What is native app? Definition, Tips and Best example – Updated 2023

Currently, the diversity of operating systems on computers and smartphones has led to an astounding increase in mobile applications. One of the app types that has gained huge popularity among users is the Native app. So, what is Native App? This article will give you a thorough understanding of its definition, benefits, cost to develop, and the frameworks for creating a high-performance one. Now, let’s get started with the native application definition.

Native App Definition

The question for ‘What is native appt?’ would be raised regularly by amateurs who have just started to operate a mobile application. Application means the application that lives on the users’ devices and they can access it through the home screen. Typically, native apps are acquired through the App Store or Google Play. One of the significant differences between native app vs web app is the programming languages. While web apps are written primarily in Javascript, native apps use different languages depending on which platform they are built on. For example, Java is used for native Android apps,  Swift or Objective-C for native iOS apps, and C# for most Windows Phone apps. 

Native App Definition
What Is Native App?

Once installed on the devices, they can gain access to all the device features such as camera, GPS, accelerometer, compass, contacts list, and so on. Additionally, native apps have other capabilities like being able to incorporate gestures (either standard operating-system gestures or new, app-defined gestures), use the device’s notification system, and work offline.

Difference between a native mobile app and a hybrid app

Native and hybrid applications are the two types of mobile apps. Despite their similarities in appearance and design, the underlying technologies are quite different. As the name implies, Hybrid applications combine online apps with native mobile apps. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are all web technologies that can be used to create them. You can also distribute them through app stores, where consumers can download them as native Android or iOS apps.

The major distinction between hybrid and native applications is that hybrid apps are built across all platforms, while native apps are developed for specific operating systems. As contrast to having a unique app for each smartphone operating system, an app that is uniform across all platforms and functions identically well on each one.

As we mentioned above, the benefits of hybrid apps include mobility and ease of creation. You only need to write the code once, and your hybrid software will work across many operating systems. In order to develop cross-platform apps, you can choose hybrid frameworks such as Ionic or Cordova. In contrast, native mobile apps should be built in platform-specific languages like Java, Swift, or Objective-C.

Furthermore, native mobile apps can access smartphone built-in functions such as the camera and microphone. For a hybrid app, you’ll need to rely on plugins such as Cordova plugins to take advantage of the native capabilities of the device.

What is native app advantage? 

Now that you’ve grasped the answer of ‘’What is native app’’, let us walk you through the next important part, how native apps are beneficial to the developers and users. Here are 9 Key native app advantages you may want to have a look at.


Unlike hybrid apps, which rely just on the security of the system browser, cross-platform and native apps are highly protected against misuse thanks to different layers of the operating system. Additionally, instead of depending on a third-party system, each native app has its official APIs which are fully inspected across different system versions. Moreover, with lengthy launch cycles, developers can anticipate dependable, thoroughly examined, and more secure software. 


Compared to a hybrid app’s maintenance, the maintenance of a native app is a bit more complex because the latest version of the app should be launched. However, native app users can get information about the newest updates without any hassles. With the ability to update maximum content on installation, native apps don’t require continuous updates like hybrid apps.


As being written in languages specific to the ecosystem of the platform, native applications can operate quicker, thus ensuring a greater user experience. Instead of having to depend on native browsers like hybrid apps, native apps can access unique elements and APIS optimized for various devices which makes their operation efficient and seamless. 

Fewer Bugs 

Using a shared codebase for multiple platforms is a time-saving approach initially but in the long run, it’s harder to maintain than using a separate codebase for a specific platform. When being independent of a cross-platform tool like Cordova or Xamarin, native apps are likely to experience fewer bugs. Moreover, developers can access new SDK to start developing their native apps with the latest features, giving app users quick access to new platform features. 

Unified UI/UX 

With native apps, users can have the learning curve reduced and simplified as the entire broad UI will be standard. As for designers and developers, with unified UI/UX, it is also easier for them to apply the best standards and practices in comparison with hybrid apps.

Access to Complete Device Features 

Since each native app is developed for a specific platform, the app user can directly access the device hardware like microphone, camera, GPS, etc. Also, native apps have a big advantage of push notifications which go through the APNS (iOS server) that you require your app bundle ID and similar with GCM (Google’s Cloud Messaging). 


With the high compatibility with a single platform, native apps can be configured quickly which makes them easier to scale. However, in case you want to combine the advantages of both native and cross-platform solutions, you may need to start natively and then maximize a few smaller app modules with extra cross-platform code. This is a secure method deployed by a few tech giants on the market including Airbnb and Facebook. 

Offline Performance 

If you want your app to perform efficiently without an internet connection, native apps are ideal. That’s because all of the app’s content is downloaded right during the installation and operation. Besides, these apps encompass robust in-browser caching features to make all cached resources available in offline mode.

