Are Smartphone Apps As Native As You Think?

DATE

29th April 2015

CATEGORIES

Hybrid App, mobile, mobile app, mobile world congress

Different programming languages are used when it comes down to creating the best smartphone apps that are available on today’s various markets, but are these applications as native as you’re led to believe? Native apps are programs written expressly for their supported platform – for example, some apps are only made to work exclusively on Apple iOS devices and others only for Android devices.

Developers tend to sacrifice a portion of their target audience across all mobile platforms in order to favour one specific platform where the app in turn will be optimized graphically and with regards to its performance. Despite this, some are questioning whether apps are becoming less native, which means good news for cross-platform availability.

But is everything slowly changing? The truth is that most smartphone applications nowadays incorporate, in one way or another, a substantial chunk of HTML5 – and it’s this dash of web programming that allows a certain application to be used across various platforms and not be limited to a single device. Apps that mix HTML (or other languages) with native programming are referred to as HYBRID APPS. These allow for minimal tweaking when switching between devices and platforms and in other words, combine the best of both worlds. These hybrid apps are usually sorted in to two categories: WebView based and compiled hybrid applications.

These hybrids have a huge range of benefits, such as responsive web design, advanced offline capabilities, larger distribution of the app on multiple platforms (thus allowing for an increase in target audience) and one base code that is subsequently modified in small amounts to meet the needs of different devices. But apart from claims that hybrid apps seem to be slow and sluggish (which is why some developers prefer native apps that boast performance and speed), could money be the real reason why HTML5 is being somewhat neglected in the whole application-making process?

 

 

financial hybrid app
financial hybrid app

 

A recent survey by an independent group concluded that HTML5 is indeed know by most, however,  it’s not everybody’s first choice when it comes to app development. Various sources also suggest that HTML5 is indeed quite a popular resource for developers. On a side note, here at NMC, we completed a hybrid app for Sentifi.com. The app was 1% Phonegap (by Adobe), 70% Javascript and 29% Django REST Framework – in order to increase speed and performance of the app, we used a SPA (or Single Page Application) approach. What’s surprising is that Apple, who is behind the rise of native application building (or in any case, one of the reasons that native applications are so widely used and popular), will be including more HTML5 in to iOS8. This should say something about how apps will be made in the next few years.

 

 

You may also like