How to Choose Right Mobile Development Platform BROWSER, HYBRID, OR NATIVE

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1 How to Choose Right Mobile Development Platform BROWSER, HYBRID, OR NATIVE Solutions

2 Introduction: Enterprises around the globe are mobilizing mission-critical services. Businesses get streamlined due to the mobility solutions. Enterprise mobility is proving to be the major trend across different verticals of the technological industry. Mobile apps continue to rock and compel the companies to think about their policies. Companies are facing many challenges to select the optimal development approach that can address the operational complexity of the enterprise. Gartner Predicts Mobility Market Share: Worldwide Devices Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units) Device Type PC (Desk-Based and Notebook) 341, , ,239 Ultramobile 9,787 20,301 39,824 Tablet 120, , ,178 Mobile Phone 1,746,177 1,821, ,188 Total ,348,497 2,506,429 Untangle Your Business Potential Source: Gartner (June 2013) The human resource department is also gearing to tackle the work related challenges and providing flexibility to work from anywhere. Undoubtedly, the workforce is on the move. Yet, most enterprises struggle to harness the complete potential of their employees, because of the many operational limitations. Leveraging the potential of mobility solutions, enterprises have started giving flexibility to employees working out of the office. By using their mobile devices employees equip themselves with cloud-enabled features to perform business tasks better. What should be the process of choosing a development approach for a mobile application? As an initiative, many companies are implementing a mobile strategy ahead and they are waiting for the outcome of that initiative. Those companies, who had already gone through this initiative have appreciated this initiative, and started the mobility solutions in their operations. The process of choosing a development approach for mobile application, namely native, browser or hybrid. These processes entail parameters such as financial planning, targeted audience, project timeframe, and app functionality. Before starting any mobile development project, the three important decisions should be made are:

3 What would be the right supported platform? What would be the best method to support those platforms? How will the app be developed in accordance with it? DEVELOPMENT DECISIONS Strategic decision-makers for successful apps should weigh the importance of the following: User experience Overall Performance Monetization Cross platform deployment costs Fragmentation Programming expertise availability Immediate updates and distribution control Timeliness of new OS innovations Security Deployment Nutshell: Answering these fundamental questions will have the biggest impact on your mobile-development project cost. When you have decided to implement mobility solutions into your enterprise then you have to take a decision on multiple mobile platforms or only a single mobile platform. Firstly, the developers should know all the pros and cons of the Mobile Development Process and then compare it. Based on the research, they can make a strategic decision.

4 BROWSER, HYBRID, OR NATIVE Native Advanced UI Interactions Fastest Performance App store distribution Full capability Hybrid Web developer skills Access to native platform app store distribution Single platform Multiple Platforms Partial Platform HTML5 Web developer skills instant updates unrestricted distribution There are three key development techniques that can be used to build mobile apps: Browser (Mobile Web Apps, HTML5 Apps) Native Hybrid Dig More on Mobile Application Development Options Native Apps Single platform affinity Written with platform SDKs Must be written for each platform Access to all native APIs Faster graphics performance App Store distribution Hybrid Apps Cross-platform affinity Written with Web Technologies (css and javascript) Runs locally on the divice, support offline Access to native APIs App Store distribution Access To Device Capabilities Mobile Web Apps Cross-platform affinity Written with web technologies css, java Script, or Server-side ASP.NET,etc Runs on web server,viewable on multiple devices Centralized Updates Platform Affinity

5 Your mobile strategy comprises of many things such as team building, outstanding skills, required device functionality, security concerns, interoperability, and offline access. The nutshell is that what should be your enterprise requirements and how will you get these strategically. You can choose mobile application development from these three options Native, HTML5 or the Hybrid. Select the best out of these options based on advantages and disadvantages. Browser (Mobile Web Apps, HTML5 Apps) This mobile application development technique is commonly referred as Browser Apps (or sometimes Mobile Web Apps or HTML5 Apps ). After the initial download, Browser App is built in such a way that it does not necessarily require an active internet connection to be operational. It leverages the power of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to create and deliver apps via modern default browsers used by major mobile phone and PDA vendors (Android, BlackBerry, Blazer, Chrome, Dolphin, Firefox for mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile, Kindle Basic Web, Myriad Browser, Nokia Series 40 Browser, Opera Mobile, Safari, WebOS, and Skyfire Mobile Browser). Enabled with HTML and JavaScript framework, Browser apps are made to look and behave like Native apps. If any developer wants to build apps that can reach multiple mobile platforms, then the Browser app is the right choice. The Browser apps technique does not require any special packaging for it. Only a mobile device with a capable mobile browser can load and deploy it. It can easily be customized and its user interface (UI) is common for all devices that fit on all screens. PROS Simple, browser-based deployment Compatible with JavaScript, HTML, CSS Easy to deploy and customize Focused approach, less clutter Built on industry standards, no platform lock-in Available on any device with a capable browser

