There is a raging debate happening in development circles across North America right now – Which approach is best for development on a mobile device. Should we use a native application coded in Objective-C for example or should we use a browser based approach?
It is a question that people on both sides of the debate feel very strongly that their approach is best. Our answer to this question is that what is best depends on the project and the task involved. Not only that but sometimes a hybrid approach is best. As an example with the development of Mobilversity we decided to use different approaches depending on what task was being performed in that part of the application.
We used native approaches for part of the application such as the homescreen where a browser based approach might have had the same performance and responsiveness. We used a webpage approach for certain parts of the application such as the library catalog where simply formatting an existing webpage for a mobile device was a better solution then trying to do something natively. So, ultimately it is your choice on what is best, but my suggestion is to let the nature of the task/feature direct your decision. Sometimes the hybrid approach is the best model to accommodate multiple features.
About the Author: Chad Jones is the founder and CEO of CollegeMobile. He is a former Apple Engineer and credited with developing the first university level course for iPhone programming in Canada. Chad is considered an expert in mobile application development and has been featured by the CBC, CTV, Globe & Mail, and Macleans Magazine. Learn more about Chad Jones.