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11 Pros and Cons of Native Apps

If you’re thinking about developing an app that you can call your own, then you’ve got some choices available to you today. There are web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps that are all possibilities. It is the native app, however, that often comes to mind when anyone starts the development process. Is this type of app right for you? Here are the pros and cons of native apps to consider.

What Are the Pros of Native Apps?

1. They have a superior level of performance.
Games and other interactive choose the native approach because they require low latency levels. This allows even the most processor-intensive apps to be able to be successfully used on a regular basis.

2. They give users full functionality.
Since a native app works on the operating system of the device, it is able to make full use of the capabilities that are available to it. Whether it’s an address book, GPS functions, or even push notifications, the native app can become something that integrates cleanly into the user’s daily routines.

3. They integrate easily.
Native apps immediately become part of the system interface for the user. This makes the app feel like it is part of the device experience, even if it is the user who decided to download it from the app marketplace in the first place.

4. They are easy to distribute.
Users know where to go when they want to download an app. Many device manufacturers also partner with native app developers to include specific apps for the initial boot-up of the device. This means monetization and distribution goals are easy to accomplish because the barriers to access have been dramatically reduced.

5. They offer user security and safety.
Native apps generally need to be approved by the app store where they will be downloaded before they can be offered to users. This means they are generally tested thoroughly before being offered.

What Are the Cons of Native Apps?

1. People have “app fatigue.”
On any given day, there are about 3 million apps in the various app stores that are competing for user attention. Since the average person only interacts with about two dozen apps per month, a new native app must have more value than what a user is already experiencing in order to be included with their personal usage profile. If that value isn’t discovered, then the app is going to be discarded.

2. Native apps have additional costs that aren’t always considered.
In order for an app store to facilitate a sale, there will be a commission fee charged per sale on every download. In some instances, that commission has been as high as 30%. That means a $1 download profits the app developer $0.70. Any in-app purchases also typically have a commission that must be paid as well.

3. You need talent to develop native apps.
It is a significant time commitment to develop a native app. You’ll need to create cross-platform support, have different programming languages incorporated, and face other challenges. To do this, you need to bring in the talent that can get the job done and that’s usually not going to come cheap.

4. Integrating content into native apps is also time consuming.
If you don’t build out your API interface, then you’re going to have plenty of work to do in order to develop your app. Many find that this is actually more difficult to do than actually building the actual app.

5. The cost of maintaining a native app tends to be higher.
Apps need to be updated in order to work with operating system and hardware updates. The cost of doing this can be considerable, especially for native apps that work on multiple platforms. This also means that there may be multiple versions of the app being used since not everyone will update the app, which creates its own set of unique challenges.

6. There is no guarantee than an app will become popular.
Native apps must take a gamble on their popularity. Testing and polls can determine market interest at a certain level, but there is a difference between being interested in an app and actually purchasing or downloading it.

The pros and cons of native apps show that it can be a beneficial and profitable experience if the negatives are properly countered. Consider these key points and you’ll be able to make a better informed decision about whether or not developing a native app is right for your needs.

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