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Discussion on: What does the word native mean in software development

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Fraser McTaggart

A native app is an application developed specifically for that platform, for example an app installed from the Play Store, or an app from App store.

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Chakib Baiker

Not necessarily. An android app could be developed using react native, and despite what its name suggests, it's not a native app. (It's usually called hybrid because it shares the same code for multiple platforms).
A native android app is built using the stack and tools offered by google (java, android sdk). It runs natively on android without the need for virtualization or interpretation of some sorts.
Same for iOS apps, the native ones are developed using swift which is built and maintained by apple.

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Fraser McTaggart

That's why I said specifically for that platform. :)
But your examples are much clearer, thanks for clarifying.