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Mobile Apps Develpment - A Comparison
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Mobile Apps Develpment - A Comparison


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There are quite a few choices for Mobile Apps Development. …

There are quite a few choices for Mobile Apps Development.
These slides are an attempt to compare with conclusions

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  • 1. Mobile Apps – Development Approaches & Conclusions Prakash C Sinha, CEO, Lataant Technology Pvt. Ltd. +919845563560 1
  • 2. Types of mobile development  Native  Using IDEs and SDKs for iOS, Android…  HTML5  Content generated on the server  Rendered on mobile browsers like safari/chrome…  Hybrid  Native container app on handset per OS  Html5 content from server  Java script call native APIs where needed/possible 2
  • 3. Pros & Cons of Native  Pros  Ease of use, High Performance - The native platform is what people are accustomed        to Built-in components – Native UI Widgets, encrypted Storage, Camera, address book, Fast graphics API - the native platform gives you the fastest graphics Fluid animation - related to the fast graphics API is the ability to have fluid animation Multi touch - double taps, pinch-spread, and other compound UI gestures Documentation - There are over 2500 books alone for iOS and Android development Integrated IDE - IDEs provide tools for building debugging, project management, version control, and other tools professional developers need. Distribution through App Store  Specially useful for Enterprise for tracking the devices & apps – useful in case of thefts etc…  Allows Mobile Device Manager integration - Integration with Mobile Iron for example   Useful for enterprises to manage devices Useful for MAM & MCM (Mobile Application & Mobile Content Management), wipe out etc…  High on security of content Undoubtedly it provides the best user experience with high performance  Cons 3  Multiple Devices development costs.  However it can be argued for Enterprise App how many devices really need the support  Also with better IDEs and 3rd party libraries the development time in native is becoming much faster
  • 4. HTML5  Pros   No distribution needed  Upgrades & Release cycles reduced & easy   Write once use any where Cache support for limited offline access Cons  It’s questionable how much incentive Apple and Google have to deliver timely standards-based support in their browsers with the latest and greatest APIs.  By its nature, the standard puts at risk traffic to these large commercial app stores and marginalizes the unique capabilities of their devices.  HTML 5 standard support across browsers not standardized  As a result the “write once use anywhere” becomes the common minimum capabilities of the browsers  Not only there are so many browsers, there are so many versions of browsers   There are 200+ different types of available browser interpretations of HTML5. And the pace of browser updates is increasing, which adds to the challenge. Over the past two years, Android has had 21 updates to their browser. HTML 5 upgrades itself doesn’t keep up speed with native OS releases  Performance - Users expect high responsiveness. Slow Loading & Rendering compared to Native  High Security risks  Shared data base through cache  HTML5 capabilities only represent a small number of the new native features. Speed of innovation in Native is faster than HTML5 standardization  4 Example - Apple introduced 1,500 new APIs in iOS 5 for developers to leverage, including access to iCloud Storage, Newsstand and Twitter. Both Apple and Google continue to deliver new releases each year with thousands of new APIs. HTML5 is actually falling farther behind native versus the popular belief that it’s catching up
  • 5. What about Hybrid Apps – How does it work  A hybrid app is one that is written with the HTML5/CSS/Javascript technology, and that is hosted or runs inside a native container on a mobile device.  It is the marriage of web technology and native execution.  Hybrid Apps – How it works  A web view control (UIWebView on iOS, WebView on Android and WinJS on Win 8)  To present the HTML and JavaScript files in a full-screen format, using the native browser rendering engine (not the browser itself).  WebKit is the browser rendering engine that is used on iOS, Android, Blackberry and others.  The HTML and JavaScript used to construct a hybrid app is rendered/processed by the WebKit rendering engine  There is no constraint to using HTML and JavaScript for only in-browser implementations on mobile devices.  An abstraction layer – Native Container  That exposes the device capabilities (read: native APIs) to the hybrid app as a JavaScript API.  This is something not possible with Mobile Web implementations because of the security boundary between the browser and the device APIs.  PhoneGap is the best example of a JavaScript abstraction layer over native APIs   When the native wrapper is compiled around the HTML, CSS and JavaScript resources, there is an interop layer added that connects the JavaScript APIs with the platform specific APIs.  5 Through this abstraction layer a common set of APIs is exposed in JavaScript, and these JavaScript APIs work on any device supported by the framework (for WinJS that’s only Windows 8, but for Phonegap that is seven mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7). What this really means is that, for example if I build a mobile app with Phonegap, I can use JavaScript to access a native API, like the camera, using a single API call regardless of what platform the app will run on.
