Asana shifts from HTML5 to a native Android app

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/stevanovicigor)

This month on DeveloperTech, we are releasing a series of articles which compares web development to native from a variety of different angles and will wrap-up with a nice insight report on the topic. Yesterday, for example, we posted an article which focuses on helping you to decide whether a client is better with a responsive web app or a native client.

Since going native on Android, Asana has switched from negative reviews to positive reviews.

Task-management startup Asana is one example of a company which has decided that native is best for them, and has moved from a HTML5 for its Android application. It follows months of complaints from users about the speed of the app, which prompted the team to explore and ultimately release a native Android app.

“The app is beautiful, intuitive, and fast,” Asana’s Emily Kramer wrote in a blog post on the news today. “You can move your work forward, keep in touch with your team, and get the information you need, right from your Android device.”

Asana's native app follows Google's new native look, Material Design. This ideology was introduced with Android 5.0 "Lollipop" and is being pushed by the company to be adopted everywhere whether on the web, or on mobile. Just yesterday, Google updated its Chrome app on iOS with Material Design elements to show developers the benefits of their new design.

Since going native on Android, Asana has switched from negative reviews to positive reviews. Clearly, for Asana, going native was the right choice. One of the benefits of HTML5 is the ability to rapidly iterate cross-platform, but this won't stop after the switch to native according to Kramer...

“We plan to rapidly release improvements to both Android and iOS,” Kramer wrote in today’s blog post. “AND, we are also working on major design updates to our other platforms. You’ll hear (and see) more about these in the coming months.”

Do you believe it is best to stick to native apps on mobile? Let us know in the comments.

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23 Jan 2015, 1:51 p.m.

Things move fast in software. Native is old tec. It's expensive and time consuming to develop for each client or customer. Platform based solutions on the other hand give a Native on the device feel while being able to be configured for multiple workflows. The user business benefits from a fast turnaround of design, a lot more customisation and a one fifth the cost of a native developed solution.


26 Jan 2015, 8:11 p.m.

Interested in the general consensus here as we've had very poor experiences with hybrid apps - they tend to be poor performing and lack the feel of a native app. Agree in that hybrids are more cost effective but we're finding that tool kits such as Xamarin are now becoming cost effective.