Native App development is here to stay

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Native Vs Web App

With the Jonnathan Dan’s article , I sense a strong case for the survival of native development.

Earlier when I on discussions with my friends who work in web development , who lead mobile projects and with people on technical forums, most of them were in one voice told that Native Mobile development will die with some shrilling Hybrid approach is best of both the worlds.

I then felt that native mobile development will in future become suitable for a niche market like Games, apps where audio , graphic rendering and where too much dependence with hardware APIs present.  Other apps whose goal is to present the data alone for the users can be managed with a Hybrid app and when the app’s brand is established and when we do not have a dependency with Hardware or you get hardware access with HTML5, hybrid approach can also be killed. But reading in to his article gives me a new insight. That is,

Mobile has less space and those who use it are mostly they are busy doing something else either in travel or when they are in break, rushing in to station, chatting with their  girl friend or boy friend and expects  things engage quickly. They do not want to see much of their screen being occupied with loading text  , spinner or  which  behaves clumsily not being coped to our instincts.And as for my experience I have experienced all this with Mobile Web Apps even with 3G (India) connectivity.

Any developer or a brand who wanted to keep their customer loyalty needs to offer their app with the constraint so tough to meet: Not wasting the users’ time.

HTML5 in mobile with Hybrid development or standalone app has not consistently achieved this. And Native has achieved this. But at a bigger cost and a necessity manage lot of developers and lot of code.

So until HTML5 is at its blazing speed, Native is going to stay.

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5 Things CIOs need to know before mobile-enabling

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Webinar at Aspire Systems

Webinar at Aspire Systems

Join us for a Webinar                                                                         
Theme: 5 things CIOs need to know before mobile-enabling
Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011
Time: 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST

“More than 4 billion people around the world now use cell phones, and for 450 million of those people, the Web is a fully mobile experience,” according to the McKinsey Global Institute. This explosive growth of mobile is having a significant impact on B2C and B2B businesses.

Mobile-enablement, however, is more than just tailoring your website’s content to fit a smaller screen. There are several options and challenges involved in going the mobile route. Executives overseeing mobile initiatives need to be aware of the considerations – in order to get the maximum RoI from their mobile strategy.

Come listen to two experienced practitioners discuss key elements that will be crucial in your mobile strategy, on June 2nd, 2011 at 2 PM EST.

Some areas that will be covered include:

Native mobile apps Vs. Mobile web

Design simplicity: where less is more

Mobile as a new channel for growth

And much more…

Speaker Profiles

William Walsh
Senior Manager – Mobile strategy
Discover Financial Services

William is a pioneer and thought-leader in the wireless industry. He has created and driven development of mobile multimedia applications (now used on 100+ million devices worldwide) including entry into the emerging $13 billion mobile advertising market and $35 billion location based services market.

In his previous role as Mobile Product Manager at Walgreens, he successfully launched Walgreens iPhone, Android, and Blackberry applications. He defined the marketing message for Walgreen’s iPhone application and propelled it to No.3 in the iTunes Lifestyle category – the app also won in 2 categories of the Webby awards.

Vinod K
Mobile Practice Manager
Aspire Systems

Vinod is an IT practitioner for the last 13 years, with over 10 years working in the mobile space. Vinod understands what it takes to go mobile – the challenges, pros and cons of different approaches. He has consulted several Fortune 500 companies and helped them define their mobile roadmap.

Vinod has hands-on experience working on various mobile technologies, right from programming for Palm OS close to 10 years ago, to leading a 20+ member team for a Fortune 500 company in the retail space recently. Vinod led the team working on their iPhone and Android apps (the iphone was subsequently one of the top 5 apps in the iTunes Lifestyle category).

Solving Cross Domain AJAX Request – An Approach

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Recently we had to consume web services which were exposed by a third party provider for one of our web application based on recently released  mobile web application framework called Sencha. The web services response was in complex XML format.

In Sencha framework following options are available to consume cross-domain web services.

  1. Ext.util.JSONP – Provides functionality to make cross-domain requests with JSONP (JSON with Padding). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JSON#JSONP).

     

  2. Ext.data.ScriptTagProxy – An implementation of Ext.data.DataProxy that reads a data object from a URL which may be in a domain other than the originating domain of the running page.

Out of the above two options, ScriptTagProxy would serve my purpose better but for that to work, the <script> tag has to be handled at the server side. Since we were dealing with third party server and could not change the server side coding this option was ruled out. So to consume the web services we had the following approach. Here the server acts a proxy for your actual AJAX calls. This is called Cross Domain Proxy.

  1. Written small server side programs (servlets) and consumed the third party web services. Here the choice of server side programming is up to the comfortable level of the developer. I personally chose Java, since I could quickly setup the environment with excellent tools like Apache Tomcat server, Eclipse J2EE IDE etc.

     

  2. Also the XML output from the third party web services was converted to JSON (using JSON-lib, http://json-lib.sourceforge.net/ ) since JSON format is native to javascript and can be easily manipulated.

     

  3. Created an AJAX request from my web application which simply calls the relevant servlet which calls the corresponding third party web service.

     

  4. Get the JSON response from the servlet and manipulate it according to the application need.

This is one approach we could think of, probably if there is any other better approach, please let us know.

iPhone Web App: Accessing Webservice with user name and password

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Hi Friends,

I was in to development of a Web App for iPhone and after the development got over we had to deploy it in a server. We deployed it. And then the game started.

Our Application internally accessed a webservice from a server which has to be authenticated with the user name and password. And we thought everything would go fine. We tested it in Safari, Chrome and it did work as expected but with a huge delay in displaying the data. Finally we tried in iPhone Safari. And to our frustration, it thrown us unauthorized (401) message. So we tried setting user name and password in open() of xmlHttp object but to no avail in iPhone safari.

Then I tried to setting Authorization Request header and it threw me a message like “Unsafe Header is set”. So Finally after a period of over 3 days struggle I stumble upon this thread where a ratranch had suggested the solution, where we had to format our URL in the following manner:

http://username:password@your_server_address_and_your_function

Then I tried this option and for heavens sake it worked and I became a relieved man. 🙂

And to me it seems that this problem is specific to iPhone Safari. I still have not tested it in Android, would test it in Android Browser and update sooner.

Hope this would help some one in search of this solution in web.

Regards,
krishnan

Mobile web application framework for popular mobile platforms

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This article talks about the application framework that can be used to applications across iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile etc.

http://distractable.net/coding/iphone-android-web-application-frameworks/comment-page-1/#comment-80