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How to define your dream mobile app strategy

bcaufield's picture

I was going to write an blog post about the process of defining and developing a mobile app but in researching this article, I found this series that does a great job of laying out all the current issues:

In general, this series is a comparison of the mobile apps with the mobile web development & its functionality. I liked the Pros & Cons of each approach and the comparison between the Apps and the Web technologies.

Use the native tools provided for developing apps on each platform.
Pros: Provide full access to all the native features
Cons: Require each platform to be developed completely separately.

Cross-platform Framework/Tools:
Several different vendors provide frameworks and/or tools that work across multiple platforms, but still give access to the native features.
Pros: Provides access to most native features, without needing to rewrite the app for multiple platforms.
Cons: Requires you to learn and commit to a framework. Lock-in to the vendor can be concerning. You may have to work to a “least common denominator” approach rather than using the best features available on each platform.

So-called “Hybrid” apps are built with the same technologies that are used to develop Web apps – namely, HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS – plus some extensions for accessing device features such as camera and GPS These HTML5 or hybrid apps are then packaged up in a native app “wrapper” that makes them indistinguishable from native apps.
Pros: Build everything just once, and run on multiple devices. The skills needed are already well established in the market. Also allows you to share code and skills across your Web apps and mobile apps.
Cons: There are some limitations in access to native features, performance, and “non-HTML” type capabilities. (You probably wouldn’t try to build a new camera widget as a hybrid app.)

Use a mobile app for commonly used functions, and then link to additional capabilities on your mobile website that provide less commonly used functions.
Pros: Provides a good balance of mobile app and mobile Web capabilities.
Cons: May not provide the most optimal user experience due to “switching” from app to browser.

At Folksware Technologies, we are experienced building all types of mobile apps; contact one our relationship managers to find out which approach is right for your next mobile project.