The Future of Mobile Application Development – Web or Native?
According to a recent study by Global Intelligence Alliance, these are the top three reasons (in order of relevance) companies still prefer native mobile applications:
- Ability to build a superior user interface
- Need to access device hardware
- Leverage popular, established app store distribution channels
And here are the top three reasons business go with web technologies when in comes to mobile application development:
- Ease and cost benefits of providing one interface accessible on multiple platforms
- Direct control over own distribution, no need to seek third party approval
- Ability to build a superior user interface [Honestly I don't quite understand this answer as native apps are currently so much suitable for delivering really sleek UIs]
Seems like customers say it’s all about UI, access to device hardware and distribution channels.
And next generation web technologies are already targeting the UI and the access to native device features – GPS, accelerometer, address book, NFC, camera, local storage, drag and drop, etc. HTML5 is a significant step in that direction and we’ll be there sooner then we think…
Remember what happened with desktop applications? Remember how stiff were website UIs several years ago? Now we use online office packages, online GIS, online image editors, online CRM, you name it.
History repeats with mobile applications and technology shifts towards unified lightweight clients (web browsers) and cloud services on the backend… (Exception made for really heavy-duty graphic apps such as action games and CAD software.)
Now, the development of distribution channels would be an interesting one to observe. I could hardly believe Apple would leave the App Store to be merely a catalog on nice apps otherwise available on the web… (Google already do the Internet cataloging stuff pretty well.)
Will Apple really accept to loose the tight control over their end-user base, or they will come up again with some brilliant brand new business model? Would love to hear your opinion on the subject…