Application Development

Mobile Application Development Options

It can be herculean and daunting task to take a decision as to what approach to follow when starting a new mobile project- Hybrid, Native or HTML5. Now before we ponder to such intimidating questions it is important to know the exact reasons as to why the world of mobile application development has scaled such enormous heights in such a short span of its existence. Basically the mobile device is the main force running behind the main popularity of apps. We are all fascinated by touch, pinch/spread, rotate, share– the most exhilarating features of Smartphones.

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There are many factors that play a part in your mobile development strategy, such as team’s development skills, required device functionality, the importance of security, offline capability, interoperability, etc., must be taken into account. In the end, it’s not just a question of what your app will do, but how you’ll get it there. Currently there are three most popular types of apps:

Native apps

Native app is an app which is specific to a given mobile platform (iOS or Android) using the development tools and languages that the respective platform supports (e.g., Xcode and Objective-C with iOS, Eclipse and Java with Android). Native apps always have upper edge on GUI and performance aspects compared to other alternatives.

HTML5 apps

This is a latest trend in app development which uses standard web technologies—HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. This write-once-run-anywhere approach to mobile development creates cross-platform mobile applications that work on multiple devices.

Hybrid apps

Under this technology it is possible to embed HTML5 apps inside a thin native container, combining the best elements of native and HTML5 apps. We shall try to understand the above stated methods in detail. Native Apps Native apps, written in a specific platform, can interact with and take advantage of operating system features and other appstypically installed on that platform. These type of apps have ability to use device-specific hardware and software, meaning that native apps can take advantage of the latest technology available on mobile devices such as a global positioning system (GPS) and camera. This can be construed as an advantage for native apps over Web apps or mobile cloud apps. The native apps are installed directly on a mobile device and developers create a separate app version for each mobile device. Thedata that is associated with the native app is stored on the device, although it can be stored remotely and accessed by the app. The internet connectivity may or may not be required for the app depending upon its nature.

Native App Pros:

  • Native access to the phone’s senses

  • Native access to the phone’s data

  • Offline storage

  • Richer GUI options

  • App Store monetization/In-App Purchases

Native App Cons:

  • Different Development Technologies

  • Different IDEs

  • Duplicate development efforts

  • Increased support costs

  • App Store approval queues

HTML 5 Apps

There has been a loud talk in the market about the HTML being infused into apps. Well an HTML5 mobile app is a web page, or series of web pages, that are designed to work on a tiny mobile screen.  One special thing about the HTML5 apps is that it can run on any device that supports any modern mobile browser. And because your content is on the web, it’s searchable, which can be a huge benefit depending on the app (shopping, for example). In past couple of months HTML5 has emerged as a popular option for building mobile apps. It supports multiple UI frame works which are helpful for solving some of the common complex problems that developers face. J-Query mobile, iScroll, CSS3 etc. are the foundation pillar of successful HTML5 apps.

Pros of HTML5

There has been a loud talk in the market about the HTML being infused into apps. Well an HTML5 mobile app is a web page, or series of web pages, that are designed to work on a tiny mobile screen.  One special thing about the HTML5 apps is that it can run on any device that supports any modern mobile browser. And because your content is on the web, it’s searchable, which can be a huge benefit depending on the app (shopping, for example).

  • Multi-platform

  • Update possible when the users are using the app

  • Greater Visibility and marketing potential

  • Perpetual Persistence

  • Distribution and support is much easier

Cons of HTML5

There has been a loud talk in the market about the HTML being infused into apps. Well an HTML5 mobile app is a web page, or series of web pages, that are designed to work on a tiny mobile screen.  One special thing about the HTML5 apps is that it can run on any device that supports any modern mobile browser. And because your content is on the web, it’s searchable, which can be a huge benefit depending on the app (shopping, for example).

  • Slow

  • Not so appealing user interfaces

  • One cannot build complex apps such as games

  • These apps only run on browser

Most applications could be considered hybrid apps. Web apps, such as online banking services, typically store some content locally; locally stored apps, such as Microsoft Word, also interface to the Internet.

Hybrid Apps

By definition, hybrid is anything derived from heterogeneous sources, or composed of elements of taken from different source. These apps are written with the same technology that is used for websites and mobile web implementations, and is hosted or runs inside a native container on a mobile device. It is the integration or diffusion of web technology and native execution. These applications are developed for a specific platform and installed on a computing device. Hybrid application features:

  • Integration with a device’s file system.

  • Integration with Web-based services.

  • An embedded browser to improve access to dynamic online content.

Hybrid App Pros:

  • Majority of content portable (developed on mobile web)

  • Disconnected state possible

  • Some screens can be developed natively

  • Notifications can be supported

  • App Store exposure

  • Decreased costs for multi-platform

Hybrid App Cons:

  • Decreased user experience for mobile web delivered content

  • Offline access not trivial for mobile web screens

  • Multi-platform wrapper requires native and mobile web technology know-how

What should I choose?

Like any other technology choice, deciding amongst native,hybrid and HTML5 requires you to look at the user experience and decide on the level of investment you need to make to achieve the goal. We, Techcronus, as an experienced mobile development team understand your needs and cater personalized solutions for app development on almost all major platforms using latest technologies like iOS, Android, Windows, PhoneGap etc. We, at TechCronus, offers onshore and offshore solutions for mobile and tablet software development. Our mobile application developers have hands on experience in developing mobile and tab apps which involves working on both easy and complex solutions. Apart from developing native solutions we work on unified and cross-platform applications as well. We also have dedicated development team for every mobile platform. For more details please write us at business@techcronus.com

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