# Thursday, 08 September 2011

I have argued before that the Android tablet market is a mess and can’t compete with the iPad. I said that the Android manufacturers were developing a tabletized laptop while Apple was developing an “experience” centered around their integrated services.  I made the claim that only Amazon can really take on the iPad with its integrated experience and books, music, video service as well as its own AppStore. Last week it was leaked that Amazon is nearly done with a 7 inch Kindle branded Android tablet. It should sell for about $249 and hit the markets in October or November.

While it is true that Amazon will be taking on the iPad and giving the iPad its first real competition, the real game-changer is for the Android tablet market. Analysts are already saying Amazon will sell 5 million units-this year. (That means in 2 months!) Except for maybe the Galaxy Tab (before Apple sued Samsung due to patents), not a single Android tablet was able to penetrate the market.  If they could not stand a chance against the iPad, they will stand absolutely no chance against both the iPad and Kindle-pad.

Another loser in all of this is Google. Since Android is Open Source, Amazon took a pre 2.2 version of Android, forked it and customized it for its own needs-without any interaction from Google. No Google apps, no Goolge Marketplace, all Amazon branding and Amazon services. So the best selling Android tablet will have nothing to do with Google!

posted on Thursday, 08 September 2011 05:49:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 06 September 2011

Back in January, I argued that AppStores are not necessary as mobile economics mature and start to mimic web economics. Why do I need to download Skype from the AppStore when I can just go to Skype.com and do the same?

appstore

Apple changed the rules and suddenly the AppStore looks like it may die a toddler. Back in February, new rules for advertising revenue and media content were implemented by Apple. If your app is in the app store and you generate revenue from a new customer, you have to give Apple 30% of the revenue of everything you sell.  As per Steve Jobs:

"Our philosophy is simple -- when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30% share... When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100% and Apple earns nothing."

Talk about a finders fee! Take the Kindle for example. If a new customer downloads the Kindle on the iPad and buys a book for $10, Apples gets $3 from Amazon, killing its margins. The same for the New York Times, Economist, Financial Times, and other magazines. What particularly vexed those publications is that Apple would tell the publisher absolutely nothing about the subscriber (Apple owns that data!), reducing any ability to personalize marketing to their own subscribers!

Content Producers Strike Back

The content producers started to fight back. Amazon was the first to strike with its web based Kindle Cloud Reader. It is a web application that uses web standards (HTML5) to allow users to read (online or offline!) their books. You can install a link on your iPad home screen making it look like an app, but it is not. It is just a web site and you completely bypass the AppStore, allowing Amazon to keep 100% of the revenue and customer data.

Another popular content producer struck an even deeper blow to the AppStore. The Financial Times, the winner of the Apple Design Award in 2010, has done the same as Amazon and released a cloud based version of their popular iPad app. Then in a move that can only be described as insurrection, the Financial Times has pulled its (award winning!) iPad and iPhone apps altogether from the AppStore!

With such moves by industry leaders Amazon and the Financial Times, the floodgates are open for others to follow. Apple can’t block the web in its devices, so it is the end of the AppStore as we know it. Even if Apple comes back and says, “ok ok, we will only take 3%, not 30%”, why would Amazon give Apple 3% when it can keep 100% for itself? Tasting freedom, publishers will never come back.

It was nice knowing you AppStore. RIP.

posted on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 05:51:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
# Thursday, 01 September 2011

If you and I were at a local Starbucks drinking coffee and plotted a criminal act (say robbing a bank), would Starbucks be liable? Is Starbucks a co-conspirator since they provided a platform for us to plan our illegal act? In short, no.

If you and I email back and fourth about that same criminal activity, is GMail/your ISP liable? In short, no.

If we do rob the bank and FexEx someone the contraband, is FedEx liable? In short, no.

If I illegally download MP3 music and upload it to Amazon Cloud Storage, Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox, or some other similar service, are they liable? A judge last week said no.

While this seems like a small thing, it is huge. By providing the Cloud providers legal immunity, the same immunity terrestrial providers enjoy, the legal system has validated the business model of the entire cloud computing industry and guarantees an entire industry will not suffer legal limbo.  It is still illegal to download unlicensed content, however, the liability is on the person doing the downloading, not the company providing the service. (The person would also be in violation of the terms of service as well.)

