Driving to Mobile? Beware the natives.

What is the best way to make the transition towards getting your application to tablets and smartphones? There are three basic options. Oh and by the way you’re going to have to write that API, there’s just no way around it.

  1. Go Native
    Pick your device and start coding. Chances are this app will have the best possible experience for your user (Assuming you have done your homework), but keep in mind the code for this app will not translate to other devices. Each new OS will have its own SDK, languages, and methods for delivery.
  2. Use a Mobile framework, and leverage HTML5
    Pick your framework and go, there are many framework applications out there (Axure, KendoUI, Sencha, JO …) The experience will be pretty great, you’ll get a uniform UI across many devices. Trouble is they can be slow, and some devices may not be supported. You may also run into a brick wall when adding customized elements as they may be cumbersome to code and support.
  3. Do nothing at all
    That’s right I said it, this is also a choice. Your site or app will probably work on a mobile device but each day it will look worse to a discerning public with increasing expectations.

Wouldn’t it be great if the mobile framework option had a method to translate back to the desktop? (Perhaps one of you can enlighten me if this exists.) Many of the clients I see are still using desktops and browsers that are not even remotely HTML5 capable. So even if there were a way to make the mobile stuff work in a browser – I’m guessing there is not a way to consume it.

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