The future of mobile, the Yahoo way

Like most big Web sites, Internet pioneer Yahoo is betting big on mobile. It’s making its Web sites mobile-friendly, and also has nearly a dozen mobile apps, ranging from Mail to Weather, Finance, Sports, Flickr, and more.

So how does the multi-billion dollar company look at the mobile future? Are they betting on native applications, HTML with JavaScript and CSS, or on hybrid? To find out, we spoke with Michael North, Principal Engineer and User Interface Engineering lead at Yahoo who specializes in mobile. We also asked for his recommendations on how other companies should make the decision about which technology to use.

Hybrid development’s “bad rap”

North says when hybrid development first became popular several years ago, “it got a bad rap, because large companies such as Facebook tried to use it as an exclusive mobile app solution and it didn't work out well.” Mobile devices were slower than they are today, and so hybrid apps didn’t perform well on them. In addition, he says, frameworks for building HTML-based hybrid apps weren’t yet fully mature.

Today, though, he believes that for most purposes, a hybrid approach is the way to go.

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