Mobile adoption in the GIS world has taken place slower than many would have expected. The GIS landscape is changing so rapidly, mobile was just one more ball to juggle. But things have begun to change. We are now in a world of multiple devices. And not just smartphones and tablets, also wearable’s, smart TVs etc. There is increasing demand to have access to GIS anywhere, on any device.
Today there are three mobile ArcGIS choices: native, hybrid or web. Each has its own own advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking to have a mobile ArcGIS app developed the right approach need be made on a case per case basis. In this article we will discuss these 3 options; the pros and cons.
Mobile ArcGIS Choices: Native, Hybrid or Web
1. Native ArcGIS Mobile Apps
Native ArcGIS mobile apps are developed specifically for one platform. They are written in the native language of that platform. So Objective-C for Apple (iOS) devices, Java for Android, .NET for Windows. Functionality, user experience and performance are key advantages of native ArcGIS apps. But they are more complex and expensive to build and are not cross-platform compatible. A typical use case for a native ArcGIS mobile app would be: “We will only ever use iPads in our organization, and we are working with large data-sets. Performance is key”.
2. Hybrid ArcGIS Mobile Apps
3. Web ArcGIS Mobile Apps
The diagram below summarizes each approach:
As an ArcGIS mobile development company, we spend increasingly more of our time developing mobile ArcGIS web apps. We find the flexibility, lower cost and advanced features such as offline ArcGIS are very compelling.
Feel free to contact us on 801-733-0723 if you have questions.
Author: Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and intelligent maps around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter: @webmapsolutions
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