Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mobile Application Curriculum Approaches: Defining The Differences Between Web and Native Apps

When the discussion of Mobile development projects begin a critical perspective on the differences between Mobile web and Native applications. Currently, most students of mine consider native applications the main goal of their development. This is the application which is downloaded directly from a app store or library and placed on a device and developed using programming languages such as Java or Objective-C. 

A web application can be a application which is viewed in a web browser like a web page but could be developed using a variety of languages such as HTML5,CSS,Javascript  or Jquery libraries. I have collected the resources below to help translate the benefits and weaknesses of each. I have also listed resoures which connect the development process to the marketing strategies linked with each. 

Use these to guide your own teaching or development process.

Critical Questions Before Exploring:

What are the differences between web and native applications?

What are  key issues in marketing strategies for Web versus Native Applications?

How can you compose a device specific marketing strategy for a mobile application?

Section 1.: How Are Web & Native Applications Different

Step 1.
This document outlines in clear language the difference in Web and Native Applications as well as other hybrid development. Use this reading to understand these differences and begin to envision which strategy may be best for your strategy.

Step 2.
Read: Web Vs. Native  
This document provides the overview of the market of native applications and the continuing development of web applications and resources becoming more available for creating applications. This article also outlines the continuing development towards creating a consistent user interface between application types. On page 52 a
clear graphic expresses the variety of different devices which challenge developers to create consistency and positive user experience across devices.

Step 3.
This source provides the list of current web based resources for web applications. This list has been created by the W3C(WorldWideWEb Consortium) to inform those who are interest in web based applications of the available API’s (Application Programming Interface) for the web. This source can be used to assist you in strateging your approach when choosing technology for your application strategy.

The provided resource describes a research project which revealed a misunderstanding amongst developers that many of the available API’s for mobile
development are solely for native applications. This is an important component for your strategy as you need to provide technology which works with your device strategy and application plan and provides a counter opinion on the wide availability of web based API’s.

Part II: Market Strategies For Web & Native Applications

Case Study Research:
The case study provided provides not only a description of a mobile project but it also describe the landscape of mobile application development. It provides the introductory context of development and also the choices and options for the team for choosing between web based applications and native.  The inclusion of best practices,user interaction and the conclusions drawn by the researchers about the mobile web applications make this a beneficial reference for those who look toward spearheding their own project.

Part III: Developing A Device Strategy

The reading titled “The Device Agnostic Approach” provides a perspective of the design of applications which is web dependant not so much for the sake of using one tool over the other but for the sake of taking advantage of the web without thinking about being device dependant. This artice can help you envision a project for a variety of devices by focusing on the web.

Starting on page 20 a breakdown of some of the current market perspective and language related to web applications and native applications is described. This chapter of a larger resource provides a real world and relevant context for evaluating the impact of choosing platforms and technology to integrate into  project.

Using the presentation introduced in earlier lessons go to slide 182 and review the area which breaks down in visual form the basics of web and native applications. Use the central questions from the presentation(provided below to help envision your strategy). These questions can be answered with the answering of your third assignment question which asks you to create a device strategy for yout idea and consider screen sizes and resoultions.
It is important to consider the variety of devices and concepts when designing the information architecture.  Designing for the future of how the application will be used provides the most benefits for the user and business which developed over the long term.

After considering the device and platform  the user will be using consider how the graphics will be managed on your device. Use your knowledge from the information architecture layout to consider what images will be shown and how large they will be rendered on the chosen device. It is important to have a device in mind and determine how large the images will be shown on each specific screen.

Important questions to guide learning about the differences in web and native applications.

1.How will different sizes be managed in the design?
2.What is your device strategy?
3.Do you plan on developing for multiple devices?
4.How will this step translate in your design?

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