This allows the Internet Economy to work. Google is not liable for someone searching for illegal things, Microsoft is not liable for someone using Excel to plan something illegal, Dropbox is not liable for what it stores, and Telerik is not liable for someone using our software for something illegal.

Score one for the lawyers today.

posted on Thursday, 01 September 2011 03:38:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 26 August 2011

Love our products? Think our support rocks? Love the .NET Ninja? Attended a User Group sponsored by Telerik? Do us a favor and let the world know about it.  Vote for Telerik in this year’s DevProConnections Awards.

image

posted on Friday, 26 August 2011 03:44:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The iPad’s growth is truly amazing. Why is the iPad so dominate after so many failed offerings from the popular Android camp? Why did HP throw in the towel after just a short time? Why does nobody talk about the Blackberry offering? Why will Windows 8 tablets fail to stack up against the iPad? The answer: Nobody wants a tablet!

Go into an electronics store and try to buy an Android tablet. They will ask you a lot of questions to make sure you really want it. Why? They are flooded with returns. The tablet marketing is selling the “whole web” and “tablet computer” with USB ports for keyboards, etc, and folks are thinking that they are buying a laptop replacement.

Tablets are not laptop replacements, they a smartphone replacement. Meaning all the “cool” things we did on the smartphone at home (or hotel room or coffee shop): surf the web, lay in bed and read the newspaper, consume media, light email, watch TV, etc, we do now on a tablet with its superior form factor.

But consumers don’t want a tablet, they want a lightweight, fully branded, integrated “experience” device. Only Apple offers this today, hence the iPad’s market share is so huge and big names are exiting the category. The iPad is basically a big iPhone and that is why it sells so well. The Android tablets are weak and you have to build that experience yourself so it feels disjointed. (Sure it is flexible, but hard to put together yourself.)

My prediction is that all the other tablets, including Windows 8 tablets, are doomed. Except one. One company is so ubiquitous, has such a powerful brand, and has all the pieces in place, that they can build an “experience” device too. That company is Amazon. The tech world is abuzz about the forthcoming Amazon Tablet. Pundits are speculating that an Amazon branded tablet running its popular Kindle software, CloudPlayer MP3 music, streaming video, Android App Store, cloud storage, and e-commerce site’s 200+ million customers, can really challenge Apple. They sure can, as long as Amazon focuses on the tablet “experience” and not the tablet “computer”.

posted on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 03:23:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Last month I was interviewed by Stephen Ibaraki for the IT Manager Connection. I talk about a bunch of stuff including: entrepreneurship, cloud computing, the business of Scrum certifications, speaking in the Middle East, and going to Nepal for charity. You can download the podcast on this page.

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:46:
Stephen, can you profile your eclectic history prior to your current role, and three valuable lessons you wish to share from these roles?
"....For entrepreneurs, recessions are the best time to start a business....You're never going to implement that original plan. Every startup needs to (what I call pivot); there's going to be some kind of inflection point where you and your cofounders see that the original plan is not necessarily going to work and will need to go to Plan B...."

:06:13:
Can you profile your current role and the value you are delivering through your products and services?
"....I make the argument from a business model point of view that when the gold rush was going on, a lot of people had train tickets out to California. The people who made all the money were the people selling the shovels to the people and that is actually what Telerik does. My job is to find new areas for shovels – whether it's do we invest in emerging markets, do we invest in different product lines? That is where the Strategy Officer title comes from...."

:08:30:
What are your top five tips for founding companies, engaging VC, and then selling companies?
"....Just get started.....Minimal viable build, ship early, ship often....You need less money than you think....Look for very low types of capital infusions in the very beginning....Don't get too worked up on the Letter of Intent...."

:16:36:
With your long history as company founder, CTO, chief strategy officer, what are your top leadership tips?
"....Leading by example....Symbolism is important....A problem with an employee is a problem or failure in management....A leader has to be personable and engaging....A leader has to make a team feel proud...."

:24:03:
As a certified SCRUM Master, what special insights and success stories can you share to benefit the audience?
"....I fully believe that you can 'bend the rules' and you don’t have to call it Scrum. Just say that I’m using an agile methodology that's based on Scrum and everyone will be happy...."

