Future of Mobile: Native Apps vs. Mobile Web vs. Hybrid Apps

Location: 2001 Audience level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.18, 11 ratings)

2008 was the year of the iPhone App Store. With over 10,000 applications and 300 million downloads, the App Store has been a resounding success that has prompted other phones manufacturers to develop their own App Store plans.

Developers and businesses alike took notice of the early success and sales of iPhone apps and now the rush is on to build native iPhone applications.

Now businesses say they need an iPhone application before they know what the business case for the application will be.

But are native applications really the future of mobile? What happened to the promise of the Mobile Web? And what about hybrid applications (a.k.a., Rich Mobile Applications)?

When does it make sense to build each type of application? What are the limitations of each? And where is each technology headed?

Photo of Jason Grigsby

Jason Grigsby

Cloud Four

Jason Grigsby is cofounder of Cloud Four, a small web agency in lovely Portland, Oregon. Jason was part of the team that worked on the Obama ‘08 iPhone app, founded Mobile Portland and the first open device lab, and was a signatory to the Future Friendly Web manifesto. When he was young, Jason whistled at 1200 baud, was utterly unimpressed when first introduced to Mosaic, and was bit by the mobile bug in 2000, when WAP was crap. Jason coauthored Head First Mobile Web for O’Reilly. He participated in the Responsive Images Community group and has written numerous articles on how to use responsive images. He is currently obsessed with the potential of progressive web apps.

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