Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Choose Your Mobile Development Path

We know consumers spend more time on their apps than on the mobile web. This is borne out by the statistic that says users on an average spend 72 minutes per day on mobile web while they spend 94 minutes a day on apps. The question confronting you the user, is, both hold intrinsic value, but which is the right development path for you? Let us now compare the three mobile development paths, mobile web, hybrid native, and pure native on each attribute one by one.

1. Affordability and Availability of developers

For a mobile web browser, there are millions of web developers out there. As for hybrid native apps, it is easy for web developers to build them.

2. Distribution (App store)

Hybrid native apps can be distributed through app stores but updated independently. Pure native apps, on the other hand, are only updated through app stores.

3. Native device API access

This of course, wouldn’t apply to web browsers. For a native container, camera, location, services, etc. are rendered using JavaScript APIs. This also includes writing native plugins to extend to other capabilities. Pure native apps can access all the device functionality using the native programming language.

4. Cross-platform capability

This is where a browser-based app scores. It will always give you the greatest portability. Native apps save time and money. You write your code once and deploy it across platforms.

5. Monetization

Browser-based apps lose out here. Hybrid native apps, in addition to advertising, allow paid downloads and in-app purchasing. For pure native apps, in-app purchases have already outpaced paid downloads.

Now, let’s look at the advantages and downsides of each of these

Mobile Web

è Low development and complexity
è Search engine discoverable
è Leverages existing web tools and workflows
D  No access to device capabilities or app store distribution
D  No push messaging
Hybrid Native
è Low development cost and complexity
è Access to many device capabilities and app store distribution
è Leverage existing web tools and workflows, push messaging support
è Excellent for content-centric apps
D  No access to advanced APIs like OpenGL or multi-threading

Pure Native
è Complete access to device capabilities and app store distribution
è Create graphics-intensive apps like 3D games
è Push messaging support

D  Most time-consuming and expensive

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