Native Applications and how they work on Android and ios Platforms

Native Applications and how they work on Android and ios Platforms

What Is a "Native Mobile App"?

A native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective-C or Swift for iOS or Java for Android operating systems. Native mobile apps provide fast performance and a high degree of reliability. They also have access to a phone's various devices, such as its camera and address book. In addition, users can use some apps without an internet connection. The two main mobile OS platforms are Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Native apps are written in the code initially used for the device and its OS. For example, developers write iOS applications in Objective-C or Swift, while they create Android-native apps in Java.

Normally, mobile apps are divided into two categories: native and hybrid applications. So what makes a native application different from a hybrid one in terms of underlying technology? As the name implies, hybrid apps are a combination of web-based apps and native mobile apps, and they are built by HTML, CSS, or JavaScript codes.

Benefits of native applications

  • The highest performance, as native apps are created and optimized for a specific platform.
  • Interactive, high-performance user input/ output as users are allowed to match each app’s UI/UX to the selected platform conventions.
  • Get full support from Google Play or the App Store and the overall app marketplace.
  • Allow developers to access the full feature set of the specific operating system, such as GPS, cameras, microphones, and other hardware.
  • Have fewer bugs during development due to the one single code base feature.
  • Allows offline usage.

Drawbacks of native apps

  • Require a high level of expertise: developers need to be insightful to work with different codebases for every platform they choose to build in.
  • Cost more and take a longer time to be built.
  • Require frequent updates from the OS.

Native mobile development tools

A native development tool is a software framework that allows developers to create applications for a particular system. Xcode, Android Studio, and React Native are excellent native app development frameworks that are all worth a look. Xcode and Android Studio are both traditional native app builders. In detail, Xcode is created and developed by Apple, and programmers use this software package to write native apps for iOS. Meanwhile, Android Studio is a framework to serve the need for native app Android development. This tool sticks to the native SDK provided by Google.

What is React Native

React Native (also known as RN) is a popular JavaScript-based mobile app framework that allows you to build natively-rendered mobile apps for iOS and Android. The framework lets you create an application for various platforms by using the same codebase.

React Native was first released by Facebook as an open-source project in 2015. In just a couple of years, it became one of the top solutions used for mobile development. React Native development is used to power some of the world’s leading mobile apps, including Instagram, Facebook, and Skype. There are several reasons behind React Native’s global success.

Firstly, by using React Native, companies can create code once and use it to power both their iOS and Android apps. This translates to huge time and resource savings.

Secondly, React Native was built based on React – a JavaScript library, that was already hugely popular when the mobile framework was released. We discuss the differences between React and React Native in detail further in this section.

Thirdly, the framework empowered frontend developers, who could previously only work with web-based technologies, to create robust, production-ready apps for mobile platforms.

Interestingly, as with many revolutionary inventions, React Native was developed as a response to a big technological mistake.

How does React Native work?

Don’t worry if you’re not a technical person – we’re going to explain this in layman's terms.

As mentioned earlier, React Native is written with a mixture of JavaScript and JXL, a special markup language resembling XML. The framework has the ability to communicate with both realms – JavaScript-based threads and existing, native app threads.

How does this communication work? React Native uses a so-called "bridge." While JavaScript and Native threads are written in completely different languages, it’s the bridge feature that makes bidirectional communication possible.

This means that – if you already have a native iOS or Android app – you can still use its components or shift to React Native development.

What makes React Native unique?

The difference between React Native and other cross-platform development solutions (for example, Cordova and PhoneGap) is that React Native doesn’t render WebViews in its code. It runs on actual, native views and components. This is one of the reasons for React Native’s spectacular success.


Native development is a high-performing app because it is solely built for a particular OS, but its downside is that it is expensive to develop when compared to hybrid apps or cross-platform applications, but at the end of the day, it is worth it.