Posts tagged "native apps"

3 Main Types of Mobile Apps

On the surface, creating a mobile app seems easy. However, it’s comprised of many different elements, tools, and software that make it function smoothly at all times. There are 3 main types of mobile apps. Each has its own benefits and weaknesses, as well as how well they work with various development projects.

The 3 Types

  1. Native apps
  2. Web apps
  3. Hybrid apps

Native Apps

Native apps are considered the more traditional approach to app development. They’re designed for individual Operating Systems (OSs) and must be essentially rebuilt to run on other platforms. The programming languages native apps are coded with include: C++, React, Java, Kotlin, Swift, and Python. Since they are created for singular platforms, this allows them to have faster performance speeds. Additionally, they have direct access to all the features of the apps, such as Bluetooth and phone contacts.

The biggest downside to native apps is having to recreate the app for each platform it’s developed on. Reusable code isn’t generally an option across platforms with native apps. This will also slow down development and increase the cost of the entire development project. Another downside is the maintenance and need for updates of each of the platforms as the app grows.

Web Apps

Web apps don’t require software installation onto the computer developing the app like native apps do. Instead, they are accessed through a web browser, which is where actual development takes place. Less memory and storage space is used up on the computer as well—a bonus for web app developers. This decreases development costs because it reduces a substantial amount of effort and time native app developers would have to spend rewriting code for different platforms. A subdivision of web apps is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which are similar to a native app functioning within a web browser. Programming languages such as JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, HTML, and CSS are used to build web apps.

The most significant disadvantage to web apps is that they are entirely dependent on the web browser being used to make the app. Some features or functions may not transfer properly across different platforms. This could disrupt or disappoint users if they have a poor experience. Since the web browser plays such a large role—and no software is downloaded—developers can’t use it offline, meaning power outages, poor service, and more could happen unexpectedly.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are the middle-man. They have functionalities of native and web apps. Essentially, they appear to be native apps in every sense, but they are actually more advanced web apps. They’re built using Objective C, Swift, HTML, and other similar programming languages. Economically and in terms of development speed, hybrid apps are superior. The loading speed is much faster, which helps even in places of poor internet connection, and they only need one code. Although they do seem like a better option, hybrid apps rely on native APIs and various web technologies for app development.

Final Thoughts

Each app type works slightly better for different projects depending on the use for the app, expected growth of the app, development time and cost, and the developer(s) skillset. Analyze those elements to properly determine which type of app is the right fit.

React Native vs Native App Development

React Native is a popular open-source development JavaScript framework that helps to develop near-native mobile apps. It is created by Facebook and can be used for Android, iOS, and web apps. 

Although being relatively new, React Native has been gaining a lot of popularity because of the advantages it offers – optimal performance, cross-platform development, UI design, 3rd party plugins, and vibrant community being some of these. 

But can you build a native app with React Native? And what are the similarities between using React Native and native mobile development? 

Read on to find out how native is React Native compared to native Android and iOS development. 

Similarities between React Native and native Android development

For the development of a native Android app, you need to use Java or Kotlin programming languages, and Android Studio – the IDE for native Android development. 

Some of the similarities React Native has, including building blocks, similar UI, and almost the same speed and responsiveness as a native app.

Similarities between React Native and native iOS development

For the development of a native iOS app, you need to use programming languages like Objective-C or Swift, and use Xcode – the IDE for native iOS apps. 

React Native is quite similar to native iOS development – it uses the preferred UI toolkit, the tools for even dispatch, and can deliver similar responsiveness and speed as a native app.

Differences between React Native and native development

React Native might be very similar to native app development but there are several differences, for example:

  • React Native can access native APIs, but not as much as native development
  • The UI of native apps provides a more natural feel and look than React Native apps
  • React Native is based on dynamically-typed JavaScript, which means that the chance of making coding errors is higher 
  • Since React Native uses JavaScript, any bugs can lead to security vulnerabilities
  • The native development programing languages work better with the native operating systems and provide better speed
  • Native development can better handle complex modern technologies like VR, AR, and IoT 
  • Native apps interact better with other native apps 
  • App stores prefer native apps rather than React Native apps 

React Native or native development – which one to use? 

Knowing the main similarities and differences between React Native and native app development, you are probably wondering which one to choose. 

Use native app development if you need to provide: 

  • Great UI and speed
  • More security and strict privacy regulations 
  • Frequent interaction with native apps 
  • Complex features that use specific hardware for the device
  • Features that involve modern tech like VR, AR, IoT 
  • Frequent updates

Use React Native when you need to:

  • Quickly launch an app on both iOS and Android 
  • Find developers easier
  • Launch an app that does not require heavy security or process sensitive information
  • Provide medium complexity  
  • Stay within your budget 

In conclusion, React Native will provide cost and speed advantages but there are features that it can not provide. It is a popular choice for cross-platform mobile development but consider its limitations and whether using React Native or native app development will benefit your project more and fit within your requirements.