Ever since Apple created the iOS ecosystem, countless developers moved to focus their energies on the mobile world. As a result, more and more content is being consumed and more apps are being used as routine parts of people’s daily lives. It seems mobile is dominant in every way.
However, according to Web analytics company StatCounter, mobile browser usage hit only 20% at the end of 2013, and personal computers accounted for the remaining 80%. Then again, according to comScore, for the first time starting in January 2014, more Americans use apps (46.1%) to access Internet data than they do from a desktop computer (45.1%). Such data only further fuels the now age-old argument: Should developers focus on Web or native applications?
Despite the conundrum, developers often pick sides: They stick to just Web or just native. It’s obvious that when users are on a desktop, they will tend to use their desktop browser to access their favorite applications. On mobile, users prefer dedicated apps for popular websites over mobile browsers.
But, consider that Microsoft and Apple appear to be retooling their desktop operating systems (Windows and Mac OS X, respectively) to be more mobile platforms than desktop platforms. So, for some developers, the answer is not so clear-cut. To some, it seems more difficult than ever to decide whether to develop a Web or native application.
There are obvious considerations to help make the decision, such as the number of your potential users on one versus the other. Another factor that helps sway a decision is the development time and maintenance time. Developers also have to come to grips with any new technologies on one platform versus another.
Regardless of all this, developers that pick sides are wrong. We must still develop for web and native applications. Let’s explore…
The IT space
Cloud computing and mobile platforms have totally changed the way IT deals with organizational and personal information. We no longer save and sync data just to a local hard disk. We need it on the go. This is why we’ve seen the emergence of DropBox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and other vendors to provide data backup and synchronization services.