  • 6. What about Hybrid Apps – How does it work – Contd.  What it means to use Phone gap (or another SDK) however is  Understanding the Phonegap SDK instead.  How to develop/build apps using yet another SDK (outside the native SDK)  There is a waiting period for Phonegap (or such) to implement new functionality released by an operating system  This often means writing native code to be used by the Javascript wrapper APIs – this is where it becomes native again- requirng development in Objective C, Java, C#  Programmers also have to learn the details of building on each platform  Even though the code base is the same, a different configuration and build for each operating system is still required  Hybrid Choices  Local  You can package HTML and JavaScript code inside the mobile application binary, in a manner similar to the structure of a native application.  In this scenario you use REST APIs to move data back and forth between the device and the cloud.  Server  Alternatively you can implement the full web application from the server (with optional caching for better performance), simply using the container as a thin shell over the UIWebview 6 (c)Lataant Software Technologies Pv
  • 7. A word on Security HTML5 presents unique security risks when compared with native apps.   HTML5 based apps has more of logic and data executed and presented in the HTML format on the mobile client itself  This is also true of most hybrid “container” based apps that store and present their data in the open HTML format. Whether the apps are HTML5 or hybrid, there are four key security concepts to evaluate for an organization.   App source code    Application source code for HTML5 is freely available on the mobile device, open to source code access (e.g., routing the mobile URL to a desktop). Malicious code can be injected to run in the app or in background. With compiled native applications, it is difficult to access this source code. Data at rest  HTML5 offers the ability to cache data within the browser. Since both native and HTML5 applications manage data on the device, this data should be appropriately secured and encrypted while at rest.  iOS and Android deliver data security for native apps in ways beyond HTML5 apps o o Objective-C and Java API data encryption calls are available for native applications.. No equivalent capability in the HTML5. o  Sand boxing of apps including non-share of DB and Files in native secures data from other apps., not true with with HTML 5 MDM and MAM vendors provide another level of security for native apps. These vendors cannot affect data on the browser’s cache therefore, they cannot secure or manage that data. Data in transit  Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the most common way that both native and HTML5 apps secure their data in transit.  For additional security, organizations also implement Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) – a feature supported in iOS7.   URL security issues  7 While VPNs can support native and HTML5 traffic, they typically are not implemented for HTML5 due to high performance overhead. URL security vulnerabilities are unique to web apps. Techniques such as cross-site scripting (XSS), cookie manipulation, and SQL injection can be used to gather sensitive data from the back end servers as well as from the mobile device itself. These attacks are not possible in the native app world.
  • 8. A word on MDM/MAM  Mobile Device Manager (MDM), Mobile Apps Manager(MAM) is used for mobile device management (also for BYOD) inside an enterprise  Example IOS  The MDM framework built into iOS gives MDM solutions the ability to wirelessly     interact with iOS devices that are managed by organizations. Third-party vendors use this framework to build MDM servers that communicate seamlessly with iOS devices. MDM gives IT departments the ability to securely enroll devices in an enterprise environment, configure and update settings, monitor compliance with corporate policies, and remotely wipe or lock managed devices. Using an MDM server gives organizations a simple way to get users up and running with access to company services regardless of who owns the device Mobile Iron is a recommended MDM provider by apple.  It also supports Android  There are other providers like Good Technology, Open Peak etc… 8
  • 9. A word on MDM/MAM Contd.  The MDM/MAM framework in iOS supports the following features:  Managed accounts.  Installation, management, and removal of accounts that provide access to corporate services.  Managed configurations.  Configuration of settings including passcodes, device restrictions, voice and data roaming policies.  Security commands.  Ability to clear the user's passcode and remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen device.  Managed apps.  Installation, management, and removal of App Store and custom in-house apps.  Device queries.  Scheduled querying of device, network, 9 application and security information. Some of the supported MDM Commands Managed configuration • Install Configuration Profile • Remove Configuration Profile • Data roaming • Voice roaming (not available on all carriers) Managed apps • Install managed app • Remove managed app • List all managed apps • Install Provisioning Profile • Remove Provisioning Profile Security commands • Remote wipe • Remote lock • Clear passcode
