The mobile web versus mobile native “grudge match” rages on, with over 300 comments to Super VC Fred Wilson’s post on whether now is the time to invest in mobile web apps (and services) over mobile native ones.
But the arguments presented in favor of the mobile web over mobile native represent a false dichotomy. Simply put, there is no universal truth in the mobile web vs. mobile native debate, and no “one right way,” despite what the pontificators would have you believe.
The argument in favor of mobile web goes like this: The web is open, ubiquitous, requires no special software, is globally searchable and algorithmically discoverable. As such, it is agile, extensible and readily manageable. Plus, there are lots of proven models for development, discovery, distribution and monetization. And, of course, mobile web development offers a higher degree of symmetry to PC browser-based web development than mobile native app development does.
The argument is favor of mobile native goes like this: There are over 400 million iOS devices and over 500 million Android devices, representing almost 1 billion devices worldwide. In the case of iOS, Apple has built a well-managed development, distribution and monetization platform that has yielded tremendous innovation and user engagement in areas ranging from photography to gaming, social networking, entertainment, education, music and other rich media.
On some level, the argument comes down to “good enough” and “universal” vs. the “richest possible experience” on the device type that is subsuming the PC.
Read the full article at GigaOM.