A Simple Guide To Native Mobile Technologies

Our Friday hangout with our tech colleagues spiked meaningful topics of conversation, this time our curiosity was in the quest to understand what’s the best way to build a mobile App. An obvious question right? According to Statista, there were 178 billion app downloads in 2017, approximately 205 billion this year and a projected 258 billion by 2022 a whopping 45 percent increase in a span of five years. Numbers don’t lie, hence our quest to understand the magic behind the scenes of app development. Our genius technical colleagues shared the four top ways currently in the market, React Native, Native Script, Xamarin, and Ionic. These four technologies are the Hybrid way of developing apps due to their speed and ‘’that native feel’’ they give to the user. Our tech team further gave us more insights into the native technology and why the ‘’native feel’’ is an important aspect of the app development process. 

Indisputably Android and iOS are the OS giants. Android takes up 75.39 percent, iOS has 22.35 percent followed by KaiOS, Windows, and Samsung each with less than one percent of the operating system market share. In this post we will focus on the front runners, if you read our previous post on ‘’Hybrid technologies’’(link here), you would have a deeper insight on this topic. So, what distinguishes Hybrid from Native apps?  For starters, Hybrid apps use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript web applications but code ‘‘wrapped’’ to show UI’s like buttons or menus. Hybrids cannot communicate with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), thus developers create custom APIs imitating these native UI elements this how the Hybrid function comes about. 

Native apps are based on native languages, like Java and C++, these apps use native APIs exclusively built for Android and iOS. This results in a different look and feel for Android and iOS apps despite the functional similarities. It’s easy to spot differences like minimalistic UI and design in Android and iOS’s UX simplicity and functionality, for instance ‘‘send’’ function is an arrow-like icon while it’s a simple ‘‘send’’ text, similarly ‘‘back/cancel’’ buttons. What other differences have you spotted in Android and iOS smartphone functions?

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