:26:20:
Let’s pretend I'm a listener out there and I want to be a certified Scrum Master. What are the 3 or 4 steps that I have to take to become a certified Scrum Master?
"....The first thing you need to do is to convince your boss to pay for it....All three of the groups that do the certification do a great job...."

:28:29:
What special tips can you share on .NET and SQL development?
"....The advice I would give is, take a look at SQL Azure which is the SQL server database that's up in the clouds. It has almost zero learning curve if you are using regular SQL server....Once you've gotten into SQL server and SQL Azure and exploring some of the CTP, then you can start to look at things like what does it mean by putting my application in the cloud and does it make sense?...."

:32:04:
What lessons can you share from each of these roles: Author, Microsoft MVP award recipient, Microsoft Regional Director, INETA speaker, and co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group?
"....If you do a good job, at worst you are contributing to the community so that when you Google something and look for things in the community you'll get a response and at best, if you contribute a lot and do a great job you will build a name for yourself...."

:34:54:
In your current role, what are your top challenges and top opportunities?
"....My role is partly a senior management role so most of my challenges and opportunities are interwoven with the company....Challenges: Keeping the great culture of the company intact as we grow....Finding the right people....Communication....Opportunities: Emerging markets....Cloud plus business intelligence....Application Lifecycle Management...."

:39:25:
What specific technologies should business and IT executives be embracing today and in two years, five years?
"....We are entering the device plus cloud era...."

:40:36:
What are your current projects and what one lesson can you share from each of your major projects?
"....The biggest lesson from that is you make these assumptions that the markets you're entering are slightly different (maybe you need to localize the product into the local language and you're done), not realizing there are sometimes drastic cultural differences...."

:43:06:
Please make predictions for the future, their implications, and how we can best prepare?
"....The platforms that we use today will not exist in 5 years or if they exist (and they are called those things), they will exist just in name only. They will have to be radically rewritten to deal with the multi-core parallelism environment...."

:45:15:
What valuable insights can you share from the side of your life that encompasses Nepal, Mt. Everest, and charities?
"....If you are affected by an issue, go out and do something about it. You'll be surprised how many lives you can touch and how much of a difference you can make...."

:49:16:
What social lessons can you provide from the work that you have done in the developing world and the Middle East?
"....One of the things that you can do if you have speaking skills, go an speak at a Pakistani Developer's Conference....Connecting with the people, I've built relationships with which I still have to this day, which gives me a unique insight whenever there is unrest going on in these places...."

:51:36:
Why should IT executives attend the IFIP World CIO Forum or WCF? [Editor's note: For more information go to:www.worldcioforum.com; Call for papers; WCF news in the IFIP Newsletter].
"....When I go to these events I learn as much from my fellow attendees as I do from the lecturers. The event itself is only half of the equation, the other half of the equation is networking and learning from your fellow executives, peers and people you collaborate with...."

:53:52:
If you were to speak at the WCF, can you profile your expected outcomes from your talk?
"....I've always said I don't judge my sessions' success or failure at my software conferences by the evaluations that people submit....I judge the success or failure of my sessions by the number of emails I get from people after the session...."

:55:50:
What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like medicine and law, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and recognized credentials?
[See www.ipthree.org and the Global Industry Council, http://www.ipthree.org/about-ip3/global-advisory-council]
"....I actually consider myself more of a libertarian, kind of like a Milton Freedman....The reason why I say that is if we went down the road of building a recognized profession in the way we have with medicine and law, then you will actually have true degree programs for software engineering. Today if you hire somebody with a Computer Science degree they're not going to really know how to write a line of business applications. They could build you a compiler and they could work at places like Google and Microsoft or Apple, but they're not going to want to go to work at places even like Facebook. They're not going to know about things like Semantic markup, Java and .NET the way that we use it in the business environment....."

:58:19:
If you were conducting this interview, what questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?
"....Were you nervous the first time you went to Pakistan?....Did you take your laptop up Mt. Everest?....Do you need an MBA to succeed in this business?..."

posted on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 06:10:49 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 22 August 2011

Announcing a unique opportunity coming to the Philadelphia metro area in early September 2011:
The Philadelphia Day of Agile Conference!
Building on the success of similar events over the past three years in the Midwest, Philadelphia Day of Agile is a single-day, three-track conference introducing the elements of Agile Software Development to newcomers as well as fostering stimulating conversation for those more advanced in the subject.
Conference Tracks
At this one day Conference on Saturday, September 10th, 2011 you will have the opportunity to attend sessions in any of three different tracks:

  • TRACK 1: focusing on those new to Agile
  • TRACK 2: targeting those with some agile experience who want to grow their skills
  • TRACK 3: for experienced agilists interested in exploring new horizons in their Agile adoption
  • There is a strong possibility for a fourth track that will focus on "hands-on" workshops for both beginner and advanced alike
PMI Professional Development Units Provided!

