Native App Development
At Empirical Works, we are experts at Native App Development, for iOS and Android OS platforms, with over 6 years experience in creating, building and developing native apps.
We can help you build enterprise level, high-quality, smooth and polished native apps for your iPhone, Android Phone, iPad and Android Tablets.
People often wonder whether it’s best to develop mobile apps using generic non-native languages such as HTML5 (either as a mobile website, or a mobile website natively wrapped up as an app), build them in pure native code for each platform (iOS, Android or Windows Phone), or use a combination of both. Our point of view is that web and native are not in direct competition with each other, and Hybrid is simply a mix of the two app development technologies and strategies. Both Web and Native app development have their strengths and weaknesses, but overall are suited for different types of content and strategies. In terms of a client’s strategic requirements, HTML5 web apps and native apps are meant to fulfill different needs.
As a general guideline, if our client’s strategy is content-focused – ie, displaying non dynamic contents such as location, hours, and products, then a pure web-based HTML5 website is the way to go. Some examples of these types of web apps are company information apps, restaurant or event apps and simple online-shopping apps, where the main goal is to display text or images.
However, if the strategy is feature-focused, more complex, requires access to the phone’s hardware (such as GPS, accelerometer, camera, etc) or has serious performance and usability requirements, then a native or hybrid app is necessary. These apps include utility apps such as email, calendars, or maps, anything to do with GPS/augmented reality, or games where graphic processing power is required.
It is understandable why a HTML5 web app may appear to be the simple and easy solution to businesses looking to build an mobile app. Intuitively, building an app once and having it work on all platforms with little native code means reduced development time and cost savings. These savings are even more attractive when you consider that most businesses and the agencies they’re working have existing web developers, which reduces the additional overhead costs of having to find and hire native iOS/Android developers. And this is why when the product strategy is content based with little functionality involved, it’s best to go with an HTML5 web app for a simple platform neutral solution.
However, when it comes down to functionality, at the end of the day, a pure HTML5 web app is just that – a website dressed up as an app. The HTML5 web app still has the basic characteristics and behavior associated with websites, the main one being that a webpage needs to be loaded one page at a time. So at best this results in a slow and jerky start-and-stop loading experience for the user, since elements have to be downloaded one at a time, unlike native apps which has the majority of the display code stored locally on the phone.
That is not to say extensive polishing on HTML5 web app code cannot remove some of that jerkiness and loading issues, but for full featured apps, native code will always be smoother, more intuitive, and polished. This is why these days, most companies utilize HTML5 websites/apps as a backup solution, rather than the core solution for their products.
In the end, the decision to choose HTML5 or native should be down to the client’s strategic business and product requirements. As previously stated anything that requires phone hardware or is feature-based should be done native; but content based apps should be done in HTML5.
From a practical application though, most apps will fall in the spectrum between these two extremes, so it’s always a good idea to utilize a Hybrid App strategy, where Native code is used for the functional and user-experience heavy aspects of the app, and HTML5 web components are used for the display aspects of the app.