Build a Stronger Brand

The more value you provide to your clients, the more they will get interested in buying the product. Today, mobile devices have become a major part of our daily life, with a significant amount of usage time each day. Owners of apps can make use of this channel to promote their business.

You can get better results from your brand awareness if you include as many branding aspects (logos, color combinations, etc.) as possible in your app design.

Some Drawbacks of Native App

  • Separate development effort for each platform which increases the development time.
  • Because each platform code will have its own release cycle and upgrades, the development time and cost will increase.
  • Because of the diverse code bases, releasing the same feature on all platforms at the same time is always a challenge.
  • Each platform requires a different skill set to create and maintain the same application, which adds to the cost.

>> Read more: 8 Best Native App Builder Tools for Mobile application

How much does native app Mobile development cost?

After deeply understanding what is native app and how it affects your business, it’s important for a business to find the cost of developing a native app. The price to develop an app depends on a variety of aspects such as type (mobile game, business, social networking, lifestyle. etc.), platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.), design (basic, individual, custom), number of pages, features & infrastructure. On average, the expense to develop a native app revolves around  $100,000.

How much does native app Mobile development cost?

Undoubtedly, native apps will cost you more but they offer a better user experience, which is money-worth. Since these apps need more investment of effort and time to develop, they are recommended to be paid while hybrid apps are generally launched to be free. Ultimately, you can raise higher revenues from your amazing native app.

Native Mobile Development Tools

A native development tool is software which developers use to create applications for a single particular system family, platforms, or devices, like Android and iOS. Each native app for a specific mobile platform is written using its native programming language, specifically are: 

  • Objective-C or Swift for iOS.
  • Java or Kotlin for Android.
  • C# for Windows Phone.

As each platform has different guidelines in terms of typography, gestures, graphic styles, visual effects, data entry, and more, the developers should stick to those before starting on native app development.

Now, it’s time to find out the top list of native app development frameworks 


Starting Price: Free.

Native Mobile Development Tools: Xcode

Xcode is a software package (a set of interrelated programs that work together) used by programmers to write software for Mac OS X, iOS devices such as iPods, iPhones, iPads. The first version of XCode was released in 2003 and the current stable version 11.6 was released on August 4, 2020. XCode is released for free to Mac users to download through the App Store.

Demo Availability: Not Included.

Free Trial: Not included.

Android Studio

Starting Price: Free.

Native Mobile Development Tools: Android Studio
Android Studio

Android Studio is a Native app framework for Android devices built by Google. This framework encompasses a very useful implementation editor for Android developers. Android studio provides shortcuts for coding and designing and its layout designer makes it very easy to use, which reduces coding time. Android Studio also includes drag and drop features to design the layout of your projects.

Demo Availability: Not Included.

Free Trial: Not Included.


Starting Price: €8,90 per month.

Native Mobile Development Tools: AppCode

AppCode software is one of JetBrains’ standout IDE tools, for iOS and macOS development. Besides being able to work with Objective-C, Swift, and C / C ++ programming languages, it supports web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, XML, CSS, etc. AppCode provides a wide range of valuable integrations including CocoaPods (an application-level dependency manager) and built-in Reveal.

AppCode provides a range of benefits to developers (such as saving time on automating routine tasks, locating and fixing errors, taking advantage of intelligent support from the IDE, and increasing their overall productivity). Also, it is an equally valuable asset to your business.

Demo Availability: Not included.

Free Trial: 30-day free trial.

>> Read moreTop 7 best Native App Example that Merchants can learn from

How to create a native app in 2023?

To be honest, the answer to this question is very specific to your needs and requirements for your application:

  • If you need a prototype to show to consumers and get feedback from them, Choose the fastest option that includes the features you need. A PWA might be used for basic apps.
  • Only a native application can provide you access to hardware features (such as the camera, GPS, and compass), iOS features (such as push notifications, payments, and Healthkit), or high levels of performance (such as AR, VR, or video games).
  • If you want your app to be listed on the iOS App Store, you’ll need to pass strict and constantly changing App Store approval requirements.  It is easier to satisfy these requirements with a native application of excellent quality. As long as you adhere to the platform standards while building it cross-platform, ensuring any of the hybrid app development tools should work properly.
  • When it comes to highly competitive segments, a native app is the best solution to approach. The quality differences between cross-platform apps and native apps could be the difference between success and failure in these areas. 


Hopefully, you have gained some useful knowledge about ‘’ what is native app’’ after reading this post. Perhaps, picking the right type of app to develop among a variety of choices is a difficult task. But by analyzing the pros and cons of each type and sticking it to the company goals and needs, you will soon figure out the best option.

If you are considering a native application for your customers, Feel free to contact us now. We’ll help you map out every stage of your product design and development journey.

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