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Packaging & Distribution in the Digital Age: Or, Why Even Grandma Loves Apps

There's long been a raging debate going over HTML vs. Native Apps. Just Googling the debate returns over 3.7 million results.

I'm here to tell you, that's the wrong way of thinking of things.

It's like debating whether oil or water will win when mixed. You can't get the right answer if you're asking the wrong question. While oil and water don't mix well, they can co-exist in the same bottle, and there are valid times you might want to use each.

Let's dive into the right way to think about mobile, and specifically about the role native apps will play. A better analogy of the mobile landscape is from the point of view of a car manufacturer like Honda. Honda makes a lot of Honda Accords -- they're its bread & butter. But for years, Honda had a Formula One team. A Honda Accord will never compete at the Formula One level, nor was it meant to. And conversely, if Honda only had a Formula One team, it wouldn't have the massive market share in the auto market that the Accord and other bread & butter models provide it, but Honda did learn a lot about how to make really great engines from its Formula One program.

In the same way, mobile apps are the "Formula One" of mobile, and HTML is the Honda Accord. You can get wide distribution across many phones by having a mobile HTML presence, but you can't do the sexy, progressive types of things that you can do with apps, because an app is typically compiled software which can leverage the specific hardware functionality of the phone (the camera, the address book, geolocation, the microphone, and many other things).

iPad 2 Keyboard Shootout: Finding the best keyboard

On LifeWeTravel

My requirements may be different than yours.  I wanted something that maintains the iPad's slim profile as much as possible, has some element of style to it, and most importantly, allows me to type well -- ideally as well as I can on my 15" Macbook Pro laptop.  Additional "nice to haves" were the ability to keep my Apple iPad magnetic screen cover and a good set of function keys on the keyboard.  One intriguing keyboard that I didn't test is the TouchFire keyboard concept on Kickstarter, which is a flexible keyboard that interfaces directly with the iPad's on-screen keyboard.  When it comes out, I'll give it a shot as well.

I tested five bluetooth iPad keyboards and found one I really liked:  The Logitech Keboard Case for the iPad 2.  The keyboard is actually one made by ZAGG, with Logitech branding the device.  I time-tested all five bluetooth keyboards against the iPad's on-screen keyboard and against the Macbook Pro, by typing a block of text on each device and timing how long it took.  The text doesn't make total sense, but I wanted something that required numbers, special characters, and copy/pasting.

First, here's a video of the setup process:

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