Native App VS Standard Web App or HTML5

Hey there mobile app fans!


I always get a laugh when one of my colleagues shows me his newly developed “iphone app” and it turns out to just be a webpage embedded in the app. The first thing I want to point out is the address bar at the top and the wierd disconnected feeling you get when the web page refreshes.

Apps should be slick, they should get your attention and be fun to interact with. Standard web apps have a much harder time giving you the same experience you get with native development.

By the way for those of you new to the concept of “Native VS Web App”. What we mean is that there are typically two standard ways for creating an iphone app. Products like phonegap and others do provide a third option but apps created in those all in one tools still mostly exhibit the behavior you see in the Web App method.

Method 1 – Web App
When you create an iphone application using standard web technologies like HTML, the new HTML5,ASP, PHP or ASP .NET we usually refer to that as a Web App. It’s basically the same thing you see when you use your web browser in your app and browse to a website like

Method 2 – Native Developement
When you create an iphone application using the language of the device itself. We refer to that as a “Native Application”. That is the language that almost all of the standard menus and buttons that you see in your iphone were written in.

As with anything there are pro’s and con’s. Here is what I think the top 3 pro’s and 3 con’s of each method are:

Web App Pros

  • Quick To Develop & Easy To Update
  • Cheap To Develop
  • Ports To Multiple Platforms With Little Effort

Web App Cons

  • Bad User Experience
  • Webpage Like Refreshing
  • Difficult To Make Use Of App Features Like Tilting The Phone On It’s Side or Shaking It.

Native App Pros

  • Best Performance In Terms Of GUI Speed
  • Aesthetics Much Improved
  • Better User Experience

Native App Cons

  • Coded To The Language Of The Specific Device. Which Means Very Little Code Can Be Reused For Other Platforms Like Droid.
  • Can Be Expensive To Hire Specialized Programmers
  • Must Compile New Code To Deploy Updates

I think it’s important to understand what your end goals are before selecting a technology, but when it came to BIMobile we wanted the best looking,best performing, best user experience possible. So it was a no brainer to choose to develop it natively and start on the iphone/ipad platforms!




Category : Blog

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