April 17, 2013

Gartner Sees Hybrid Apps as the Best Approach

There’s been a lot of debate over whether or not HTML5 apps will ultimately take over native apps, but it seems more likely that the true future for mobile apps is somewhere in between. That’s right, hybrid apps are the future for mobile development, according to research firm Gartner (News Alert).

While native apps are said to offer a superior user experience and performance, they are hindered by a fragmented set of development tools and multiple app versions for different devices and operating systems. On the other hand, HTML5’s promise of offline capabilities and animation-rich tools hasn’t been fulfilled in many developers’ eyes.

Hybrid architectures are able to offer something between the two for a "best of both worlds" approach. In other words, a hybrid app can leverage HTML5’s portability across platforms, while still offering access to features of each device like a fully native app.

"The BYOD trend and the increased pressure on organizations to deploy mobile applications to accommodate mobile work styles of employees will lead businesses to manage a portfolio of mobile application architectures, and hybrid architectures will be especially well-suited to business-to-employee applications," said Van Baker, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

Hybrid apps will become increasingly necessary as device heterogeneity gets broader, due largely to greater mobile device use. Indeed, Gartner expects that mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide by the end of the year, while PC shipments are expected to be less than 50 percent of combined PC and tablet shipments.

Meanwhile, more devices are becoming Web-enabled by the day, with set-top boxes, Internet TVs, appliances and wearable personal devices all featuring their own apps. This will require that businesses implement a multi-device strategy that can be integrated into existing applications and architectures, rather than added separately.

Edited by Braden Becker


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