HTML vs Native Apps – Our View

After a few discussions with potential clients about the differences , I thought I would right a small blog post about it.

1. Native – Swift / Java

Native means that the app is written in its ‘mother tongue’ , so an Apple iOS app is written in Swift (it was Objective-C, but Appella uses the new program language – firstly because its awesome ,secondly its brand new (just about 1 year old) and thirdly all Apple upgrades will be in Swift. Android will be written in Java again the ‘mother tongue’.

2. Non Native – HTML5 / CSS3

This means the developer will use Web Technologies to write the app, and one build (will just about) be compatible with all platforms. So one build will be compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Mobile etc.. So there is a much quicker route to a finished product.

So you will be thinking Non Native is best , as its quicker and therefore cheaper ?? Yep we agree, but not completely….

If you want a ‘brochure’ kinda app , which will show you a menu and maybe a booking form on an app – yep Non Native is the best way, and we at Appella can get a lovely looking cross platform app submitted pretty damn quick, and if you want it submitting with your own brand on the app stores add an extra £100 pounds to the bill and you’ll be up and running.

If you have thought of a brilliant app with iBeacons and complex back end databases, and all the bells and whistles – then two apps will be required one in Swift and one in Java. This is the native route..

I was talking to a customer a few weeks ago and he shown me an competitors app, and it was very sluggish on Android , it just wasn’t responsive enough and it took ages to get the map running. I thought if I downloaded this app, it would be removed straight the way. I then downloaded it on Apple and to be fair it was a little better but it just didn’t feel the way an app should on iOS. This app was a bit more than a ‘brochure’ and it was written in a Non Native way. So what I am trying to say is that – you want a flashy app that runs great and you want it to be the best value possible but if your customers are not using it and they are using your competitors app instead then whats the point ?? The app stores are very competitive at the best of times.

If I am writing an app for business then its Native, if its an app for a retail establishment using iBeacons then its Native, but if its a showing a restaurants menu then Non Native is perfectly excellent.

So when we quote for your next award winning app then we will discuss the pros and cons of both and not just quote you a small figure for Non Native and be done with it.

Until next time, cheers Jason.



Ok, who is actually Appella ?

We are a small start up from Leicestershire in England. We are a team of 3 super determined and technical people, We have about 30 years experience all together in development, design and what works and what doesn’t..

I have been working in development and technical IT for blue chips and corporates around the world for most of my career. So if you are in the corporate world and wanna talk apps / development , then come and talk to me. You may what to expand your e-commerce footprint or you may want an app for your company to help with your processes.

We have also been involved in Startups in the incubation stage. So when you think of this amazing idea for an app and you don’t know where to start to get it developed and also you need help on the funding side of things then we have contacts to help you.

If you require a beautiful UI/UX designed app, then we have a top designer on our team who will work with you till you are happy with the design. You will also have the chance to see the design on a mobile device, before development begins – come and speak to us.

When you have had your App developed by us, we don’t stop there. We can help you by providing you with Analytics and other best practices to get people to download your app. We can also track what people are doing on your app. Also if you want any new additions to your app, or you want to make it compatible with the Apple Watch (for example), we can adapt. As your Apps are written using best practice models (MVC) and also written in the newest ways then upgrade and compatibility is not an issue.

The best bit is that we are local, we can come over to see you or you can come to our office for a cuppa. As we are based in Leicester everywhere in the UK is pretty local (we can get to Leeds and London in just over an hour). So there is no reason why you don’t just give us a ring and have a chat.


Developing Corporate Apps, whats the big deal ?

Say you have a quite a sizeable business, with dozen salespeople on the road – that are selling your wares. As a sales manager you have all the tools nowadays to make there day much more successful – the Smartphone. We at Appella create Corporate apps and in this blog I am going to explain some things we have encountered and great ways that Corporate Apps work.

Firstly you don’t want your app to be in any app store, as you don’t want the public downloading your app. So we will distribute , manage your app and mobile phone estate in house. We can also provide ‘over the air’ updates to your app.

