Mobile application development: web vs. native

Authors: Andre Charland
Brian Leroux
Published in:
Cover Image
· Magazine
Communications of the ACM CACM Homepage archive
Volume 54 Issue 5, May 2011
ACM New York, NY, USA
table of contents doi>10.1145/1941487.1941504

It’s becoming increasingly expensive to develop your application for several native platforms. Even more so when the platforms themselves are also fragmented. Typically developers wanted to create native applications because of performance reasons. However, all the big companies have been in a “JavaScript Arms Race” which has increased the performance of JavaScript and most browsers. User experience is also highlighted as being fundamentally different between both platforms and even devices of same platform. Such things are sensors, screen size, and soft vs hard buttons. PhoneGap and HTML5 standards are helping to bring native functionality to web applications. However, it seems that a difficult problem for the web apps is to have a nice smooth scrolling. This problem is being worked on, along with others, and the trend seems to indicate that web apps will converge with native apps and one won’t be able to tell the difference.

About Frank Sposaro

Frank was the initial student to start the mobile lab with Dr. Tyson. After working on the first project, iFall, he and Dr. Tyson designed the Mobile Programming course as FSU. The course is used as a training base to recruit new students into the lab. His thesis researches several medical related applications, including iFall. Frank then went on to implement the redesign of the “favorite contacts” for Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. He currently acts as a tech lead in the lab getting infrastructure and project management tools setup. He has special focus on native Android coding and UI design.