Share

Native Versus Mobile App Development

Posted by Tara Weber on December 22, 2012

A native app is designed directly on the mobile phone. Native apps must be configured to each phone, and they are often present on the phone at the time of purchase or at least available for download from the App Store. Native apps do not work across the board, so each app must be designed with the operating system in mind. Also, since native apps are built for certain devices and specific operating systems, the data will also be stored onto the device so it can be accessed on or offline. Native apps also have the ability to use hardware and software specific to each device. This means that native apps can use GPS if it's available on the devices and cameras as well.

Mobile cloud apps work almost the same way as Web apps developed for computers. Mobile cloud apps are not clickable from the phone itself, so they must be accessed through external servers. When you open a mobile cloud app, a browser will open to run the app. Mobile cloud apps are not available for download, as they're used from the browser. Unlike native apps, mobile cloud apps require Internet connectivity to run. Some app developers offer their apps in both native and mobile clouds forms. Mobile cloud apps can also be native apps.

Significant Differences Between the Two

  • The app environment differs for mobile cloud apps and runs on a browser, whereas native apps run on the mobile device.
  • Mobile cloud apps are insulated, and native apps are native.
  • Native apps are enabled to send notifications.
  • Mobile cloud apps need the Internet to run, and they only run as fast as the mobile browser will allow.
  • Native apps are programed using the mobile device's programming language, which will differ between Android, IOS and Windows Mobile phones.
  • Mobile cloud apps are not tied down to programming languages since they are browser operated.
  • Mobile cloud apps are mainly developed in CSS3, JavaScript and HTML 5.

Factors to Consider Before Making a Final Decision

Both mobile cloud apps and native apps have their advantages. However, these advantages may not be enough to actually help you make a decision. Before deciding whetherto use a native app or a mobile cloud app, there are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do you plan to use your app across multiple mobile device platforms?
  • Are you designing a mobile app to be part of the BYOD strategy?
  • Does your app require hardware or software features?
  • Is it important that your app integrate with data on the rest of the phone?

By far, security is the biggest challenge to mobile app developers. This is because security is the biggest challenge to mobile devices. Native apps with access to private business data can be opened and the data can be stolen. For businesses, a mobile cloud app is often used to minimize this risk. Businesses that require access from different departments or from many different employees might also benefit from using mobile cloud apps. If your app only needs to be accessed by a few people, a native app might be a good choice.