  • 10. Server Types & Features  Servers with SDK with a native container approach (eg. Phonegap)  Whether the server is within firewall  This looks like more a Server side hybrid  This means the html content is mostly statically generated for mobile browser rendering?  This also runs in SaaS model is it more like a Backend Server providing user management etc…  Does the Server above has a MDM/MAM capabilities  Documents/SDK etc on above can allow us do some experiments 10
  • 11. Comparison Chart Native HTML5 Hybrid Graphics Native APIs HTML, Canvas, SVG HTML, Canvas, SVG Performance Fast Slow Slow Native look and feel Native Emulated Emulated Distribution Appstore Web Appstore Camera Yes No Yes Notifications Yes No Yes Contacts, calendar Yes No Yes Offline storage Secure file storage Shared SQL Secure file system, shared SQL Geolocation Yes Yes Yes Swipe Yes Yes Yes Pinch, spread Yes No Yes Connectivity Online and offline Mostly online Online and offline Development skills ObjectiveC, Java HTML5, CSS, Javascript HTML5, CSS, Javascript App Features Device Access Gestures 11
  • 12. Which Method to chose We should ask right questions  Development for enterprise  With android and ios capturing more than 85% market share how much of cross platform – hybrid platform is really needed  With duopoly (android & ios) should we aim for supporting so many device variants  Region for app users – If primarily US and Europe Users – they typically use iOS/ipad/iphone and Android and then only remaining platforms  BYOD (Bring your own device) users – typically what would they bring  If answers to above mostly is android (& iOS)  Native development would provide best performance, usability rich experience  This goes a long way to have high percentage of users adopt a new app.  Extending to other platforms then would become a need based issue  If answers to above is a vast coverage of the app on multiple platforms  Hybrid could be a good choice 12
  • 13. New features of iOS 7 designed for enterprise use iOS 7 (in beta release now – will be available in fall’13. This release as claimed by Apple, outside UI improvements, contains the biggest features useful for Enterprise adoption since iOS 4 (A strong reason to adopt iPad/Iphone First strategy!)  Per App VPN  Every App can have a VPN access in iOS 7  Earlier with a common VPN across apps, malicious apps could abuse the VPN to get into enterprise servers  Distribute App Configurations  Instead of entering server name, login id etc every time when app is launched, it allows it to be automatically filled in, depending on location (say when you travel from US to europe, the server credentials would be different)  Peripheral configuration  Access to printers depending on where you are in office etc…  Access to airplay – share documents over wi-fi/bluetooth in secured way (without tetherring)  Enterprise Single Sign On  Enterprise owned device  If the device is owned by the company (as against BYOD), the automatic enrollment of the device is possible 13
  • 14. New features of iOS 7 designed for enterprise use – Contd.  Managed Open In    Identify all the Enterprise Apps to be able to share documents with each other Personal Apps cannot open these documents/data AppStore License management    License of the app is owned by the Enterprise Earlier the app license was owned by apple id user. So, if the person left the company he took the app + data with it 3rd Party Data Protection  In iOS7 development data protection is automatic  In earlier version the data protection was developer driven  iOS data encryption based on app’s passcode  iOS Activation Lock in case of theft  True Multitasking (useful in general for non enterprise apps too)  Example – a CRM app is tuned to auto login at 9 AM in the background while user is busy with the app These are supported by MDM/MAM protocols and hence providers 14
  • 15. Recommendations  Mobile Apps Development when at early stage  Adoption at early stage is important  Rich on functional value is important – as people are already used to the functional value on desktop versions  Rich and prompt user responsiveness of the app is important  Target selective device types as against many devices - garner early feedback  Being an Enterprise Mobile App unlike app for public use - devices for rollout can be chosen  Rollout android and/or iOS for limited use and get feedback  This gives time for multi device strategy and development  Smaller Cost  Since the target is only android the costs of initial development is not high  Pilot geography for adoption – android/iOS user base?  Use a target location for running pilot 15
  • 16. Our Work Apply Mobile, Internet & Gaming Technology to solve business problems With unwinding simplicity. Minimizing wastage Less Is More Lataant – is a Sanskrit word meaning flower 16
  • 17. Contact us for Mobile & Web Apps Development Prakash C Sinha, CEO, Lataant Technology Pvt. Ltd. +919845563560 Lataant – is a Sanskrit word meaning flower