What is a Native App? A Beginner's Guide (Definition + Examples)

 | by 
Mahek Tandon
Mahek Tandon
min read

Discover how a native app plays a pivotal role in fostering engagement and connectivity within your community. Whether you're creating a space for discussion or collaboration, this guide provides insights into the importance of using native apps as a community platform.

What is a Native App? A Beginner's Guide (Definition + Examples)
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Have you ever wondered about the seamless performance of your favorite mobile apps and wondered what makes them tick? 

Well, you're not alone! 

In this beginner's guide, we will demystify the term, lay out a clear definition, and help you make an informed decision about whether you need a native app.  

What is a Native App?

A native app is like a software program that's custom-made for a particular type of device or operating system. It's kind of like a tailor-made suit for your phone or tablet. These apps are built to work really well on specific platforms, like iOS for Apple devices or Android for Android devices.

The cool thing about native apps is that they're super fast and efficient because they're designed to make the most of your device's abilities. They can use all the fancy features your phone or tablet has, like the camera, GPS, and motion sensors, which makes them pretty powerful.

Pros of Using a Native Mobile App:

  • Native apps are optimized for a specific platform, which often results in superior performance compared to web or hybrid apps. They can provide smoother, faster, and more responsive user experiences.
  • Native apps have full access to the device's hardware and software capabilities. This allows you to utilize features like cameras, GPS, sensors, and push notifications to create rich and engaging experiences.
  • Native apps can often function partially or fully without an internet connection, ensuring users can access content and features even in areas with poor connectivity.
  • Native apps are distributed through official app stores (e.g., Apple App Store, Google Play Store), providing exposure to a large user base and potentially increasing discoverability.
  • Native apps can adhere to platform-specific design guidelines, offering a familiar and intuitive user interface that enhances user satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Cons of Using a Native Mobile App:

  • Developing native apps for multiple platforms (e.g., iOS and Android) can be costlier than other approaches due to the need for separate codebases and maintenance.
  • Building native apps can take longer because each platform requires its own development effort. This may delay your app's time-to-market.
  • Submitting an app to app stores involves an approval process, which can lead to delays or rejections if your app doesn't meet their guidelines.

Whether a native mobile app is the right choice for your brand depends on your specific goals, target audience, and available resources. Weighing these pros and cons can help you make an informed decision.

Difference between Native App, Web App, and Hybrid App

When it comes to mobile app development, you have several options to consider, including native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s explore the key differences between these three types of apps: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of which approach may best suit your specific needs and objectives.

Does your brand need a native mobile app?

Here are a few important points to consider when deciding if your brand needs a native mobile app:

  • Clear Goals: Define your business objectives for the app.
  • Audience Analysis: Understand if your target audience prefers mobile apps.
  • Competitor Research: Analyze what competitors are doing with apps.
  • Unique Value: Determine what unique value your app provides.
  • User Experience: Consider the app's user experience compared to your website.
  • Feature Complexity: Assess if your app needs device-specific features.
  • Offline Access: Decide if your content requires offline availability.
  • Budget and Resources: Ensure you have the financial and personnel resources.

Why Choose a Whitelabel Native App for Building Your Brand’s Community?

When it comes to building a brand's community, native white-label apps get an edge over web and hybrid apps. Here’s how:

Brand Consistency: Native apps can adhere to the design and branding guidelines of the platform, ensuring a consistent and familiar look and feel. This consistency can reinforce brand identity and create a seamless experience for users.

Performance and User Experience: Native apps provide a smoother and more responsive user experience. They can offer engaging and interactive features that enhance community engagement. Users tend to prefer apps that feel native to their device, which can contribute to a stronger brand association.

Access to Device Features: Native apps can fully leverage device features such as push notifications, geolocation, and camera functionality. This allows brands to create unique and personalized experiences for their community members, enhancing engagement and interactivity.

Offline Functionality: Building a strong community often involves keeping users engaged even when they are offline or in low-connectivity areas. Native apps can offer offline functionality, enabling users to access content, interact with the community, and receive updates even without an internet connection.

App Store Presence: Native apps are available on popular app stores, making it easier for users to discover and download them. Being featured on app stores can help brands reach a wider audience and gain visibility.

How Scenes can help you build a Native App for your community?

While native app development may require more resources upfront compared to web or hybrid apps, the benefits in terms of user engagement, branding, and community building can make them a compelling choice for brands and creators aiming to create a strong and loyal community of users. 

White-label community solutions like Scenes can help by offering a more budget-friendly option. You pay for the platform's usage and customization, avoiding those hefty upfront development expenses. Scenes is a community platform designed to help brands manage, monetize, engage, and build communities across web, iOS, and Android platforms. Here's why Scenes can be a valuable platform for your brand's community app:

Multi-Platform Compatibility: Scenes offers support for web, iOS, and Android, ensuring that your community app can reach a wide audience across different devices and operating systems.

Feature-Rich: Scenes provides a comprehensive set of features for community management, including discussion boards, user profiles, direct messaging, and more. This makes it easy for your community members to engage with your brand and with each other.

Monetization Tools: Scenes offers monetization features like Community Shop allowing you to generate revenue from your community if desired.

Customization: You can brand and customize Scenes to match your brand's look and feel, creating a cohesive experience for your community members.

Scalability: Scenes can accommodate both small and large communities, making it suitable for brands of all sizes.

Engagement Features: Scenes include tools to enhance user engagement, such as notifications, badges, and gamification elements.

Community Building: Scenes focus on community building, making it easier for your brand to foster a sense of belonging and connection among community members.

Overall, Scenes offers a user-friendly and customizable platform that can help you efficiently build and manage your brand's community on multiple platforms. Whether you're looking to engage with your audience, monetize your community, or simply provide a space for your customers to connect, Scenes can be a powerful tool to achieve your community-building goals.

Excited to create your own whitelabeled native app? Why not schedule a call with us today to learn more? 🚀

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