MOBILE: Should you build a native mobile app from day one?

MOBILE: Should you build a native mobile app from day one?

An interesting article was posted today "Native vs Web vs Hybrid: Which Mobile Architecture is Right for Your App?"

Firstly I would like to say, cool article, an interesting read.

I would like to add my own honest personal experience, but first lets get straight to facts (two examples provided below facebook and linkedin)

Facebook first built a mobile web app, then they wrapped the app in a native shell to create a hybrid mobile app, because they wanted to build and deliver their mobile apps faster.

 “Being able to write it once today and ship it tomorrow? That is something that Facebook is really good at and that we love doing, and that is at the center of being able to move fast. Move fast has an implicit third clause - move fast, break things, and fix things fast. That is very difficult to do if you have already shipped your binary to Apple or Android and they have to download another version of it.” Dave Fetterman, facebook engineering manager at Facebook developer conference 2011

Facebook betted on html5 but shortly after they realised html5 was a mistake 
"Zuckerberg: betting on HTML 5 for Facebook mobile app was a 'mistake,' native Android version on the way"

After making  a mistake with html5, facebook decided to rebuild facebook iOS mobile app natively!

“[W]e realized that when it comes to platforms like iOS, people expect a fast, reliable experience and our iOS app was falling short. Now that our mobile services had breadth, we wanted depth. So, we rewrote Facebook for iOS from the ground up (I really did open up Xcode and click "New Project") with a focus on quality and leveraging the advances that have been made in iOS development,” wrote Facebook developer J.P. Dann

 Facebook also decided to rebuild their android app natively aswell  "we're releasing a new version of Facebook for Android that's been rebuilt in native code to improve speed and performance."

LinkedIn also ditched html5 and went native "Why LinkedIn dumped HTML5 & went native for its mobile apps"

"So Should you build a native mobile app from day one?"
In my personal experience, I find mobile web app slow, even with the top of the line web host, and the latest mobile hardware device on the market - mobile web app is SLOW!

But how slow is slow? every page load will is a few micro seconds slower, might not sound like much but if your app is going to be used frequently, perfomance and usability of a mobile app is a key factor to success.

So should you build a native app? this really depends on your business requirements!

Are you building your mobile app for your enterprise staff or is it a consumer facing mobile app?

You are building a mobile app for your enterprise staff - unless you have resources to go native, you might find it best to choose mobile web app or hybird mobile app here.

You are building a consumer facing app - Here you have competition, consumers are more sensitive to UI/UX and the performance of your app...however If you are a startup or dont have the funds to build a native mobile, you only have one real choice here, go hybrid first! get your mobile app to market, it can suck abit for awhile, but at least you can build your user base, make money,  then fix your mistake later and go native!

Going native is not recommended for every business, it will not only cost your company alot of money/resources to develop the native mobile app, but it's going to cost alot of money to maintain it aswell!  determine your shakeholders , your target market, your competitors, sometimes its best to go hybird - the choice in chosing the right architecture really depends on your business requirements and how much resources your company has to spend!

Just because facebook is doing it, does not mean you should follow them! in the same way, if someone told you that buying a ferrari is the best thing he ever did in his life! This does not mean you should take out a loan and also buy a ferrari, sometimes a honda is sufficent.