Hybrid V/s Native Mobile Applications… The Dummies Guide

Hola !!!

The first question to ask is, what are hybrid apps and native apps? Hybrid mobile apps are like any other apps you’ll find on your phone. They install on your device. You can find them in app stores. Like websites on the internet, hybrid apps are also built with a combination of web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript,  wrapped in a native container which supply most of the information on the page as the user navigates through the application.

Now what is a native app?

Hybrid V/s Native

Hybrid V/s Native

A native app is an application program that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device eg: Android or iOS or windows for that matter. Because a native app is written for a specific platform, they can interact well with and take advantage of operating system’s features. Because a native app is built for a particular device and its operating system, it is well optimised and has the ability to use device-specific hardware and software capabilities, meaning that native apps can take advantage of the latest technology available for that mobile platform, availability of new features and updates and transition onto it is very fast such as a global positioning system (GPS) and camera, fingerprint and iris scanning support. This can be considered an advantage for native apps over Web apps or mobile cloud apps.

So now that we have answered the first and foremost question of what are the two variants of apps now I think it is time for us consider when each of these technologies can be used. There are merits and demerits in a way if you look into both the technologies, as user experience is the key to the success of all the mobile applications be it an iOs app or an android app. 

What are the motivations to go hybrid?

Hybrid mobile applications provide a way for developers to reuse their existing skills in web development. Developers don’t like the prospect of getting locked into proprietary platforms. This includes the programming languages and SDKs provided by platform vendors. Hybrid mobile application development looks appealing to an organisation’s bottom line. Why hire a developer for each platform when you can hire one developer and target all of them through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript? Well, the reality is a bit more complicated. it’s true that hybrid mobile application development enables developers to target more than one platform. However, each platform comes with a set of shortcomings when it comes to its web runtime or WebView. This is especially true with Android, which is inconsistent between OS versions. Hybrid apps are developed using HTML, CSS and Javascript, and then wrapped in a native application using platforms like Cordova. This allows you to use any web-native framework you want, and there are plenty of these.

What are the  different frameworks for Hybrid App Development?

There are a lots of different platforms on which we can develop a Hybrid app. The most used among these platforms are.

PhoneGap

One of the most popular in the minds of new Developers coming into hybrid app development. Though there are more optimised frameworks for hybrid development. PhoneGap is the odd one out in this list as it’s not a framework for creating an app, but for packaging and releasing an app. PhoneGap is based on the open source Cordova and is the commercial version owned by Adobe. With a dedicated support team, PhoneGap is popular amongst many mobile developers. You can use any choice of JavaScript or UI frameworks to get started with PhoneGap. jQuery Mobile alongside KnockOut.js or AngularJS is a nice combination.

IONIC

It is one of the most promising HTML5 mobile application frameworks. Built using SASS, it provides many UI components to help develop rich and interactive apps. It uses the JavaScript MVVM framework, AngularJS to power apps. Two-way data binding, interaction with backend services and APIs makes AngularJS a mobile developer’s common choice.

MOBILE ANGULAR UI

Mobile Angular UI is an HTML5 framework which uses bootstrap 3 and AngularJS to create interactive mobile apps.

The main features of Mobile Angular UI include:

  • Bootstrap 3
  • AngularJS
  • Bootstrap 3 mobile components such as switches, overlays and sidebars which are missing in normal bootstrap.
  • AngularJS modules such as angular-route, angular-touch and angular-animate.

Responsive media queries are stripped out of bootstrap as separate files, you only need to include what you need. Mobile Angular UI doesn’t have any jQuery dependencies, all you need are some AngularJS directives to create awesome mobile user experiences.

APPCELERATOR TITANIUM

An open source mobile application framework that provides an environment to create native apps for several mobile platforms.It is a complete solution for creating hybrid mobile apps with all the things you might need under one roof. The Titanium SDK is equipped with a number of mobile platform APIs and Cloud service to use as an app backend. It comes with platform independent APIs which makes it easier to access phone hardware. Titanium uses Alloy, an MVC framework to enables rapid development of mobile application. Modules created using Alloy are easy to reuse across different apps, hence it significantly reduces the development time and the lines of code. To get started with Titanium download Titanium studio.

