When it comes to « Bringing the best for your money », sooner or later, the « cross-platform’ aspect of mobile apps pops in the discussion.
And it’s funny to see how beliefs are strongly anchored in minds.
We, at TastyAppz, have made our own experimentations and reach this conclusion.
No need to say that native apps are the bests. It’s true, but out of debate.
So which cross platform solution is the best? We did our own tests and reached those conclusions:
- HTML5 is promising, but not yet there. Support on SmartPhones is enough for simple apps, but far from complete for more complex apps.
Indeed, the main problem is the performances issue. Apps take a 5 to dozens slowdown factor in the face when running on Mobile devices (comparing to desktop). Another worrying point is the compatibility with mobile browsers, which is still not there (Webkit, Safari, etc..).
- Adobe Air has an excellent portability, probably the best. Yes, it needs a lot of horse power, but performs much better than HTML5 when it comes to complex app and/or gaming. Talking about Gaming, Starling really brings decent performances for commercial quality games. The Flash ecosystem is huge, so you can find really a lot of existing libraries that will fill the few gaps in the runtime. Moreover you can develop native plug-ins to access some device specific features.
Taking all parameters into account, performances, cross-platform compatibility and end user experiences, we still have to have a look at one important point: development environment!
Adobe, with its Flash Builder Eclipse Based IDE, its mature mxml/action script 3 language, and powerful debugging and deployment tooling, really really comes first.
Of course, Adobe is heading to HTML5 as well, but for now, neither the language support, nor the tooling are catching up with Air and Flash Builder maturity.
And, oh yes, about the money: we did develop it once and delivered it for both IPhone and Android with ZERO compatibly issues (Air on BlackBerry is available and Windows Phone could get it as well if Microsoft’s market share lift off)
Cheaper than building 2 native apps or tricky debugging HTML5 apps on IOS 4, 5 safari, and Android 2, 3 and 4 Webkit + Chrome 🙂