Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web vs. Web Apps: Which Route Is Best For Your Enterprise
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Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web vs. Web Apps: Which Route Is Best For Your Enterprise

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This whitepaper explores the difference between and defines native apps, web apps, and the mobile web. Further, the paper discusses the evolution of HTML5, the fifth version of the HyperText Markup ...

This whitepaper explores the difference between and defines native apps, web apps, and the mobile web. Further, the paper discusses the evolution of HTML5, the fifth version of the HyperText Markup Language, its most important elements (canvas element, video/audio element, offline web applications, geolocation, and the omission of using IP addresses) and how its implementation will affect not only web apps, but the overall mobile experience.

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Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web vs. Web Apps: Which Route Is Best For Your Enterprise Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web vs. Web Apps: Which Route Is Best For Your Enterprise Document Transcript

  • Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web vs. Web AppsWhich Route Is Best For Your Enterprise? Which Suits Your Needs? This increasing fragmentation of accessible through a browser or mobile devices and the operating via their native mobile applicationSince the iPhone’s launch in 2007, systems on which they run force counterparts. So let’s define oursmartphones and tablet comput- companies to look to the future of terms:ers have become mass market mobile computing to determinephenomena. Millions of devices whether a mobile website, native • A native application is es-sell each quarter, and roughly 30 app, or some combination of sentially a bundle of softwarepercent of the American popula- the two will best suit their needs. developed and designed totion now carry smartphones. run specifically on a computer,Though mobile devices had a smartphone, or tablet.humble start in voice-only com-munications, now they serve as • The mobile web refers tohandheld computers—especially the browser-based Internetwith the growing popularity of experience on mobile devices.applications. These apps extend Mobile websites have theand enhance the functionality of ability to run across essentiallyour new generation of mobile any platform with a built-indevices. web browser.So what devices are out there in • Web apps are essentiallythe population’s hands? Initially, apps that run inside a device’sApple’s iPhone led the pack in the Applications, Defined browser.smartphone market, but its com-petitors have also innovated their Most people think of smartphone Native applications are specificlineup of products. Android, for apps when they hear the word to a particular platform. For ex-example, emerged as a serious ri- “app,” understanding the product ample, Objective-C is the primaryval to the iPhone and Blackberry. as something installed on their programming language usedAs for tablets, again, Apple’s iPad iPhone, iPad, Android, or other to develop native applicationsis not the only option: the Sam- mobile device. Applications, how- for Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone,sung Galaxy recently broke the ever, come in a variety of fashions iPod, and iPad). Native apps$1 million sales mark and the and formats. For example, Micro- invite users to take advantage ofBlackberry Playbook and the LG soft Word and iTunes are desktop particular device features such asOptimus Pad plan to release early applications. Facebook and NY- GPS, accelerometer, and camerain 2011. Times.com are web applications roll. Up to this point, they have Contact PointAbout at 202.391.0347, info@pointabout.com or visit www.pointabout.com for more information.
  • offered a superior experience to multimedia like audio and video. 3. Offline web applications:mobile web browsing because Many game developers already allows users to continueof their faster performance, well- harness the power of HTML5. interacting with documentsdesigned user interfaces, and the Even Google has invested heav- and web applications evenability to navigate an app’s con- ily in the next iteration of HTML, when network connectivity istent without Internet connectivity. releasing in 2010 a YouTube web unavailable. app that employs HTML5.One of the major differences in 4. Geolocation: taps into WiFinative and web apps is cost. Na- HTML5 and Beyond and GPS towers for more cleartive apps demand a larger budget; and concise location detec-often, distribution fees are higher HTML5, set to be finalized in tion.and developers themselves war- 2014, is the next step in the evo-rant higher compensations for lution of HTML. Its advocates hail 5. (HTML5 sways away from us-their specialized skills. HTML5 as the web’s gamechanger ing IP addresses.) because it can resolve some ofFor web apps, all or part of the the constraints that hamper inno- HTML5 is a crucial componentsoftware necessary to run the app vation on the mobile web today. of mobile web development. Be-is downloaded from the web each cause smartphones and certaintime the app runs. Although web HTML5 can power basic websites feature phones are increasinglyapps perform specified tasks or (including mobile sites) and allow sophisticated, HTML5 is sure toactions (sometimes the same as them to do everything from track improve multimedia perfor-native apps), technical differences a user’s location to store more of mance, interactivity, and localiza-separate the two. their data in the cloud. It may also tion. Overall, that’s a richer user open up advanced capabilities experience.Web applications use a web or to larger audiences, displacebrowser-rendering language plug-ins for simpler jobs, and The Future of Mobile(such as HTML and CSS) along make the web more adaptable,with JavaScript for interactivity. In efficient, and secure. It will feature So who comes out on top: mo-general, overall costs for devel- a number of new attributes and bile websites, native apps, oroping web apps are substantially elements that will benefit both web apps? There’s no clear-cutlower than that of native apps. developers and consumers. answer. Native apps provide a su-This is true for two reasons: (1) perior user experience to mobileweb apps can be written one time Four of the most important ele- websites and web apps. HTML5,and run across several platforms ments/features are: however, will alleviate the direand (2) they require less mainte- costs associated with mobile ap-nance. 1. The canvas element: can plication development and open render visual images without up monetary resources for otherWeb apps powered by HTML5, the using plug-ins. areas (e.g. marketing, quality as-fifth version of HyperText Markup surance testing, and upgrades).Language, could be the next 2. The video/audio element: Because of HTML5, mobile sitesstep in the evolution of mobile permits developers to directly and web apps may close theapplications. HTML5 can make embed media such as video gap between what they can doit easier to develop websites that and audio, again without rely- and what a native app can do.employ rich graphics and display ing on plug-ins. Contact PointAbout at 202.391.0347, info@pointabout.com or visit www.pointabout.com for more information.