Today’s mobile application ecosystem speaks a lot about mobile experience and if it’s all the experience, it is the ‘iPhone or iPad app’ that is widely preferred. Anyway, app if in native becomes a hot commodity than in mobile web. Native iPhone apps are greatly renowned, while a mobile web app fails to spot sexiness. The fact is that most people never even realize them as an option. People blindly believe that an iPhone/ipad app will make the apt solution for their needs, and of course they are. But, a mobile web app too, in no way is a downgrade.
There are quite a good number of advantages on mobile web apps, in spite of some challenges faced in design, development and deployment. They are a powerful cross platform, scalable and affordable solution. So, get to know the mobile web app standpoints!
As we know well, mobile apps are all on the demands and talks right now. Developers and entrepreneurs are targeting fulsome over the iPad and iPhones and even before the launch of the next killer iPhone, each big company has launched an app of some sort. With androids also, a more or less same case is being witnessed. But, what is it with Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7? Only a far least number of developers are ready to study yet another SDK, learn another language and get through another app submission process. Keeping the code up to date for all these platforms is a tedious task as each one fragments into new embodiments and releases new hardware and OS updates. As fragmentation is a long time investments, people are just recognizing that native map are never a sustainable solution for long terms.
But what about deploy to Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Symbian? Who wants to study yet another SDK, learn another language, and go through yet another app submission process? Who will continue to keep the code up to date for all these platforms as each one splinter into new embodiment, releases new hardware and OS updates. Fragmentation is a costly long-term investment. And people are beginning to realize that native apps are not a sustainable long-term solution for all their needs.
Everywhere It Is Mobile Web
With native mobile app market becoming increasingly fragmented, it has become significant to find a solution for re-using code and designs across platforms, which could ease the deployment headaches. But, if you are really gonna sit for hours to work on this and find a solution for this, then you are really a nut. Instead, if you are clever enough to avail on the web criteria, it is the best decision made ever.
Webkit is one example for de facto standard to render web content, though it is not appropriate with every application. However, this will not be recommended for experiences that need complex graphics rendering. Once you’ve designed and developed a mobile web app, it is easy to deploy everywhere and whenever you want. With smart design and code, a single web app can work out greatly regardless of the diverse resolutions and screen sizes. They are best in responding to touch, 5 way or cursor.
Everyone knows what a desktop web app is. All we see now is the branded internet apps. Google marked its stand by creating online tools chiefly for the desktop, with an increasing focus on mobile. Apple was the first to promote mobile web apps as a best thing on their first generation iPhone which was launched in 2007. Anyway, people’s attention is still over to native apps. The key reason for this is also Apple. Yup, Apple (native) App Store is the primary reason to pull people to the native category.
The App Store Model
Though Apple’s app store was not the first to distribute native apps to mobile phones, they however proved it was a capable model to launch the concept into familiar culture. A similar model will be necessary to make a mobile web app ecosystem successful. As customers, it is greatly encouraging to rely on trusted online outlet for possessions instead of wasting time researching the web for same matter. Mobile web apps need to have a consolidated storefront for the same reasons.
Firstly, it is easy to find apps if they are indexed, categorized and searchable in one place. Secondly, the robust community of users can expose the app popularity by contributing ratings and writing reviews. This helps in making it easier to evaluate your choices. The third thing is the safe aspect. When we are about to purchase a game app, it must be sure that the purchase is safe and secure offered from a reputed company. Apart all, the best factor with web app is it is cross platform and you could play it on your android, iPad and desktop, all in a single purchase.
So, It’s Possible
Most of the native apps can be deployed as fully featured mobile web apps. With HTML5 technologies, options have come out for refined typography, animation, streaming video, offline storage and much more. YouTube mobile experience is the current hottest profile web app striking all throughout with comparable experience to the native app they have built previously.
Real World Challenges
Like in other innovations, mobile web usage has also got its own big questions to answer with. The most concerned subject is about the cross platform compatibility. Building a robust and rich cross-platform mobile web app experience would benefit from HTML5 technology support, but currently RIM and Microsoft’s mobile offerings use their own standards. However, developers can rectify the issue by dealing with coding to overwhelm troublesome browsers. Next challenge comes with ‘deploy anywhere’ scenario. This occurs normally on how a given design translates across devices with varying input methods and resolutions. This problem can be handled by targeting several key resolutions and form factors, which is recommended by the Android SDK.
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