What is a native app?
A native app is a piece of software that is designed to run on a specific platform.
That platform could be a specific type of hardware, like your smartphone, or it could be a software environment, like your computer's operating system.
Native apps are usually created using the programming language and tools that are specific to the platform they're meant to run on.
For example, if you wanted to create a native app for iPhone, you would use Objective-C or Swift and Xcode, which is a set of development tools provided by Apple.
Similarly, if you wanted to create a native app for Android, you would use Java and Android Studio.
And if you wanted to create a native app for Windows, you would use C# and Visual Studio.
Types of Native Apps
There are two main types of native apps: those that are developed specifically for a single platform (known as "single-platform" or "monolithic" apps), and those that are developed using a cross-platform framework (known as "cross-platform" or "hybrid" apps).
1️⃣ Single-platform apps are written in the native programming language of the target platform, using the SDK and tools provided by that platform. They are designed to take full advantage of all the features and capabilities of the target device, which can make them faster and more reliable than web-based or cross-platform apps.
2️⃣ Cross-platform frameworks allow developers to write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms. This can save time and money compared to single-platform app development, because developers only have to learn one set of SDKs and tools. However, cross-platform apps may not be able to take full advantage of all the features and capabilities of each platform, which can make them slower and less reliable than single-platform apps.
Advantages of a native app
The main advantage of creating a native app is that it can take full advantage of the features and functionality that are available on the platform it's running on.
For example, because iOS and Android have different design guidelines, a native app that's been designed for one platform will usually look and feel quite different from an app that's been designed for the other platform.
This can be important for creating a good user experience.
Another advantage of native apps is that they can usually access all of the device's features and functionality, like the camera, microphone, GPS, and so on. This can be important for certain types of apps, like photography apps or navigation apps.
Disadvantages of a native app
The main disadvantage of creating a native app is that it can be quite time-consuming and expensive to create separate versions of the same app for different platforms.
It's also worth noting that not every platform has its own set of development tools—for example, there's no official way to create a native app for macOS.