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The Future Hybrid Mobile And Web App

The Future Hybrid Mobile And Web App
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The advent of mobile technology has resulted in changes with the way that users access

online content, and the discipline of mobile website development has had to take these changes into consideration. Consumers have more options than ever when it comes to accessing information. For example, banks may provide a mobile-friendly website, an app, an SMS service or some combination of all of those services. The mobile app developer has to think on his toes to keep up with these changes and trends.

The Face of Mobile Design

Mobile design is currently made up of several elements. For example, apps are stand-alone programs available for iPhones, Android phones, the iPad and even tablet e-readers such as the Kindle Fire. These apps require installation on the user's device, using up valuable hard drive space. Consumers must manually launch and update apps; however, most smartphone apps can integrate with others including some native operating system functions, unlike traditional websites. For instance, a news reader might allow the reader to quickly post article via Twitter, text message or email.

Mobile Overlap
The Future Hybrid Mobile And Web App
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With an app, the user doesn't necessarily have to open his browser, but developers also know that apps and the browser can work hand in hand. For instance, the Facebook app on the Kindle Fire, in actuality, brings the user to Facebook's mobile site, which offers the same features and functions of Facebook's app for Android devices. Of course, more websites are acting like apps every day.

The Difficulties of Designing for Mobile Devices

Mobile devices differ from desktop computers in many ways. Obviously, they boast smaller screens, and mobile browsers may not support technologies such as Flash or Javascript, which means that any website that uses these technologies isn't necessarily usable on a smartphone or tablet. Of course, this isn't news to any iPhone development professional, and designers are working toward creating mobile-friendly websites that don't use those technologies, scale for smaller screens and rely less on images, which can cause websites to load quite slowly on mobile devices.

Of course, serving those mobile variations is a problem unto itself. With the incredibly-fragmented Android market, it's becoming more difficult to detect each and every variation of the operating system, especially with so many third-party ROMs becoming available. Mobile website designers can then only hope to reach the majority of the market, rather than the entirety of it.

The Future of Mobile Website Development

Mobile sites and apps are both popular right now, and many companies have developed both. Of course, one of the major downfalls of an app is that it requires a smartphone or tablet. Mobile websites remain a viable option even for users of feature phones that are not capable of download third-party apps. We hope that this will lead to an eventual winner, and that winner will be the mobile-friendly website, rather than apps. After all, any phone with a browser can navigate to a website, but mobile apps development must consider the different operating systems and even fragmentation within a single operating system.

It seems, to us, that the future of mobile development is mobile websites. As carriers continue to strengthen their networks, slow connections will become less of a deterrent for engaging mobile content. Companies providing mobile content to their consumers should focus on mobile-friendly websites, specifically sites that offer the function of today's apps. For now, dont put all your eggs in one basket, as apps are still a powerful player and are not going anywhere for a while.

by: Alex Teplish


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