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> This is the way forward, a company that wants to develop native apps for mobile must already work with so many different systems. A new startup is going to focus on an iphone app, if they are successful or well capitalized from the start then they will look at android. The third choice in the market is shaping to be windows 7 phone.

I agree with what you said here. But to take it a step further I'd say that the number one rule I've learned from doing mobile native apps the last few years is that ideally one should NOT be making mobile native apps. Make a web app, that just happens to look and interact decently on a mobile device. Saves developers a lot of pain and a lot of time otherwise invested in a more narrow platform set of skills.




> But to take it a step further I'd say that the number one rule I've learned from doing mobile native apps the last few years is that ideally one should NOT be making mobile native apps. Make a web app, that just happens to look and interact decently on a mobile device.

Yeah, make a web page so I would need to start the browser first, then wait for the page to load. The GUI and the experience will be completely different than anything what I already have on the phone, not to mention that the GUI will be suboptimal. Transition between screens in the app will be dependent on network coverage - if I'm in the bus and it stops on some blind spot just when I clicked the button, I'll have to watch white screen (or an error message) until the bus moves. And for what? To "save developers a lot of pain". Sounds reasonable, I'm sure I'll give you my money.


If your goal is to provide for a nice developer experience, sure. Thing is that developers are paid to do non-pleasant things in order to maximize the end user experience. Most web apps are crap on the desktop already, but not enough to be worse than desktop apps (because of other advantages); but on a mobile, they're 10x worse and in almost no cases equally good let alone better than the native app.

What web apps do you know that work great on a phone? Maybe my experience is skewed, but the slickest web-based phone app is the mobile version of Reddit, and that thing still sucks when you actually use it.

Color me unconvinced - native dev isn't going anywhere just yet.


For this to be truly a reality you would need mobile developers to expose more functionality to the web app. The web app could also become a common interface with lower level functionality, so say a camera on an android phone and an iphone could both expose a common js interface.


This is what Palm was trying to achieve with WebOS.




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