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2015-07-01

Understanding the Options Available For Mobile Development


Your functional requirements, your existing online presence and your existing infrastructure strongly influence your choice of mobile platform.

Internet access trends changed in favour of mobile devices in early 2014 when web access via mobile devices exceeded web access via PC for the first time. In this context, it is surprising that a significant number of companies do not have a mobile platform in place. The task of determining the best approach to delivering a mobile presence can be challenging and the following post aims to give a brief overview of the options available.

Native, HTML5 or Hybrid?

Broadly speaking, companies have three options through which they can deliver mobile solutions:

  • Native Mobile App: Native mobile applications are developed for their respective mobile platform and each application/app will only run on its platform. For example, an iPhone app developed for iOS will only run on iPhone, Android apps will only run on Android devices etc.
  • HTML5/Responsive Website: HTML5 mobile applications use standard web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript) to develop websites that will run on mobile and desktop devices (i.e. write once, run anywhere). It is common to develop a single website that dynamically displays on all target platforms (PC, tablet, mobile).
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mobile applications use standard web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript) to develop websites that are run within a native container on the mobile device. Hybrid mobile apps can be deployed on the mobile device or on a web server.
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