Are you keeping your PMI Certification current and looking to aquire Continuing Certification Requirements credits (http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Maintain-Your-Credential.aspx)?  This event offers six PDU's from PMI for attending!

Sessions and Speakers
This event features a great mix of national, regional, and local-area speakers with wide and deep Agile experiences to share!
Sessions include:

  • What is Agile and Why Should I Care? (Steve Bohlen)
  • The Testing Pyramid (Nancy Chacko)
  • Intro to Kanban (Jon Mills)
  • Selling Agile Into Your Organization (John Petersen)
  • Agile Teams - From Good To Great (David Bulkin)
  • Making Distributed Teams Work - Effectively, Even (Jim Holmes)
  • Help! There's a waterfall in my Sprint (Jim Schiel)
  • 5 Dysfunctions of Agile Teams (Bob Hartman)
  • Agile Project Owners - What Ails Them (Anupam Kundu)
  • Risk Adjusted Release Planning (Bob Hartman)
  • Introduction to Test Driven Development (James Bender)
  • Beyond Metrics (Andre Dhondt)
  • Enterprise Agility (Philip Japikse)
For a complete schedule for each track, see http://dayofagile.org/agenda
Registration Details

Attendance for this conference is $50 per person and covers the costs of the facility, breakfast, lunch, and beverages throughout the day.  Registration will remain open until all tickets are sold but seats are going fast so RSVP as soon as possible to guarantee yourself a seat at this exciting conference event!  Register now athttp://phillydayofagile.eventbrite.com
Register before midnight on August 28 and be entered to win a 5-User License for Telerik's TeamPulse ($1,295 value), or a Telerik Ultimate Collection License ($1,995 value)!
For the most current information, please see http://www.dayofagile.org orhttp://phillydayofagile.eventbrite.com.

posted on Monday, 22 August 2011 20:43:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 19 August 2011

A few days ago in Part I of this blog post, I described how we are moving into a new era in application development, the Device+Cloud (D+C) era. I mentioned how just like 15 years ago we had the “Windows or Web” debate, we are now having the “Native or HTML5+JS” debate. Just like 15 years ago, the answer is that we should take a hybrid approach. Some projects will require the reach of HTML5 and others will require the tight OS integration and custom experience of a native app. Some companies will build a HTML+JS version of their app for broad distribution and then choose to build some native apps on popular devices that they are specifically targeting. Think of Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader built in HTML5 and its native Android tablet app.

I know many developers that are throwing their lot behind either HTML5+JS or Native. They should be learning and supporting both. If you believe the rumors about Windows 8, they take a hybrid approach where you can write apps in either a “native” XAML or HTML5+JS approach. That said HTML5+JS is a technology that is here to stay. This leads us to the problem with building HTML5+JS applications today.

The problem with building HTML5+JS Applications 

Building an HTML5+JS application will undoubtedly involve using jQuery due to its ease of use and near ubiquity. That said, you have to wire up a lot of different components to get your application up and running. Depending on your application, you may need things that are not part of the core jQuery libraries, including:

  • Templates
  • Data Binding
  • Data Source
  • Localization
  • Validation
  • Drag-and-Drop APIs
  • Universal touch support
  • UI widgets

Here lies the fundamental problem with HTML+JS development with jQuery today: there is no underlying framework or “base class library” that provides all of these services. Many libraries/plugs-ins/frameworks exist for each of the services I listed above, however, you have to search Google for the best one to provide the service you need, then learn, master, code, and distribute it. Each will work similarly, but have subtle differences, especially when you integrate them with your application. You may spend a long time learning a popular framework for localization, however, on your next project at a new company, find that it is either incompatible with what you are doing or not the preferred framework at that shop.

