Web Professional Trends – Web Apps vs Native Apps with Wilson Page @Mozilla

In this 17 minute interview with Wilson Page, front end developer at Mozilla we talk about Web Professional Trends for 2014 including a Financial Times Case study comparing Web Apps to Native and:

* In 2011 Financial Times withdrew its native app from Apple’s App Store to circumvent subscription fees and maintain closer connection with their subscribers. Instead, it came out with an iPhone web app (app.ft.com)
* How Wilson and his colleagues were tasked to rebuild and existing application with a redesign for the Financial Times
* As a result, developed a case study along the way to share his experiences and lessons learned including the fact that planning was critical and building Web apps is not simple
* The importance of architecture
* We didn’t just want to build a product that fulfilled its current requirements; we wanted to build a foundation that we could innovate on in the future
* A definition of a Web app and how it compares from a website by serving a specific task
* His perspective on the value if the Web app
* With implementing a far more challenging product, without compromising the reliable, performant experience that made the first app so successful
* Building with a maintenance-first mentality, writing clean, well-commented code and, at the same time, ensuring that our code could accommodate the demands of an ever-changing feature set
* The first Financial Times Web app ran on iPad and iPhone in the browser, and it shipped in a native (PhoneGap-esque) application wrapper for Android and Windows 8 Metro devices
*The latest Web app is currently being served to iPad devices only; but as support is built in and tested, it will be rolled out to all existing supported platforms
* HTML5 gives developers the advantage of occupying almost any platform
*With the launch of several new Web application marketplaces (eg. Chrome Web Store and Mozilla Marketplace), we are excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for the Web
* Financial savings
* Skills required developing a Web App
* Recommendations for students and teachers


More on

Raluca Budiu at the Nielsen Norman Group puts it this way:

“Native and hybrid apps are installed in an app store, whereas web apps are mobile-optimized webpages that look like an app. Both hybrid and web apps render HTML web pages, but hybrid apps use app-embedded browsers to do that.”

“In the mobile realm, you’ll hear often terms like native app or web app, or even hybrid app. What’s the difference?
Native Apps.”

More on the topic Web Apps vs. Native Apps

from Raluca Budiu at the Nielsen Norman Group:

Native Apps

“Native apps live on the device and are accessed through icons on the device home screen. Native apps are installed through an application store (such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store). They are developed specifically for one platform, and can take full advantage of all the device features — they can use the camera, the GPS, the accelerometer, the compass, the list of contacts, and so on. They can also incorporate gestures (either standard operating-system gestures or new, app-defined gestures). And native apps can use the device’s notification system and can work offline.

Mobile Web Apps

“Web apps are not real applications; they are really websites that, in many ways, look and feel like native applications, but are not implemented as such. They are run by a browser and typically written in HTML5. Users first access them as they would access any web page: they navigate to a special URL and then have the option of “installing” them on their home screen by creating a bookmark to that page.”

“Web apps became really popular when HTML5 came around and people realized that they can obtain native-like–functionality in the browser. Today, as more and more sites use HTML5, the distinction between web apps and regular web pages has become blurry.”

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