This a question that comes up a lot for me. I think about it everyday. I’ve written about it here in the past. The question came up in class yesterday.
Here is a good discussion of the subject:
Some quotes from this article:
Honestly, one big reason developers want to build an app with PhoneGap is so they don’t have to learn Swift or Objective-C. A lot of times, they’re afraid of learning a new language.
great for getting an app out the door quickly…but definitely lacking compared to native.”
(We’ll look at what it’s lacking in a bit…)
But according to Kevin Munc, “dev speed advantages are a myth.”
After learning the new environment, development time is not much improved using using HTML5 vs Native. Essentially you are doing all of the same things, only in another language. It’s learning the other environment that takes time.
Here is another article.
And here are some quotes:
The short answer: yes, using PhoneGap is fine, and will make it easy to build an app without needing to learn additional languages.
While you can deploy apps on multiple platforms, be aware that they won’t perform like native apps in every environment.
Addendum: Develop twice
One of, if not the biggest, disadvantages of developing native is the fact that you will have to develop two apps, one for iOS, and another for Android. This sounds like a big hurdle if you’re impatient and time and money are the most important factors. But I think are is a hidden advantage to this approach.
Developing first on one platform, allows you to define, refine, and focus your UI and design on one platform before building for the other. Also, there are inherent differences between iOS and Android, building for both, creates an experience that doesn’t truly feel native on either. When quality is important I’m certain native is the choice.