webview vs native

And so, this month I will be rather busy volunteering on developing an app for the scouts. Some pointers I have picked up so far...

1) You need to pick somewhere to stop supporting. If you are supporting all versions of Android since 1.5. There is gonna be a whole lot of functionality that you cannot use. Given that Singaporeans are very rich, I suppose everyone should be at Honeycomb 3.0 and above, nonetheless, I will be supporting Gingerbread 2.3 and above, which is roughly 98% of phones currently out there.

2) Webview < native. Since I am more familiar with web development, I thought how much easier it would be to just wrap everything in a webview. However, quite a few challenges have cropped up. Stuff like css :hover don't work, screen sizes are suddenly very different, plus webview is just more sluggish compared to native java. Its slightly better now after tweaking all sorts of settings, enabling hardware accel for certain versions, removing caching and some other stuff.

Nonetheless, even though the performance of webview is quite disappointing, it is rather quick for me, I can churn out an app in a couple of days, plus the fact that it provides excellent code re-use, just throw it on a server somewhere for blackberry/windows phone users. Hopefully with a little more tweaking I am able to improve the performance of webview.