Building Java2Days App Part 1: Native vs Hybrid

Java2Days conference and its co-events Mobile2Days and Cloud2Days, part of the European IT and Business Forum, is the major event in Eastern Europe to present the latest trends in Java development. European IT and Business Forum is first of its kind to be held in Eastern Europe, focused to highlight today’s cutting edge Java, Cloud and Mobile trends in field of software development, technologies and business. Java2Days Event Application gives you the opportunity to learn more about each Speaker, attend sessions and create personal agenda that will best fit your interests, review the event sponsors and partners. Using the social functionality you can easily follow and contribute to the event dynamics on twitter. Official website of Java2Days 2014.

Native vs Hybrid development is very discussed topic when it comes to building mobile app. Creating native app means to rely fully on the programming languages supported by the selected mobile OS (like Objective-C, Java, etc) and Hybrid development is about using an embedded web browser relying on web technologies (like HTML, CSS, JS, etc). Looking at a final product, native implementation is always better as the speed, animation and control can be handled precisely ending up with outstanding UI, user experience and slickness. In native app creation the developers need to understand each platform framework and programming language which usually will require more time and cost for the product to be completed and higher support effort. In hybrid development the final product is done using HTML, CSS, JS which makes the app look more like an embedded mobile site and the speed and slickness of the native look and feel are almost lost. Hybrid variant will require web developers to create app for multiple platforms using only the web technology stack which on the other hand will lead to a product which will be created faster and will require less support effort. In order to decide which is more convenient for your product think about the target group (experienced mobile users won’t like hybrid solutions) and product features (if the product by design is light and simple hybrid variant might be better). Hybrid app building can be used in a product development for creating prototypes in early versions for decision making purposes along with the native product implementation. It could serve as a very good tool for helping cumbersome projects and to straighten product vision before investing in native development.

Java2Days App is a hybrid solutions using AngularJS and Cordova framework. The requirements for the product are users to be able to see agenda, sessions, speakers, sponsors and partners and the app to be available for iPhone and Android (no tablet support). Taking in mind that the app usage will be mainly during the event and not be used so much afterwards (so it will have a short lifespan, and multiple platform development) it is typical to approach the product with hybrid development. The solutions was build in less than two weeks but it looked more like slow website than mobile app so more than three additional weeks were invested for optimizations, animations, transitions just to see how close can the product get to a native mobile app. Main issues were memory handling, CPU usage handling and some aspects that the used frameworks introduced. Using hybrid technologies “out of the box” will put a working app in the hands of the project manager fast but then it is essential to work around each glitch of the app using the web technology stack which is still far from native performance.

You can download Java2Days application from:
Get it on App Store Get it on Google Play

Building Java2Days App Part2: AngularJS and Cordova is the next article describing in more details the stages of the app building and the optimizations done. It is more technology oriented and recommended for developers and can be helpful for a project manager or owner in perspective of a hybrid product workflow understanding.