A new, modern, one-stop shop for HTML5 plus JavaScript development

At Telerik, we saw this problem and decided to build a complete framework to address this issue. We recently released a beta of Kendo UI, a HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript-based framework for building modern HTML apps. As we said when we launched, it, Kendo UI combines the best of emerging HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript technologies with robust, cross-browser techniques to deliver a framework that is both powerfully rich and broadly compatible with older browsers.

Kendo UI combines everything that a developer needs to build a rich JavaScript app, eliminating the traditional challenge of manually researching and combining all of the needed plug-ins, frameworks, and libraries needed to build apps. Kendo UI includes rich UI widgets, a JavaScript DataSource, fast Templates, cross-device Drag and Drop API, Build in Touch support (great for mobile development!), and more.

image

Just to prove that I am not all talk, check out our live demos here. You can also download the beta and to get started all you need is a text editor, nothing else.

Telerik: Our Strategy has NOT Shifted

If you know a bit about Telerik, you would know that we are famous for our user interface components and developer productivity tools on the Microsoft .NET platform. You may be thinking, “Telerik’s strategy has shifted, they are now offering non-Microsoft technology.” While Kendo UI is our first developer product not reliant on .NET and truly cross platform, it fits right into our core competency and sweet spot: making developers more productive. At Telerik we have a passion to make the developer’s life easier. Why? We are a company made up of developers! Smile

If you are a long time Telerik customer, you may be thinking that we are abandoning our Microsoft product lines or we are taking sides in the Silverlight v HTML5+JS debate. As our CEO said last week, our strategy has not shifted and we will continue to innovate and release our industry leading .NET developer components. We will continue to innovate and release everything including “older” technologies such as Windows Forms. As Microsoft evolves its XAML tools, including Silverlight, we will continue to innovate and evolve our XAML tools as well.

As Kendo UI matures and gains traction, expect to see some tight integration with Kendo UI and some of our existing products. In the future as a Telerik .NET customer, you can have the best of both worlds, choosing to use Kendo UI as the front end on some of our existing platforms. If you come from a non-Microsoft background, you can use Kendo UI independently.

We are not taking sides in the “Silverlight vs HTML5+JS” or “Native v HTML5+JS” debates. At Telerik, we hold the view that I spoke about in Part I of this blog post: modern developers will have to take a hybrid approach and build some applications using HTML5+JS and some with more rich technology, such as our XAML tools. This is clearly the direction that Windows 8 is taking, allowing you to build applications with both HTML5+JS or .NET/XAML. As the modern developer evolves, so are we at Telerik. I hope you enjoy Kendo UI, let us know how you like it, your feedback will determine its roadmap.

posted on Friday, 19 August 2011 02:50:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [5] Trackback
# Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Roughly speaking, we have had four “eras” in the computing industry, each era defined by the dominate platform at the time. The eras were:

  • Mainframe
  • Minicomputer
  • Client-Server
  • Web

I believe that we are now entering a 5th era: the Device + Cloud era. Simply said, the Device + Cloud (D+C) era is defined by users having multiple devices and running thin applications that share data via the cloud on each of them. As your use of the devices goes up, you rely on the applications more and more.

I have five devices that I use and travel with: a Zune HD, a Kindle, an iPad, an Android 2.3 Nexus One Phone, and a Lenovo Laptop computer running Windows 7. Since my Zune and Kindle are dedicated devices for one purpose (even though that they try to be more), I use my Nexus One Android, iPad, and Lenovo as my primary computing devices. I use similar apps on all three devices, apps that use the cloud for execution and storage. Examples of apps that I use on all three devices that I can’t live without are TripIt, GMail and Evernote. These apps represent the future of software development: cloud storage, cloud “logic” engine exposed via an API, and multiple native clients.

Applications in the Device + Cloud Era

While email, social networking, and travel apps were the early adopters of this paradigm, I consider Evernote to be one of the “killer” apps of the Device + Cloud era. (There are several other killer apps, but I will focus on Evernote for this discussion.) By looking at how I interact with Evernote, the Device+Cloud paradigm will become more clear.

