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Web apps vs. native apps: the great debate

Native apps vs. web apps… does it matter?

We’re not terribly interested in if there’s a right answer to the debate about if web apps will take over the world and native apps will become things of the past. We think that it’s an interesting debate that a lot of smart people are weighing in on and that just by following the various voices online from the developer community we can be smarter about the future of applications. Here are some pieces we’ve found thought provoking and worth sharing. Please let us know in the comments if you think we should add something to the list.

Mobile apps must die says Scott Jenson at Frog Design.

We say great title, but we’re not sure that the trouble is with organizing. It seems like most consumers have adapted pretty well and that app usage is growing incredibly fast, so the utility of the apps must be pretty significant OR the search problem is insignificant.

Why native apps are here to stay by Josef Stuefer reminds us that all developers are not created equal.

To wit, “I will develop the best app that I can for iOS users; my counterpart on Android will do the same; together we will deliver a high-quality experience tailored to our respective audiences. This scenario is far superior to each developing poorer-quality web apps in an effort to reach as broad an audience as possible.”

We say Bravo Josef. Find your customers and make them love you!

Shell Apps and Native Code by @sandofsky lays out why shell apps start simple and then grow in complexity

This is a very detailed and well-reasoned engineering take on the subject. The promise of shell apps isn’t new: people have been creating frameworks to abstract out work for a long time, but there’s a constant lesson that engineers learn on this topic: you end up spending a lot of time fighting the framework as opposed to working on user-facing features.

“It’s Complicated” says Forbes.

How very Facebook of you guys.

We say basic gist is good: focus on the consumer.

The mobile app is going the way of the CD-ROM says Jolie O’Dell.

Provocative title but this would be a bit easier to swallow if it wasn’t filled with interviews and anecdotes from people who are explicitly focused on the success of the mobile web. Sure, development costs might be higher when supporting your audience across multiple platforms but when O’Dell says, “And given the state of mobile web standards, we’re quickly approaching a point where end users can’t tell the difference between the two.” we find it hard to take it 100% seriously.

The mobile app economy will keep growing quickly counters Kevin Tofel at GigaOm

The numbers and research tell us a different story: consumers are adopting apps in accelerating numbers and consumers consistently indicate that apps are better, faster experiences. Of course, web apps could end up looking like native apps and to Jolie O’Dell’s point above, end users might not be able to tell the difference but the speed comparison and simplicity is very important to the conversation. As one of the quoted consumers in this piece says, “They are quicker and easier. The only reason I ever use a browser is to Google stuff.” We expect the OS makers to continue to drive connections with hardware that continue this advantage instead of ceding it to web-based, non-native apps.

The Technical Breakdown of the discussion  by Jake Hird.

Very nice work here.

We say if you want to get up to speed quickly and you’re a developer, this is a great place to start. We particularly liked this visual overview of some of the key considerations.


Source: Worklight

Native Apps Would Win an Epic Battle Against Web Apps says Brandy at AppIt Ventures

A fun and compelling take about the tools that Native apps have in their arsenal for the battle with Web Apps at the moment. Never say never, but the force is strong in native :-)

 

Post by:

Robi Ganguly
  • http://www.facebook.com/xoxobrandy Brandy Anderson

    lol at your funny descriptions! This is a great collection of articles on this debate. I recently wrote a post about “Why Native Apps Would Win an Epic Battle Against Web Apps” I’d like to add to the list as well: http://appitventures.com/why-native-mobile-apps-are-awesome/

    • http://robiganguly.com/blog Robi Ganguly

      Glad you enjoyed it Brandy, thanks for finding it and sharing your thoughts. Also thanks for the suggestion about your article, we’ve added it to our list. Have other ideas? Ping me – robi[at] our company.com

      • http://www.facebook.com/xoxobrandy Brandy Anderson

        Thanks for adding it! LOL at your comment “the force is strong in native.” :) I will definitely let you know if I think of other cool ideas. Would be fun to find another topic that is just lightly controversial like this and present the different sides to it.

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