Web development improves, but native still reigns

More organizations are adopting bring-your-own-device initiatives, but this process means that they will also need to provide effective applications to streamline everyday operations. If a program is too difficult to navigate or does not have the features the user needs, the app will not be utilized, wasting the time and resources used in its development. As more mobile devices enter the workplace, it will be integral to consider what software building components will be most beneficial and will likely produce a successful program.

When it comes to modern applications, the debate tends to be around comparing native methods and Web development approaches. While it seems that HTML5 form has made substantial headway in the potential of Web apps, native coding remains the most popular choice for developers. In fact, according to a mobile analytics report by Flurry, native software accounts for 86 percent of U.S. consumers' mobile activities, coming in at six times greater than the amount of mobile Web usage. This research shows that developers are choosing to go with the coding used on popular operating systems rather than experimenting with HTML5 than spans cross-platform. Because HTML5 is much younger than other languages and is still maturing, this makes it harder for developers to consider it as a programming option.

"It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014," Flurry said. "But one thing is clear — apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat. Now every company in the world, including Google, is adjusting to that reality."

Filling in the app gap
While it's a start to have a mobile vision in mind, developers need to have a strategy for how to deploy their software and what resources they'll use to build it. TechTarget noted that in the case of enterprises, "There's an app for that" doesn't apply to every situation. Businesses must consider which programs will be safe for use and how to create apps that will improve overall operations. According to the December 2013 Citrix Mobility Report, only 9 percent of programs used in organizations were mobile applications. This shows a substantial chance for Web approaches like HTML5 development to rise and be more broadly accepted by the development community. Experimentation with the platform will enable app builders to share their findings with other developers to create better software with the new programming method and help HTML5 reach its true potential in providing a true cross-device experience.

"When you look at all of these efforts combined, there's a clear recognition that enterprise mobile apps aren't where they need to be to meet users' needs," TechTarget stated. "There's not always an app for that in the IT department, but if this work continues, one day there will be."

Building an optimal mobile app
There are numerous different options for software creation, from leveraging the C# chart to deploying jQuery components. However, by using a hybrid approach, developers could make something truly unique that will span a range of devices and uses. App Developer Magazine contributor Tuukka Ahoniemi noted that while HTML5 has a lot of potential in terms of deploying robust programs on any mobile platform, by itself, it hasn't been able to live up to user expectations. By leveraging a hybrid method, organizations can use HTML5 to drive seamless code updates and real-time data exchange while also utilizing native programming to provide more control over app performance.

"To make the hybrid or pure native strategy work, the answer is to adopt an applications development framework that has been designed from the ground up for cross-platform, that avoids the restrictions of the proprietary native software model and which provides a variety of implementation languages to suit hybrid application development," Ahoniemi wrote.


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