6 CONS Limited scope as far as accessing a mobile device feature is concerned. Multiple mobile browsers support: Raises the costs of developing and maintaining Cannot be distributed via mobile app stores App developer must monetize app independently Not systematically listed: Users may sometimes find it difficult to discover a Web app No quality control system: Users may not always be guaranteed about safety and security of the app Benefits for Organization: Companies seeking cost-effective, flexible, and quick cross-platform mobile apps development and deployment Native This technique is best for those companies that want to avoid the app store tax or app store rules Native app development is a technique that provides the best usability, the best features, and the best overall mobile experience. Native apps are developed for a specific platform, so that they can take advantage of operating system features and installed software. It can be installed directly on a mobile device and the developers can build a separate app version for each mobile device such as a global positioning system (GPS) and a camera. This is an advantage for native app over mobile Cloud apps or Web apps. Moreover, both the Browser and Hybrid apps are fully functional and can run natively on devices. Native app describes native SDK apps. Browser and Hybrid apps can also be operated on native mobile runtimes not on plug-ins. Crosscompiling tools allow apps to be written in one language and then compiled to native app. When you start debugging the code, please keep in mind that there may be an abstraction while runtime due to cross compiling layer source code. PROS Featured with Multi touch: Double taps, pinch-spread, and other compound UI gestures Design: Fewest limits on app design and behavior (only limited by platform, device)

7 Fast graphics API: The native platform gives you the fastest graphics. Fluid animation: Provides a fast graphics API used in developing gaming solutions. Inbuilt components: The components like camera, address book, geolocation, and other features were already integrated into the Usability: People are more accustomed to the native platform and need apps that are simple and reliable to use. CONS Costly, and least flexible technique for cross-platform development Several languages and tools are required for each platform Lack of necessary skills for each platform (Developer s availability is less) Less development reuse between platforms Benefits for Organization: Native apps can be used effectively, where the organization is committed to a single platform: Entertainment apps Suits for gaming industry with interactive GUI Apps, which need unique, richly animated interfaces A millisecond or frame rate optimized apps

8 Hybrid NATIVE + BROWSER = HYBRID With the power of Native app and Web app, Hybrid app can do wonders. Furthermore, mobile apps are developed with the combination of convenience of web technology like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS in a packaged for a Native app environment. Hybrid apps are built for the targeted platform and can easily be installed on a device. The code might be same but a separate configuration is required for each supported platform. Cloud based tools help offset this challenge by managing hybrid app development, and its deployment on different platforms. PROS Common code base for cross-platform apps Access to several device APIs and sensors Familiar development languages (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) Easy availability of application developers with necessary skills Easy to install, deploy and monetized on the app store.

9 CONS Bound by app store rules, less freedom than Browser Separate configuration and build necessary for each target platform Packaging, debugging, and deployment are more challenging in comparison to Browser. Benefits for Organization: It is beneficial for those enterprises that are building cross-platform apps with browser capability without worrying about its associated deployment and device limits Apps that are looking to be deployed on mobile app stores Nutshell of Entire Story: A comprehensive view comparing the mobile application development process: Native Hybrid Browser (HTML5) Skills / tools needed for cross-platform apps Objective-C Java C C++ C# VB.net HTML CSS JavaScript Mobile e development framework (like PhoneGap) HTML CSS JavaScript Distribution App Store/Market App Store/Market Internet Development speed Slow Moderate Fast Number of Applications needed to reach major smartphone platforms Ongoing Application Maintenance Difficult Moderate Low Device Access Full access: (Camera, microphone, GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer,file upload. etc.) Full access:(camera, microphone, GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, file upload. etc.) Partial access: (GPS, gyroscope,accelerometer, file upload.) Offline Access Yes Yes Yes Advantages Lets you create an apps with rich user interfaces and/or heavy graphics. Combines the development speed of mobile web apps with the device access and app store distribution of native apps. Offers fast development. simple maintenance, and full application portability. One mobile web app works on any platform. Disadvantages Development Time Development Cost Ongoing Maintenance No portability (apps cannot be used on other platform) Can t handle heavy graphics.requires familiarity with a mobile framework Can t handle heavy graphics. Can t access camera or microphone.

10 Best used for Games Consumer-focused apps that require a highly graphic interface Consumer-focused apps with a moderately graphical interface. Business-focused apps that needful device access. General non-game apps. Business-focused apps. Conclusion: Whatever, the mobile development process you use, should be enterprise enabled. Every company will have their own priorities that guide the decisions made for the app developers. Flexibility, cost (budget), time to market, and overall performance are the key drivers for most of the project development. About Softweb Solutions Software Solutions is a leading Software Development Company that serves clients worldwide of all sizes. We have a strong performance record in offering quality software development services demonstrated by ISO 9001:2008 certification and Microsoft Gold Certified partnership. We provide cutting edge Mobile App Development solutions for various platforms like Apple ios, Android OS, Blackberry and Windows Phone. We attempt to deal with constantly evolving business needs by incorporating all our strengths in our solutions. To know more about us and how we deliver mobility solutions to the organizations across the world. Contact our representative or us at You can also visit our corporate website

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