Software, hardware, wetware

Native Apps Here to Stay

Over on The Mental Faculty Blog, Drew McCormack expounds on why he thinks native apps are here to stay. He doesn’t see native apps being second class citizens at all and his arguments are pretty cogent.

I’ll add this to his points though: good luck building a HTML5 replacement for an app like Runkeeper. If you’ve not familiar with it, it’s an app for tracking your running - it uses the GPS to record your route, calculate your pace, and gives you updates over the headphones.

I can’t see how this app could be anything but native. Sure, you could build a webapp replacement that uses javascript to poll the GPS, but if your browser gets backgrounded, you’re not going to get the GPS data (unless, of course, Apple gives you an API to poll the GPS data regularly in javascript…)

Also: have you ever tried to do anything serious with audio in javascript? It’s a mess.

Native Apps still have legs. In the future, we might be able to integrate webapps more tightly with our devices, but we’re a long way off giving up on native.