicesPlatform SDK allows access to all device APIsDepends on the tools
Code CompatibilityFor single platformEnables code porting to multiple platforms
User InterfaceRich functionalities and more attractive UIDon’t give users a fully native experience
Advanced GraphicsHigh-quality graphicsDepends on the hybrid framework
Access to Native APIsHighModerate
NavigationEmbedded and intuitive navigationWebView connects the web content with native app functioning
Compatibility with Other Apps on The Device PlatformHigherLess
Development Cycle3-4 months2-3 months
Development CostBasic App – $5000-$6000Basic App – $4000-$5000
Hardware CapabilitiesUses the capabilities of the mobile phones 100%Less access to devices
ExamplesWhatsApp, PayPal, GoogleInstagram, Baskin Robbins, Untappd

Advantages and Disadvantages of Native App Development

These are the advantages and disadvantages of native app development that you must consider before developing your native application.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Native App Development

Know whether any of these factors of pros and cons will affect your native app development approach or not. Come, let’s dive in to find these factors in a better way.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Native has many preloaded interface elements and in-built features. Instead of fetching data through the entire mobile application, they fetch it from the web that makes native applications speedy, and also look and feel great.As native apps use a single code base, this leads to investing a bit of time in the app development process. And this may increase the app development charges.
The major benefit of using native mobile applications is that you can use them without having access to the internet. Even when you are stuck somewhere, there is no network on your mobile device; you can still access the native applications.You will need different sets of code to build native apps, and it will require time. Additionally, the complexity of projects can increase the app development time as well.
Native apps are created to provide the best user experience to the customers. Not only the apps work fast, but native apps are also easy to use as they have specific UI standards for each platform. Therefore, native apps are more interactive and intuitive.In terms of flexibility, the developer will need to code for each platform. Make sure you hire app developers from two different teams – one for Android and another for iOS.
Native apps always offer high security as developers can code into the app’s infrastructure, which is highly encrypted. Hardware resources are also efficient, and everything is connected, which ensures the complete safety of data.Finding an app on the app stores, like Google Play Store or App Store, could be a lengthy process for your customers. Then accepting its terms and condition and finally downloading it.
Native apps take complete advantage of the features of the operating systems. Native apps are able to access the hardware of the device, such as the GPS, camera, microphone, and execute all the actions faster. Push notifications are also another benefit of native apps.Native apps require frequent upgrades for bug fixing or to add any new feature. The users also have to update the app on a timely basis to remove the glitches.

After considering all these factors of native apps, it can be concluded that even after investing a little more in native app development, it is worth it. Not only because native apps are highly reliable, but to help a business in increasing brand presence, cultivating customer loyalty, and the most important is to generate high revenue.

Native Mobile App Development Frameworks

If you are building a mobile app natively, you must want to find out the best native mobile application development frameworks. Therefore, we have got the best native app development frameworks that you need to develop native iOS and Android apps.

But before going ahead, you must check the essential factors of each native app development framework. We have compared them with each other, so you know which one will perfectly fit your requirements.

FactorsXcodeAndroid StudioIntelliJ IDEA & Android SDK
G2 Reviews4.5
774 Reviews
4.5
375 Reviews
4.6
1668 Reviews
Developed In200320132001
Developed ByApple Inc.Google & JetBrainsJetBrains
TypeIntegrated Development Environment (IDE)Integrated Development Environment (IDE)Java IDE
Programming Languages
  • Swift
  • Objective-C
  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • C++
  • Java
  • Kotlin
Operating System
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Chrome Operating System
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
Price
  • Free
  • USD 99
  • Free
  • IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate – USD 499
  • All Products Pack – USD 649
Current Version12.34.1.22020.2.4
Famous AppsUberNetflixLyft
  1. Xcode

    Xcode

    Source: Xcode

    Xcode is used to build mobile apps for various platforms, like macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. If you are building an iOS app or macOS apps, you can use this official tool for developing and publishing apps on Apple’s App Store.

    Want to Create a Custom iOS App?

    Want to validate your app idea? Want to get a free consultation from an iOS app expert?

    You get every tool required to build an app, including a text editor, a compiler, and a build system. This means you can write, compile, debug the app, and even you can publish your app on the App Store.

    It contains various tools for an easy application development approach, and with that experienced app developers can develop unique and highly effective mobile apps.

    The main benefit of using Xcode is that it comes with debugging tools that let you resolve problems faster. Also, with management tools, you can manage image assets as well as code files.

    Top Features of Xcode

    • It uses the single-window interface and manages the app development process
    • Offers various testing options to remove bugs and enhance app performance
    • Offers a closed environment and preferred because of its tightly controlled nature
    • On making an error, Xcode immediately alerts users and help in resolving it
    • Get complete documentation, easy to search anything within Help and API Reference viewer

    Want to try and download Xcode

  2. Android Studio

    Android Studio

    Source: Android Studio

    Android Studio is specially designed to develop native Android apps. It is fast as well as it offers tools to build apps for all types of Android devices. It is an official IDE built on the software of IntelliJ IDEA.

    And with this, it makes sure you build an app that is highly productive and efficient to work on. Talking about the features, it offers a fast and feature-rich emulator, C++ and NDK support, and more.

    However, you must know that Eclipse Android Development Tools (E-ADT) was replaced by Android Studio to become the primary IDE for developing native Android apps. Android Studio has a feature of code-refactoring, which gives an upper hand over Eclipse.

    You can also use material design for visual, motion, and interaction design to use for various platforms and devices. In case you want to use material design in your Android app, follow the guidelines to use the new components and styles.

    Top Features of Android Studio

    • Provides GUI tools to simplify tasks of app development
    • Users get the C++ and NDK support to build JNI components quickly
    • Get the flexibility to generate APKs for all device types
    • Easy to integrate with version control tools, such as GitHub to keep your team in a sync
    • Get the unified environment to build apps for all types of Android devices
    • Offers extensive testing tools and frameworks

    Want to try and download Android Studio

  3. IntelliJ IDEA & Android SDK

    IntelliJ IDEA

    Source: IntelliJ IDEA

    IntelliJ IDEA is an IDE for the JVM language and helps in enhancing the productivity of the developers. It offers the developers with code completion, static code analysis, and refactorings, and self-manages all the tasks. So, if you are a developer, it will manage all the routine and repetitive tasks to help you focus on only creative work.

    It is a multi-platform IDE that will help you build apps on different platforms, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. Apart from Java, you can use languages like Kotlin, Scala, and Groovy that can be easily compiled into the JVM bytecode.

    In terms of the user interface, it is the best because it offers an editor-centric environment. To avoid the risk of interruption while developing an app, it brings up the necessary tools automatically by following your context.

    Now, Android SDK is a software development kit and has a specific role in developing apps in IntelliJ IDEA. When developing apps in IntelliJ IDEA, you will need to configure Android SDK, which comes with a collection of software development tools and libraries. This will provide you a smooth flow to develop an app, starting from developing to debugging through packaging.

    Top Features of IntelliJ IDEA

    • Offers in-depth coding assistance and error analysis, and refactorings
    • Follows the approach of developer ergonomics for a smooth development process
    • In-built development tools, such as decompiler, bytecode viewer, and FTP
    • Provides support for server-side and front-end frameworks
    • Apart from Java, it also understands various programming languages

Want to try and download IntelliJ IDEA

Apart from this, we have also answered some of the most asked questions by the readers. Let’s check them one-by-one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the best tools for native mobile app development?

Here are the best tools that you can use for native app development.

  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • AppCode

What native app development means for Android?

When we talk about native app development for Android, it means developing an app specifically for the Android platform. The native Android app will not work on any other platforms except its native platform. You can use languages like Java and Kotlin to build native Android apps and Swift and Objective-C to build native iOS apps.

Which are some cross-platform development frameworks?

  • Xamarin
  • React Native
  • PhoneGap
  • Ionic
  • Flutter

Which languages to choose for cross-platform development?

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

 

Conclusion

With this guide, we hope now it would be easy for you to get the answer that you were looking for. Now, it is your time to build a brand new app that achieves various milestones.

In case you need any assistance from our expert app developers or want to know how much it costs to develop a native app, feel free to contact us. We have experienced in developing more than 3500 Android and iOS apps, and also have over 98% job success on Upwork.

Just fill the contact us form, and one of our team members will contact you in a very short time.

Author Bio
Jigar Mistry
Jigar Mistry
Designation: Vice President (Technologies)

Jigar Mistry is Vice President (Technologies) at Space-O Technologies. He has 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and on-demand.