A Developer’s Guide to Native Mobile App Development

    A Developer's Guide to Native Mobile App Development

    A mobile app allows businesses to communicate and engage with customers. It offers effective channels and helps create brand awareness. Native app development is feasible because of its robust performance, security, compilation speed, and UX/ UI.

    What is Native Mobile App Development?

    Native app development is creating mobile applications for a single platform. Developers must choose the programming languages and tools specific to their chosen platform.

    For example, Android app developers would use Kotlin or Java, while iOS app developers would use Objective C or Swift.

    Android or iOS: Which is the Best Platform for Native App Development?

    As per a recent report by Statista, “Market share of mobile operating systems worldwide 2009-2023,”

    Android's market share

    While these platforms are leading the market, we will consider these vital mobile platforms in this article.

    While most mobile apps run on these platforms, key differences exist in the processes and outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to understand how they differ.

    iOS is a closed system, and Android is open. This means the latter offers more customization capabilities. Also, both have voice assistants and use different app stores.

    Other differences are as follows:

    Apple devices have standard screen sizes, while Android devices have many screen sizes. Hence, developers must enhance the interface design and case-by-case programming. This ensures solid compatibility and functionality.

    • Android apps take longer to develop due to many Android OS versions. Different devices get security updates at different times.
    • iOS and Android apps have diverse user demographics.

    A 2023 Apple App Store and Google Play Store Statistics by Business of Apps state that in 2022-

    Apple App Store and Google Play Store Statistics

    Irrespective of the differences and statistics, always consider the target audience when developing a native app.

    What are the Advantages of Native Mobile App Development?

    1. Robust Performance

    Native apps are developed for a specific platform. It enables developers to optimize for the chosen platform by using the platform’s programming language and APIs.

    The reason for native apps’ rapid responsiveness is that all the visual and content elements are downloaded and stored on the device. So, when a user explores the native app, the elements load quickly, reducing the load speed.

    2. Better Store Support

    Native apps adhere to platform-specific guidelines, making publishing them in the app store easy. Compliance with guidelines helps rank the app on the app store. This way, these apps receive better store support and deliver consistent performance.

    3. Best UI and UX

    While every platform has its guidelines, a consistent UI and superior UX are other great benefits offered by native apps. This makes the app consistent with the operating system, making the learning curve for using a native app very low.

    Moreover, users can easily understand the app layout, interact intuitively, and navigate the app seamlessly.

    4. Better Device Features 

    Native apps can access all the tools and features of a device- GPS and camera- without intermediary plugins. This facilitates faster execution of the apps, allowing developers to offer more creative solutions.

    5. More Security

    Unlike cross-platform app development, native is more secure. This is because they do not rely on different browsers or development platforms. It makes them less vulnerable to threats. Moreover, the platform-specific programming language offers increased data protection.

    6. Easy Testing and Fewer Bugs

    The availability of inbuilt testing tools makes native app testing easy and efficient. It helps troubleshoot and detect errors quickly, simplifying testing apps processes.

    Hybrid app development relies on mobile app development frameworks. This increases the chances of bugs during development. In native apps, limited dependencies decrease the chances of bugs during development.

    7. Updates 

    Native apps can access the latest platform-specific updates quickly. Hence, users can access new features with every update, improving the overall user experience.

    What are the Challenges of Native App Development?

    1. Excessive Development Costs

    Developers have to build separate apps for each of the platforms. Hence, firms must hire different development teams for each platform. At the same time, they must maintain the apps differently for every platform. All these factors require significant investments.

    2. Increased Development Time

    Native apps do not use a single codebase for multiple platforms. Developers must write the codes separately for each of those platforms. This results in increased development time.

    3. Need Expertise and Skilled Developers

    While native apps offer a myriad of benefits, their development is complex. Simultaneously, the use of advanced programming languages makes it hard for companies to find a developer who is proficient in these languages.

    4. Lengthy Downloading Process

    To download the native app, the user has to find it in the store, comply with the terms, download, and install. Such a lengthy downloading process needs time and effort, resulting in user attrition.

    What are the Requirements to Build a Native Mobile App?

    1. Skilled Developers

    Companies need a team that can build a platform-specific native app. For example, to develop an iOS app, firms need developers skilled in Swift, while for Android, they will need Kotlin professionals.

    2. Environment

    With qualified developers, firms must now choose the right environment for development. The choices depend on the device selected to release the app on. For the iOS release, developers need to develop using a device with the MacOS software. For releasing it on Android, they can use Mac, PC, or Linux devices for development.

    3. Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

    An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software to build apps by combining common developer tools into a single GUI

    For iOS, developers can use-

    • XCode

    Xcode is integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks. It is a productive environment for building apps for Apple devices.

    Also Read: Introducing: Top 5 Ninjas of Mobile App Development Tools 2023

    • AppCode

    AppCode, an environment used for Swift, Objective-C, C, and C++, is built on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA platform.

    For Android, developers can use-

    • Android Studio

    It is an official IDE for Google’s Android operating system built on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA software.

    4. Device

    During app testing, developers must consider-

    • operating system
    • its current version
    • hardware and the screen dimensions

    Tech advancements mean several devices to consider when developing a native mobile application. Therefore, deciding a specific device to release the app will help tailor the application for each device.