METEOR

Meteor is a platform that allows developers to use the same Javascript code base to build apps for iOS, Android and the web. Once you learn to develop with Meteor, you can quickly translate your JavaScript web apps into native mobile apps, without needing to learn new programming languages. Meteor relies on a technology known as Cordova. This clever technology allows HTML and JavaScript to run on a mobile phone without using a browser. It also allows developers to write JavaScript code that controls the basic functions of mobile devices. For example, a developer who uses Cordova can write JavaScript code that can access the camera function of an iOS or Android mobile device, just as it would access the webcam on a laptop or desktop computer.

Why Use Meteor?

Meteor takes the powerful functionality of Cordova and simplifies it. The Meteor interface is easy to use and allows you to quickly compile, test and deploy apps, cutting down the time spent trying to figure out how to get apps working on different iOS and Android devices.

FACEBOOK’S REACT NATIVE

Native V/s Hybrid Mobile AppsGone are the WebView components of other hybrid mobile apps. This is possible because React Native’s building blocks are reusable “native components” that compile directly to native. Components you’d use in iOS or Android have counterparts right in React, so you’ll get a consistent look and feel.This component-based structure also allows you to build apps with a more agile, web-style approach to development than typical hybrid frameworks, but without any web at all. The app will have the speed, look, and functionality of a native mobile application. Facebook also made React Native open-source, with the idea that compatibility with other platforms like Windows or tvOS could be worked on by the development community. Some well known apps that use Facebook’s React Native are Facebook app, Instagram, Walmart, Tesla.  

Now that you have a clear idea about what a native app  and a Hybrid app is? How both try to solve the same problem in different ways. Though hybrid apps are faster and easier to develop because it does not require two different set of developers and also a web developer is not required to learn a new language or platform specific features, the hybrid app still has some shortcomings  over native apps which is going to stay.

For example Native apps provide the best usability, the best features, and the best overall mobile experience. There are some things you only get with native apps:

  • Multi touch – double taps, pinch-spread, and other compound UI gestures
  • Fast graphics API – the native platform gives you the fastest graphics, which may not be a big deal if you’re showing a static screen with only a few elements, or a very big deal if you’re using a lot of data and require a fast refresh.
  • Fluid animation – related to the fast graphics API is the ability to have fluid animation. This is especially important in gaming, highly interactive reporting, or intensely computational algorithms for transforming photos and sounds.
  • Built-in components – The camera, address book, geolocation, and other features native to the device can be seamlessly integrated into mobile apps. Another important built-in components is encrypted storage, but more about that later.
  • Ease of use – The native platform is what people are accustomed to, and so when you add that familiarity with all of the native features they expect, you have an app that’s just plain easier to use.
  • Documentation – There are over 2500 books alone for iOS and Android development, with many more articles, blog posts, and detailed technical threads on sites like StackOverflow.

Native apps are usually developed using an integrated development environment (IDE). IDEs provide tools for building debugging, project management, version control, and other tools professional developers need. While we’ve touched on native apps from a development perspective, there’s also the more important perspective: the end user. When you’re looking for an app, you’ll find it in the store. When you start the app, it fires up immediately. When you use the app, you get fast performance, consistent platform look and feel. When your app needs an update, it tells you so. Native apps give you everything you’d expect from the company that built your device, as if it were simply meant to be.

Difference between the two platforms.

The key difference between native and hybrid apps is that hybrid apps are hosted inside a native application that utilizes a mobile platform’s WebView.

Time to choose.

One of the most difficult business decisions a company management has to take is to choose one over the other. Simply put if you are thinking of building an app that has to handle a lot of data from location and other sensors or a high volume of data in the form of high graphics the native app is the no brainer option. For any other less intensive task which only user a client server architecture and only needs internet permission then hybrid app is the way to go

How much does it cost to develop a Mobile App ?

Today almost everyone owns a smartphone and I can bet most you reading this would have played Angry birds, Temple run and other most popular games. Not alone games but also apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whats app and so on.

Mobile apps are categorized into

  • Games
  • Utility apps
  • Fun apps
  • Social media apps etc

Now to the main question, how much does it cost to develop a Mobile Application? To be honest the answer would be “it depends”. The cost would entirely depend on the type of mobile application one want to develop.

Recently happened to read an article on OS X Daily about iPhone Development Costs which suggests that the development cost for small apps (apps with basic functionality) would be around $ 3000 to $8000 and more complex apps (which might have to deal with database management system) and game apps the development cost would vary from $50000 to $150000 or more.

As said earlier it all depends.

Also there are plenty of do it yourself tools available online but one would need to have the enough knowledge of mobile application development to get it out there in the app world. One can develop the mobile app with DIY methods or hire someone or outsource the development to an experienced app development house.

Also it would be a mistake if one thought the design and development of the mobile app is a one-time affair.  A mobile app developed today needs to be updated according to the future change in the requirement and also the operating system updates.  If the strategy is to develop a cross platform mobile app then it is very important to identify the right frameworks for the same.

How to make an addictive mobile application

If there were a secret recipe to make an addictive and revenue generating mobile application, would you use it, the answer would be a resounding “YES” …….

Unfortunately there is no secret recipe to develop an addictive mobile application. But if you look closely at all those mobile applications that have been hugely successful, they would have some common traits which can be analysed, and then put them to good effect while developing a smartphone / mobile application.

There are millions of mobile applications out there in the market so how does your mobile application standout amongst the others. Did you know that many apps there are downloaded are tried once and then discarded. A report says “With 60,000 apps added to the App Store every month, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for apps to stand out.”

It is absolutely necessary to develop an amazing and addictive mobile application. When you look around you see people are using their mobile phone at the grocery store, at the theatres, at the airport and even while walking down the street. So it is evident that people will use a mobile app that helps them stream line and improve their day-to-day interactions and decisions. Few points to ponder,

  • Visual Appeal
  • Notification
  • Gamification
  • Sharable

The important factor to keep in mind is to keep the mobile application simple. If you flood the app with tons of features and if it is hard work for the user to go through all those features,  the chances of the user returning to the app is slim.

Keep it simple :-)

I am sure that you would know that gaming apps are the ones that are hugely popular amongst all type of users. Incorporating gamification features to your app could give the thrust that it needs. This will help to keep the user engaged and would definitely encourage them to promote your app. As far as instructions are concerned I sincerely doubt whether a user goes through the instructions, its important to make the app intuitive as possible. This is to handhold the user in an engaging way.

Apps are downloaded on a daily basis and to stay in touch with the user it is very very important to notify your user on a regular basis. Provide an easy option to share the mobile application. All said there are plenty of apps out there, some of them being fun, entertainment and gaming apps. How do you standout from the rest will decide the fate of the app.

To conclude create an app that solves a common & daily problem.

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Do you need a mobile application for your business to stay competitive?

Number of mobile applications in each stores Google Play, App store, Windows and Blackberry continues to rise with the front-runners being Google Play and App Store. Having a share in the market place, Blackberry and Windows have a lot of catching up to do and that is going to be very interesting the coming years.

Looking at the statistics Google Play Store has around 13,50,000 apps and Apples App Store has around 13,00,000 apps. As a business owner when you glance through the above statistics it can seem that each and everyone (even your competitors) has a mobile application except you.

That’s when you feel that you are left behind while your competitors are eating up major junk of the market share. As a business owner your main concerns would be

  1. Do I need a mobile application for my business?
  2. Building a mobile application is expensive.
  3. Building a mobile application is time consuming.

Users are now moving away from laptops and desktops and are relying more on their smart phone or tablets. From ticket booking, paying bills and buying grocery is just a click away, it is fast and very convenient. As more and more apps are downloaded from the stores, business enterprises are moving towards having their own mobile applications.

Ok! Now you are ready to join the apps bandwagon but then being an entrepreneur you would look into all possibilities and think…

“Cant users access the current website through their smartphone?”

A tricky question and it is important to know if the website is mobile friendly and has been built keeping in mind the compatibility factor with smartphones. If not be ready to face some challenges when the website is displayed in the smart phone.

Keeping these in mind you can build

  1. Mobile Optimized Website
  2. Stand alone App
  1. Mobile Optimized Website

This can be done with minimum fuzz if the current site has been developed using the mobile responsive design. One of the main advantages of mobile optimized website, it will work universally in all mobiles as the Internet browser opens a web page reliably in all the smartphones.

  1. Stand alone app

From a business perspective the stand alone app is much better than a mobile optimized website. The app is always there in the users smart phone and just a click away, no need to launch the web url in the browser which can be felt time consuming now a days. A study suggests that 82 percent of time spent with Mobile media happens with apps. If you are looking to engage customers with your product or service it is better to build a mobile app. You can be constant touch with them through notifications, be it a new product launch or a new service that you offer.

Choice is yours to decide :-)

Restaurant App from Next Big Idea…

ThinkclrRunning a restaurant business could be complicated. A passionate Restaurant owner would cherish the day-to-day challenges and keep improving on how a better service can be delivered to the customers.

The rush time of the restaurant is one that any owner would love and this “time” is the backbone for any restaurant. To deliver high quality service and food on a consistent basis will determine the success of the food outlet. Great food, great service and an exciting atmosphere helps to create buzz around the restaurant, which the customers love. Team at Next Big Idea and Xminds has developed a product that will help restaurants take their business to the next level.

Introducing THINKCLR for restaurants providing a whole suit of “easy to use applications”

  1. Menu App
  2. Kitchen App
  3. POS
  4. Steward
  5. Mobile App
  6. Web App

Thinkclr helps to save time and money for restaurants. With Thinkclr you can

  1. Increase Revenue
  2. Understand your Customer and Grow sales
  3. Update Menu prices instantly
  4. Simply Operations
  5. Increase Customer Loyalty

For more info please visit www.thinkclr.com

Life Saver – Blood Donation App

Ever wondered about who can donate blood when you are in a medical emergency!!! Or who can receive blood from you in an emergency!!!

Life Saver is an application that helps you keep connected with individuals in need of blood and who are willing to donate blood.  Application basically brings together those who seek for blood and blood donors.

In Life Saver, Blood donors can register their details in the application and make themselves available for blood donation. Donors can be aware of the next donation eligibility date. People who need urgent blood can search for donors, by sending urgent blood requests via the application and also stating their exact location. Users who need urgent blood can directly contact the donors by SMS or by calling them. Donors and receivers can share the blood donation details over social media.  Life Saver maps you to the nearest hospital for those who are urgently seeking blood or those who have an emergency and is trying to locate the nearest hospital. Application enables you to use this app to import contacts of friends that are registered with Life Saver, from your cell phone contacts list making it easier to call friends in times of need.

Life Saver is developed in Android Platform. We will soon be releasing the iPhone version of the App. Checkout Life Saver today and share your email id, we would send you the beta invite.

We love to hear your feedback and suggestions send it to info@donatebloodtoday.in

Watch Demo Video | Join us at Facebook |http://donatebloodtoday.in/

The Future Of Shopping Is Mobile

With the rate at which people are using mobile platforms to swap the traditional shopping malls, the future of traditional and ecommerce is certainly mobile. Thanks to the boom in the smartphone industry, shops now are located in mobiles. In fact, apart from a sharp change in the conventional shopping trends, the number of people logging into the laptops and desktops for shopping is also falling drastically.

With the launch of apps like Google Wallet, people are getting used to the mobile platform like never before. According to Forbes that listed 10 trends to watch in online shopping, the use of mobile apps was listed at number three. While many of us are still unknown to the tricks and advantages of online shopping on mobile apps, it is equally true that we are somehow getting absorbed to these technologies that make shopping much easier than any of us imagined a decade back.

Amidst these changes, it will be difficult to say where the brick and mortar retailers will stand in a few years. Many popular retail chain outlets, such as Best Buy are planning to shut many stores for investing in larger and luxurious retail settings. These changes are clear indications that driving sales is some sort of a necessity for these stores.

As we start predicting that shopping will someday be all about mobile apps, there are still a few hiccups for the mobile platform. The immediate sales and quick delivery system that traditional sellers can offer is something that mobile shopping platforms will still have to think about. Online retailers are, in fact, in quest of the delivery options that will give them some edge over traditional sellers with regards to delivery.

Will this mean that traditional retailers will be complete wiped-off in the next decade? Well, certainly not, at least not in many markets. Many retailers are offering new options such as payment through mobile, easy billing and quick delivery through express delivery services. Also, the new mobile shopping platform may significantly take on the retail jobs that had increased with the increase in chain stores and shopping lines. This may now seem insignificant, but the situation will have its impact on the society soon.

In spite of the hiccups, the future of mobile apps for shopping is certainly bright, and it cannot be denied that online retailers will retain the lion’s share of customers. As more and more, retail stores launch their mobile outlets for customers in the smartphone brigade, the coming days will only witness increase in online shoppers who will use tablets and phones to make the most of their shopping choices.

What has also contributed to the trend is the decrease in smartphone and tablet prices, which has drastically improved their sales in all key markets of the globe. The paradigm change in the trend is certainly not for a short term, and it remains to be seen how the scenario will take impact in the retail market in the coming days.

Mobile Apps Are Challenging TV

The smartphone generation have their own ways of doing things, and for them, using an app on their phone is a much better way of communication than sticking to the television. Studies have revealed that the use of mobile phones has almost doubled in the last decade, and thanks to the burgeoning telecom industry and unprecedented growth in technology, the use of smartphones will only increase in coming days. The main question is whether mobile apps will actually override TV in terms of popularity and usage, and for this, many people have many answers to give.

Current data shows that the amount of time that a person spends on the internet is as low as 70 minutes, while the amount of time spent on television watching is around 168 minutes, which is a mere marginal increase from the earlier average time of 162 minutes. However, checking the usage of mobile phone apps (127 minutes a day!), one would be startled to see the increase, which is almost double than before (earlier the usage time on average was 66 minutes).With the smartphone prices being slashed every month along with the introduction of new applications every other day, the time is not far when the time spent on mobile apps will be higher than television.

While there is a concern for the television business, there isn’t actually any threat. This is mainly because fans and followers, who like to stick to the TV, will still check their favourite programs on their phones right on the apps. This is obviously one of the smartestway for television producers to ensure business and continuity, and exactly, this is what most television channels have in mind.

Before talking of future possibilities, it is wise to understand why mobile apps are here to stay. In the fast paced world, people hardly spend time at home, and when everything is available right on the phone, who bothers to switch on the TV. Obviously, there will be an increase in the number of smart phone users in coming days, while there is no unexpected increase in use of television.

However, what is worth noticing is the fact that there still exists a part of the population that enjoys being at home and glaring at the television on a daily basis, and the scenario would need at least a few years to change completely. By the time, the television industry will itself see an increase in style and technology, and that would probably help to retain its share among a number of families. While mobile apps still continues to pose a major threat to television, the numbers of television users and the amount of time spent on television still remains undisputed and significant.

Apple Lists Top Apps Of 2012

As the year gets closer to its end, we have the list of top apps for iPhone and iPad announced by Apple. With more than 7,00,000 apps listed on iTunes store, it must have been a tough task for editors to name the best among all. Back in the year 2011, Apple had announced Instagram to be the top iPhone application of the year, and it was Snapseed that received the honour of being the best iPad app. This year, however, Apple has managed to stun users to an extent. While some of the names on their list are obvious, others are pleasant surprises.

This year the editors have chosen Action Movie FX as the iPhone App of the Year, which is a bit of a surprise. This is an app that allows users to add Hollywood style video effects to their videos. From adding cracking missiles to car crashes, this app from Bada Robot Interactive is free to use with a host of addable special effects, even some with HD.

The top app for iPad has been given to Fifty Three’s Paper. This is a notebook app that had also received a design award as well at the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year. Again, this is a paid app that comes with varied kinds of purchases that will enhance its use. The second spot was bagged by Action Movie FX.

Among the free apps for iPhone, YouTube managed to get the top spot, pushing Instagram to the second slot. Draw Something Free, Flashlight, Facebook, and Pandora Radio bagged third, fourth, fifth and sixth spot respectively. Others who made to the top-ten list included Twitter, Skype and Temple Run. As for iPad free apps, Skype retained the top slot with Temple run remaining a runner up, and Facebook finished on the third spot.

Angry Birds Space managed to remain on the top of the list of paid applications, while the second paid app that garnered positive reviews was WhatsApp Messenger. Draw Something managed to retain the third spot. Other apps on the paid list of app include Camera+, Where’s My Water?,Angry Birds Star Wars, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Bejeweled. Game of the year was given to Rayman Jungle Run, which the editors felt was a game worth the excitement. Among the paid iPad apps, Angry Birds Space HD again topped the list, while Where’s My Water? And Pages finished at second and third spot respectively.

For many the list was surprising because Apple giving the top app for iPhone to a special effect app was certainly unexpected. Among the others, Instagram that is with Facebook now remains at the second slot, to be expectedly topped by YouTube. The popularity of Angry Birds is probably the most unprecedented ones among all apps, and in spite of being a paid app, it continues to rule the chart. With the new list, some of the much unexpected apps are expected to see a boost in downloads in coming days.

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