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Consumers want both Web and native applications, even if they don’t know it

In today’s highly fragmented mobile market, application developers are faced with many tough decisions. Should my app be native or Web-based? How can I maximize reach? Which channels offer the best bang for my buck? What kind of experience are my consumers looking for?

Native apps allow for a rich user experience, giving developers the ability to optimize performance with deep device integration, especially on higher-end handsets. They can also access the network for information such as location and user preferences, enabling a contextual and highly personal experience. But with the ever-changing array of operating systems and devices in the market today, it’s hard to know where the best opportunity lies at any given time.

If a developer is looking to create a highly personalized, Web 2.0 type experience for their consumers, creating a Web-based application may make the most sense. Because they can be written to Web standards for some platforms and require very little processing power, Web-based applications can run on mass-market devices, reaching more consumers regardless of device or operating system.

The wireless industry is rife with initiatives and standards bodies that aim to solve the issue of developing for such a fragmented market, including some who think the “cloud” holds the answer. With everything changing so quickly, how do developers wade through the options to decide what makes the most sense for them? How can they develop the best experience, reach the most customers and ultimately, make the most money?

To learn more about the respective value of native and Web-based apps, as well as the tools and resources Qualcomm offers the development community, come listen to Noam Raffaelli speak at Mobile Web & Apps World Forum on March 22 at 11:30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N110.

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