Bye Bye Native Apps

Android 4 in sights I recently attended an amazing technical workshop deepen some new paradigms of this fresh version.

Efficient, affordable and manageable software development in mind I wonder what might be a meaningful path for software development today. The situation is:

  • We have 3 major desktop platforms: Linux – Mac OS – Windows
  • We have 3 major mobile platforms: Android – iOS – Windows Mobile

As we know each of the prospective platform investors works hard to bind developers on their platform.

Up today it is still a challenge to develop platform independent enterprise software. The least common denominator for doing that was Java so far.

If you look at the current evolvement of mobile platforms it will become clear that we’re on the way to target mobiles for enterprise software development. This doubles the platforms to investigate in and multiplies the overall complexity of software development.

I argue that this kind of platform specific development is not a road for the future. Native Apps are bound to a specific vendor; obviously this is not an efficient approach for enterprise software development. Additionally there is no “least common denominator” in sight for the mobile platform.

There remains one solution that is already available for the desktop: Web Applications. With Html 5 and a fresh copy of jQuery Mobile there are best chances to get one piece of software running on the six main platforms in question.

There are two common arguments against web applications:

  • You always need to be online. Yes that’s true; but what’s the problem? Cost? Loss of control of data? An app is not the answer for this if you think in terms of enterprise applications entering mobile platforms.
  • You cannot access device gadgets. Answer: Wait for the next Html 5 iteration or use workarounds.

After all, native app development is a current hype but no solution for medium term. With web applications you achieve the best ratio for costs and benefits. The future remains challenging.

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