I interact with Evernote in one of four ways. For my job at Telerik, I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop. At any given time I have four applications open: Chrome, Skype, Evernote, and Tweetdeck (as well as a VPC with my development environment). I use Evernote as my main “writing” client, writing out memos, keeping lists of stuff to do, blog post drafts, and archived PDFs of important documents, etc. I share notebooks with my wife that lists of the wines we have tried, what songs we are going to play at our wedding party, and of course the grocery list. My interaction with Evernote is with its native Windows client. It gives me the ability to copy and paste, use rich formatting, drag and drop, right click menus, and all the things you would expect with a Windows application.

image

Later in the day when I am out and about, I use Evernote on my Android. This too is a native Android app and it takes advantage of the Android operating system, giving me tight integration with the OS and a live widget to sit on my home screen. It is touch integrated as well its UI is tailored to take advantage of the Android system. When I am at the store, I look at Evernote for the items I need to buy as well as look up the passcode to my apartment buzzer. As I cross off items on my to-do list in Evernote, I update the note on the fly. Also when I see something and want to remember it for later (like a friend telling me the name of a good book or movie), I make a new note.

I also interact with Evernote on my iPad. I use my iPad mostly for reading the newspaper, Flipboard, Hacker News, and email or watching TED videos while lying in bed. (I know Steve Jobs had a grander vision for the iPad, but that is my reality.) The iOS also has a native Evernote client. The client there is visually stunning and multi-touch enabled, but slightly behind the other clients, not allowing rich text and media editing. I usually jot down notes while reading in my Evernote iOS client.

Lastly, I also interact with the Evernote Web app. Usually when I am trying to log onto Telerik’s VPN from an Internet Café in some far away place like Nepal and I need to look up my VPN password stored in an Evernote note (please don’t tell the Telerik Admins this!)

Evernote is a productivity app, not a Facebook client, so it is no longer easy for the “mainstream” to ignore the new era. To be fair, they have not, I interact with native clients on my devices for my bank, credit card, airline, brokerage account, the Hong Kong public transportation system, local TV station, as well as “official” apps from my favorite sports teams, etc. The D+C paradigm may have been started by social media, embraced by start-ups next, but it is now going mainstream.

Application Development Complexity in a Device + Cloud World

Building an application is no longer so simple in the D+C world. Evernote is making use of several different technologies to build its client natively on each platform. This is not a huge problem since most of Evernote’s core is in the cloud. Evernote has backend storage, upload, synchronization services, and user authentication and authorization services in the cloud. They also have APIs to expose all of this so most of the logic of the application is pushed to the cloud. (As a bonus, they get to expose their API to 3rd party developers who get to build on top of the Evernote API, but that is a benefit of the D+C era that we can talk about in a different blog post.) Evernote then has to build a thin client for each platform that it targets, the clients are mostly UI components that call the services and APIs in the cloud.

While Evernote chose to build native clients for each platform in order to get the richest experience and best performance, they could have chosen to have a single client written in HTML5 using JavaScript to call the back end services and APIs. This is a popular route taken by many these days due to the cross platform nature of HTML (every device these days supports HTML5+JS) and developer familiarity with HTML and JavaScript.

Native v HTML5

Building applications in the D+C era will come down to two choices: Native v Web (HTML5+JS). Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Native gives you the most fidelity, platform flexibility, tight integration with host OS (think of status bar notifications), and the best performance. However, you have to maintain separate code bases for each device you target as well as master multiple platforms (and languages). Web/HTML5+JS gives you one code base to use across multiple platforms. HTML5+JS will give you a faster time to market. HTML5+JS is also a “one size fits all” approach, where the app may not “fit” well with the native OS. (Just look at any Web app that was built with the iPhone in mind on an Android of WP7 phone, it just feels wrong.)

I am not going to take any sides in this debate since I feel that there are needs for both approaches. Companies will weigh the pros and cons of each approach and sometimes choose to go native and sometimes choose to go HTML5. They may also choose a hybrid approach like some other popular apps have done where they have both an HTML5 application and a native application (see the Kindle and BBC news on the iPad for example.)

Developers today will find themselves working on a project that requires a Web/HTML5+JS approach and on their next project having to brush up on objective-c and Java and take a native approach. Just like if you were a developer in the late 1990s, you had to have solid Windows client/server programming skills as well as solid Web skills.

I have seen many blog posts indicating that you should forget native and only build cross platform web apps. I have seen many blog posts saying the opposite. I think both are wrong, you will have to embrace both in the D+C era. In my next post I will take a look at the state of building applications with HTML5 plus JavaScript.

posted on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:27:17 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback