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What Is A Native App?

Native applications are software programs that have been specifically designed to be used on a specific platform or device.

Native apps are designed to be used on specific devices and their OS. They can also use custom hardware and software. Native apps offer optimized performance and can take advantage of the most recent technology such as a , , compared to web applications or mobile apps that are generic across multiple platforms.

Native platforms and applications
The native app term refers to platforms like Mac and PC. Examples include the Photos, Mail and Contacts apps that are preinstalled on every Apple computer. In the context of mobile web applications, however, the term native application is used to refer to any app that was specifically written for a particular device platform.

The main mobile OS platforms for iOS by Apple and Android by Google are Apple’s iOS . Native apps are written using the code that is preliminarily required for the device’s OS. Developers write iOS apps in Objective-C and Swift, while Android-native applications are created in Java.

Native apps integrate with the OS of the device in a way that allows them to work faster and more flexible than other types of applications. Developers create separate apps for different device types if the app is being marketed to multiple users.

The Facebook app was originally written in HTML5 so that it could be used for iOS, Android, and mobile web. The app was slow for iOS users so Facebook’s app developers created separate code for iOS. Complex tasks, such as networking in the background of the main thread, program or thread, can be balanced.

Native apps examples
Native apps have the ability to quickly access specific resources. This allows them to quickly access many services such as the microphone and accelerometer, or push notifications. Native apps can be anything from navigation programs like Waze to social apps such as Twitter or games such as Pokemon GO.

For the best user experience, Pokemon Go efficiently uses system functions such as GPS to map locations, the camera to create augmented reality and the accelerometer for measuring acceleration. Push notifications are a way for Pokemon Go to keep users connected to the game.

The native app can be installed directly on the device. The native app’s data is either stored on the device, or remotely via cloud-based storage.

Pros and cons of native application
Native applications offer the following advantages:

You can use the capabilities of the underlying device to achieve broad functionalities
Performance that is fast and responsive
Push notifications
A UI that is more in line with the OS’s user experience;
Quality assurance through ratings in application shops

Native applications have some disadvantages:

Multiple code bases are necessary because each device is different and has its own version.
The cost of additional developers to create and maintain a code base for each platform.
Time spent on multiple builds for different platforms in each feature upgrade.

Native apps vs. Web apps
A web app is one that the user accesses over a web browser and not via download. Examples of web browsers are Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Web apps offer functionality such as bank account access and YouTube video viewing via Safari on an iPhone.

Native apps are designed for a specific device. However, most web applications can be written using JavaScript, CSS, and the standard HTML version to make them universally compatible with all browsers. Because web apps are not specific to a device, they can be written in one code base. Although web apps are quick and easy to create, they aren’t as flexible or as fast as native apps.

Apps native vs. apps hybrid
Hybrid apps combine native and web applications. A hybrid app works in the same way as a web application, but installs just like a native one. Hybrid apps have access to internal APIs which allows them to use resources like the camera, storage, and GPS. Hybrid apps include Yelp, Instagram and others.

Hybrid apps are made with HTML as well as . The code base is created by developers who then adapt the app to each platform. A hybrid app requires fewer developers to work on each platform than a native app. A hybrid app typically runs a web application through a container, WebView or a browser that can be embedded inside a mobile app.

In many ways, hybrid apps perform differently to native apps. Hybrid apps are web-based and have the same navigational elements that web applications. A hybrid app cannot be used offline and requires an internet connection. Native apps can, however, work offline.

The cost differences between hybrid and native applications are very small. Developers must create code for both types of applications to be launched on different platforms. A hybrid application is preferred if the application’s development takes less than 4 to 6 months.

Native application tools
Open-source programming languages Swift and Java are used by Apple and Google.

Xamarin is a cross platform software development tool that allows native app development for iOS and Android, as well as other platforms that rely upon C# programming languages.