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Smashing Mobile Web Development by Greg Avola

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Understanding Native versus Web Platforms

Many people do not understand the difference between the native and web application. The main difference is that a native application is downloaded from an App Store and is written in different languages than web applications. Every device has its own proprietary language that is used to power the phone. For example, on the iPhone the language of choice is Objective-C; with Android devices, you program via Java. This is one of the downsides of native applications, because it requires you to hire a developer to build two different applications. That can be very costly. A common myth is that web applications don’t look anything like their counterparts in the native world; yet with modern technologies, including HTML5 ESS3, and JavaScript, you have the power and the tools to make your applications look and feel native.

Pros and cons of native versus web platforms

Table 1-1 lists many of the pros and cons associated with the web or native platform. :

Table 1-1 Advantages and disadvantages of native platforms

Pros

Cons

Exposure and accessibility via an App Store

High cost to develop, upgrade, and support

Access to native features such as the Camera, Contacts, and network conditions

Code is deployable to one platform only

Monetization and revenue

Dependence on App Store restrictions and submissions

When choosing between a native and a web app, it’s important to figure out your strategy for the application. If you’re ...

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