WEB APP PROS & CONS

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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i Conference

2011, IUB

WEB APP PROS & CONS

A COMPARISON OF DEVELOPMENT
TECHNIQUES

ROB ELLIOTT

VISITING LECTURER,
PURDUE

SCHOOL OF
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY,
IUPUI

INTRO


“Nati ve” Apps:



Written in a programming language for a targeted operating system


Apple iOS Devices: iOS SDK, using Objective
-
C


Android Devices: Android SDK, using Java



Have access to all features of the hardware


Camera, GPS, Accelerometer, Microphone, etc.



Are distributed via the respective app “marketplace”


iTunes App Store, Android Marketplace



iOS apps are subjected to rigorous testing/acceptance process; Android
apps are submitted to the Marketplace with little oversight



Development fees:


Apple: SDK is free (registration required), $99 to submit apps to App Store


Android: SDK is free, $25 to submit apps to Android Marketplace


NATIVE VS. WEB APPS


“Web” Apps:



Web
-
based applications written with traditional web programming
languages


HTML/CSS, Javascript, PHP/.NET/JSP



Have limited access to device hardware (depends on platform)



Can be used cross
-
platform (some restrictions apply)



Most are intended to be used when the device is online; some have
capabilities for offline use



Most platforms have some semblance of a “web app store,” but the
stores and their contents vary widely


No centralized marketplace for all platforms

NATIVE VS. WEB APPS

INTRO


$$$ (or the potenti al for $$$)



i OS App Store provi des a “fi l ter” for apps, so users have at l east
one means of gaugi ng thei r worth



Al l app marketpl aces provi de rati ngs, comments, ranki ngs



Interacti ng wi th the hardware provi des si gni fi cant app potenti al



Users have been “trai ned” to search the markets fi rst



Many users don’t know the di fference between nati ve and web
apps



Oh, and $$$

NATIVE APPS: WHY SO POPULAR?

INTRO


Context, context, context



Cross
-
platform development is
huge


Disney acquires Rocket Pack (1
y.o
. Finnish startup) for $10m
-
$20m
1


Moblyng

raising $10.9M to make mobile HTML5
games
2



Provide convenient means of entry to existing web
applications w/o extensive new development



When hardware functionality and offline use is not absolutely
critical to the function of the application



If you have a broad user base ready to use your app


WHEN TO USE WEB APPS?

WEB ENVIRONMENTS


The primary layout engines web developers need to use today
include:



Webkit

(Firefox, Chrome/Android, Palm, Symbian, Blackberry 6.0+)



Trident (Internet Explorer/IE Mobile)



Presto (Opera, Opera Mini)
3


LAYOUT ENGINES

ENVIRONMENTS

LAYOUT ENGINE MOBILE USAGE

}

Webkit

Presto

4

LAYOUT ENGINE MOBILE USAGE

}

Webkit

Presto

5


Open
-
source engine for web browsers



Most modern mobile browsers are
webkit
-
based


BIG exceptions: Internet Explorer, Opera



Supports the most common features of HTML5 & a large
amount of CSS3



Natively supports Javascript interaction with the DOM
(Document Object Model)


Critical for correctly rendering web applications on various platforms
and resolutions




WEBKIT

ENVIRONMENTS

ENVIRONMENTS


New! Improved! But i s i t sel l i ng?



Wi ndows,
obvs
, has huge, dedi cated fan base



Good reports on usabi l i ty, functi onal i ty of the
platform

and
hardware
. Not so good on the browser



Sti l l dependent on IE


No true HTML5/CSS3 statistics on IE Mobile 7


Desktop IE 9 supports 25% of HTML5; less than half of Desktop
Firefox
,
less than 1/3 of
Chrome



Late to the game (2.5


3 years after fi rst i Phone)



Where wi l l Noki a partnershi p l ead them?



No Wi ndows tabl et unti l Q3 2012??

WHAT’S UP WITH WINDOWS 7 MOBILE?

DEVELOPING WEB APPS

DEVELOPMENT


Can produce vivid, dynamic websites with high levels of
interaction



Can integrate web services (no need for local
datasources
)



HTML5 affords video, audio input



CSS3 includes animation, some 3D rendering



No need for Flash (!!!!!!)



Browser support varies widely


http://caniuse.com

Great comparison charts



Most data
-
driven features require the app to be used “online”

HTML 5 + CSS3 + JAVASCRIPT


Free with Apple SDK registration



Provides means to create Mac “widgets” and Safari/Mobile
Safari web apps



Gives developers a nice IDE for web app development



Includes images and usage guidelines to create a native iOS
-
looking web app



Produces web apps that look like iOS apps on any other
mobile browser

DASHCODE

DEVELOPMENT

DASHCODE

INTERFACE

DEVELOPMENT


One of a few products making their way into developers’
toolboxes



“Mobile Javascript Framework”



Allows developers to write standards
-
compliant code that then
renders uniquely on each supported mobile browser



Trending: write
-
once,

use
-
anywhere



Handles touch events,

offline storage

SENCHA

TOUCH

Source:
sencha.com


A twist on the write
-
once use
-
anywhere methodology



Imports web apps and produces
native

applications for 6
mobile platforms



Claims “thousands” of apps developed with
PhoneGap



Open
-
source, free

PHONEGAP

DEVELOPMENT

Source:
phonegap.com

CASE STUDIES

USE CASE


Had past experience
developing/supporting a
native app



Posted for iOS
dev

for
Basecamp Mobile app



Realized Android popularity
and were immediately
faced with hiring two
developers



Instead used in
-
house
development teams to
create mobile versions of
existing, highly
-
profitable
desktop web apps

37SIGNALS: BASECAMP MOBILE

Source: 37signals.com

USE CASE


Very well
-
received
web app in summer
2010



Reviews suggest
superior functionality
to native application
(HQ video option)



Ties directly into
users’ YouTube
account; favorites,
comments, ratings

YOUTUBE

CONCLUSIONS

CONCLUSIONS

PROS


No new
prog
. language
required



Cross
-
platform dev. is
significantly easier



Updates don’t require
re
-
approval (iOS)



Many SDKs and tools
available to speed
development

CONS


Limited access to
device hardware



No centralized market
for all platforms



Difficult to charge $



Offline usage can be
tricky if not done
properly



WEB APP PROS & CONS: SUMMARY

CONCLUSIONS

1.
Di sney
l ooks beyond apps wi th HTML5 game maker Rocket
Pack

http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/03/di sney
-
rocket
-
pack
-
acqui si ti on
/


2.
Mobl yng

rai si ng $10.9M to make mobi l e HTML5 games

http://venturebeat.com/2010/12/24/mobl yng
-
rai si ng
-
about
-
11m/?obref=
obi nsi te


3.
Opera: State of the Mobi l e Web,
http
://www.opera.com/smw/2011/01
/


4.
StatCounter

Gl obal
Stats,
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobi l e_browser
-
ww
-
monthl y
-
201003
-
201102
-
bar


5.
StatCounter

Gl obal Stats,
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobi l e_browser
-
na
-
monthl y
-
201003
-
201102
-
bar


REFERENCES