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By: Laura Goldberg

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On April 1st 2013, Talener Boston welcomed a new team with open arms. Lead by the fearless Ben Hayes, I was asked to follow him into the uncharted territory of mobile development. Never one to back down from a challenge, I accepted. As our team and client base grew (and continues to grow) I began to fully understand the complexities of Mobile Development. But, what exactly can you build for a mobile device? I wasn’t exactly sure and I knew for sure the rest of the office was also not up to date with their mobile knowledge so I decided to present my current event on mobile development and the different types of things you can create for them.

Mobile development can be broken down into two sections: mobile web and native applications. Native applications are applications that are built in Android or iOS, depending upon the platform. Native apps can be easily distinguished because you can download them from an app store and they live on your phone. Mobile web is built to be seen in a browser and is developed with HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. The invention of responsive design has made it easier than ever to create. You can now develop one website, one time and it able to be viewed no matter the platform you view it from.

So why use one over the other?
If you are going to develop a native application, it is probably because you want your users to be able to access the content and interactivity (think Temple Run). They also allow for more access to your phone. You can use a mobile app to sync your calendar or add contacts to your phone. They are also normally able to hold more data and can be more easily personalized to the individual user.
For the mobile web if you have lots of constantly changing information, this would be the way to go. They can be updated and tweaked easily and now with the invention of responsive design they can be viewed on multiple browsers without having to change the code. They are much cheaper to create, and it is easier to share and find.

So while each have their perks, it just depends on how you want your target market to be using the application. So the next time you know someone who is deciding between a native app and the mobile web, you will be able to assist them. Now go forth and be mobile!


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