I was involved in developing a Corporate app a while ago. This company delivered and installed parts into huge drilling machines in quarries. These guys also did surveys on the machinery. One problem they had was that when the engineers did the survey they didn’t really get a signal on their waterproof dust-proof laptops very often so they had to send it when they got home – if they remembered.

So we suggested creating an corporate app, that we managed for them on behalf of their engineers. So they didn’t have to take a huge chunky laptop down a quarry, just there normal smartphone. When the survey was completed on the piece of machinery – the app would try to send the document off to HQ on regular intervals – so the engineer didn’t forget. Also the app suggested when the signal strength was high that it would send off the document.

The engineers could also order parts from the app as well, so when they are buried deep in a machine, they could easy order a part.

Like with the sales manager at the top of this blog. He/She could navigate there sales staff around from the GPS transmitter in their smartphones. Had an urgent sales lead ?? You could find the nearest sales person and direct them to that sale..

Window fitters, builders, sales people, car mechanics – no end to the corporate app world , is it time for your business to embrace it ?

We all need help in business and if you feel that a corporate app could do the trick, then come and see us.. We have experience in Corporate Licensing of apps, distribution and ‘over-air’ updates.



We were very excited to be one of the first companies in the UK to get our hands on these little beauties. We have been playing with them since the start of 2015. We think these things are pretty damn cool – but what are they you may ask ?

These little things are about the size of a 50pence coin and as thick as about jiffy bag. Inside  there is a bluetooth transmitter and a motion sensor. These are called Nearables and they are the newest addition of the ‘Internet of things’.

There are endless use cases for these ‘Nearables’ . One test that I did do was stick a Nearable on each chair in our dining room (table). I programmed each chair to have a number on a backend database,  then when I sat on a chair my iPhone told me which chair number I was sitting on. This is location based awareness on a different level, because it was so accurate to which chair I sat on. I can see a brilliant use case for this – for restaurants for example.

Another test was I stuck a ‘Nearable’ on a can of beer in my fridge and when my phone was near the fridge it told me how cold my beer was.

Another thing I seen was that you can place one on a dog collar and then you can find out how far your dog has walked and if he needs a drink.

If you need a chat about ‘Nearables’ and Beacon technology, then we have plenty of these things in stock and we can help you in providing exciting location based apps.

For more information on iBeacons and Nearables then go to


Cheers for now, Jason.


WWDC 2015 – What we would like to see


The WWDC is coming to a mac screen near you on the 8th June. I applied for some tickets to go but nothing yet – come on Apple!!

The hype is about Apple TV, are they going to open it up to developers ? I can think of so many ideas. Apple have been trying for years to get into TV, and so far to be honest they have made an average attempt in doing it. Recently when I went to my local Apple Store (Highcross , Leicester), they have gone down in price again. Lets see a revamp and something we can develop against – can they compete with Virgin Media TiVo ?

I think they need to revamp the monitors too – I have had my monitor since 2012 , and its looking and acting a bit dated now.

Also they need to open up the Apple Watch, so we can develop against it.  At the moment the Watch is an extension to the iPhone (like an accessory), and it has to be in close proximity.

I guess they will be bringing out iOS9 out – they better hurry up getting the beta out to people like me so we can start developing on another exciting platform.

Over and out…

Architecture project

Our steps to successful and cost effective app development

We think that finding the right app development company to do you next award winning App is a complex process. Hopefully this blog post will help you to find out what the journey entails if you choose Appella to do your development.

1. Initial conversation via online or face to face, so we can get to grips in what you want to achieve

  • a. Outline of the project
  • b. Time frames
  • c. External data sources, databases , API’s
  • d. Design discussion – what type of design for User interface etc.

2. When all that goes to plan and we are both happy to proceed then we will get started with the UI/UX and code writing, when the UI/UX is done we will provide you with a demo app. The demo app will show the UI/UX design. You will be able to switch between screens but no functionality with be provided.

3. When this is done and both parties are happy, we will finish off by creating the code and putting the app together. When this is done then we will provide you with a fully functional app that we can test, or you can test or we can get external testers to test it (if need be).

4. When you are satisfied with the UI/UX, the coding and the testing then we will get the app ready for store approval.

5. We will be then on hand to help you, add new functionality, and add extensions for Apple Watch for example.

Jason Hough