Web or native application, that is the question

By: Frederic Harper, February 20, 2013

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/Yafwqy

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/Yafwqy

To paraphrase the friend Christian Heilmann, comparing Web application, and native application is like comparing oranges, and apples. Notwithstanding, you probably had or you’ll have to ask yourself whether you’ll create a native application or a Web application for your product or game idea. I hardly think that it’s more about the pros, and the cons of each platform, and find what fit your needs. In my post about targeting multiple platform, I list some possible solutions for people who want to target more than one OS, but even with these, you need to ask yourself what will make the most sense for me, my business, and my customers. Let’s be positive, and list (non exhaustive list) all the pro for Web, and native apps:

Web

  • Can be accessed from all devices with a Web browser (you need to be careful with features you used, as not all browsers implements all elements of HTML5, and CSS3), by using one technology;
  • Can be updated without any manual process from the users;
  • No rules or delays from a store approbation process (you do what you want to do);

Native App

  • Can use hardware features like the camera, accelerator…;
  • Deliver the platform experience (UI & UX) to users;
  • Organic sells or download coming from a store (App Store, Windows Store…);
  • Can access specific device features that the user expects like Live tiles, share charm…;
  • Offline support is easier to do;
  • Usually better with speed, and performance;

Here, it’s not about who got the most advantages, but which elements are relevant for you! Of course, at the end, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions (not in specific order):

  1. What is the goal of my application?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What is my budget?
  4. What features are important for my application?
  5. What technical skills me or my team have?

So at the end, what suits your need? If it’s native app, give a closer look to Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8!

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