Today, only 10% of free iOS apps and 25% of Android apps are non-native. Although native development has been around for longer, it's likely that native development will stay predominant due to the inherent advantages they offer.
Native apps are fast
Native mobile apps are created and optimised for a specific platform using technologies designed specifically for that platform. This makes the apps faster and more responsive compared to the cross-platform alternatives. Native apps leverage programming languages and APIs designed for the platform, enabling frictionless communication between the application and the operating system. While everybody can agree that a slow app is a dealbreaker, this is, in truth, a matter of seconds. As such, for every second delay in a mobile page load, Google estimates that conversions fall by up to 20%, making speed performance imperative to not only your users, but also your business.
Direct access to system framework
As native apps communicate directly with the operating system’s core frameworks with no cross-platform bindings in between, we can leverage any technology offered by the platform vendor directly from our codebases. When the platform is updated to offer users new technologies, we are ready to take advantage of those from day one. Furthermore, native development is often associated with fewer bugs and a more stable performance as they need fewer integrations, thereby reducing the risk of faulty code.
As a general trend, native apps are often considered more secure than cross-platform apps. One of the reasons for this is that native code interacts directly with the platform’s security frameworks with no cross-platform framework posing as the middle-man, and as such, eliminating an otherwise attractive attack vector.
Better use of hardware
Native apps can directly access the device’s hardware such as microphone, camera, GPS etc., and are not reliant on a third-party support tool to facilitate access. This results in faster execution and a more efficient use of the device’s hardware. As such, app developers are able to offer a wide range of functionality by seamlessly leveraging the phone’s capabilities. For the user, this translates to a richer and more natural user experience, as all of the device’s features can be accessed without friction.