WebApps vs. Native Apps

A webapp is an application that runs on a browser, correctly sizing to your mobile device. I say “mobile device” instead of “phone” because even with a single brand, perhaps apple – there are many dimensions to consider.

In a webapp – you’re essentially running a website in your browser, that happens to be able to take advantage of some of the things your mobile device can do, like geo-location.

Webapps are written using website development tools, like HTML,  PHP, Javascript, JQuery, etc.

Native Apps

Native Apps are the ones you get from the app stores – what’s different with them?

Native apps run on your device directly. They aren’t required to have wireless access unless they need to see data that lives on a server somewhere.

iOS is Apple’s flavor. Droid is the other guys. They’re both fine computing devices delivering productivity enhancing tools.

Either way – when you decide to go Native – you’re committed to writing code in the required language for each device. In the case of Apple – it is Xcode running swift, objective C, etc.  Droid has another set of language requirements. They’re not consistent .

The most consistent thing between the two – other than data is data – is the term Constraints. That’s a discussion for another day!

Hybrid

A Hybrid is when you write a webapp and then it acts basically as a frame to a browser. It looks like an app (you can download it from the App or Play store) – but all it does is serve up the website on a device. Again, those have to be approved by the Play and App stores.

So what am I supposed to do?

Well, it depends. But generally speaking, you’ve got to have a web presence anyway. So it makes sense to start with a webapp. And then if you need access to some of the more advanced features native offers, connecting directly to camera, altering the wifi structure, using the IR sensors, operating offline (eg airborne like foreflight.com – you go Native.

It costs more. A lot more. In the case of Apple – getting on the appstore isn’t a given. You’ve got a “review board” that can easily block your business from being on the App Store.  Check this.

But What am I supposed to do?

Ask us. That’s what we do. We put you in the best spot possible. We all have families and when we go to get a loaf of bread or pound of hamburger meat, we’re looking for the best value possible.  We’ll treat your interests with the exact same focus.

Printer Problems

Years ago, we used dot matrix printers with fan-folded paper. Remember these?

I had a customer call me “Hey, you gotta come fix our printer!”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s all anglegocky and whopperjawed.”

 

This might baffle many readers. But having grown up where I did, I instantly knew what she meant.

That means it jumped the paper feed tracks. I drove over and fixed it.

Token Ring – and no, that’s not Tolkein

Once upon a time – in the world before we had ethernet (thanks bob!) in the early days of office networking we used this thing called Token Ring.

Token Ring relied on a wire – “OH MY A WIRE!” a coaxial wire. If you have satellite or cable tv  today – THAT’s the cable. Co-ax in the jargon. The thing that goes into your box.

 

OK, so as we see in this photo – here’s how it works. the Coax comes in, hits the T juncture, that gets plugged into a computer and either the green cap TERMINATOR is installed or another coax is attached. The bottom of the T is where you plugged your computer in. It continues around all the other computers in the office. Simple.

So I get a call – “Your system isn’t working!”

See, for us – that’s the worst possible declaration – I mean it’s Sully “we’re landing in the Hudson” level.  Roll equipment, we’re going down, declaring.

That’s before evaluation – and since nobody dies if an office app fails, I said “I haven’t touched this software in several months. Has anything else changed?”

“NO! YOUR SYSTEM FAILED!” “OK Ok, I’ll come take a look.”

I walk in the office. The first thing I notice, is all of the office furniture has been rearranged. I walk along the desks – the coax is visible – and sure enough, I find a desk that has an open T connector.

“Ah – this is your problem”

“You see – this T connector has to have either a terminator or another connector- in this case – you’ve left it open.”

“what do you mean?”

I pondered that for a few moments and – came up with an answer/analogy -on the spot – that I’m still proud of.

“Well see – here’s the thing – its sorta like a garden hose and sprinkler system – as long as you connect a hose to the other side of that sprinkler, it’ll keep working. But if you don’t – it’ll just pour out right there. And in this case, all the electrons of information are spilling out the end of that wire.”

I WAS PROUD OF THAT. I nailed it in such a clear fashion that they would HAVE to understand.

Customer – with worried eyes  “Has it ruined our carpet?”

 

Data Tales – the Saga

Technology can be confusing and confounding, even for those of us that profess to “know what we’re doing.” And we do.

Over the years, we’ve accumulated stories. We never name a customer in this, and – understand – their heart was in the right place, but occasionally they do and say funny stuff.  Our heart is always in the right place and we set things straight as we can.

It is important that the reader understands this isn’t intended as demeaning. But some of this is hilarious if you’re a tech person.