Sencha developers say they can do better with HTML5 apps, though. One of the biggest advantages for the HMTL5 versions over native apps is their ability to maintain state while toggling between different views, Sencha developers say. For example, when switching between views of a news feed and someone's profile in the native Android app, data is refreshed after each view, Sencha says. HTML5 maintains state between the various views, meaning that when switching between the views, the timeline does not have to reload. "Toggling between your wall and news feed should not cause all your data to be reloaded," Avins says in a video comparing the HMTL5 version to the native apps.
Compared to the iOS native app, Sencha's HTML5 version also allows more comments to be viewed at once using what Sencha calls "nested infinite lists." Fastbook automatically rotates to be level when the phone is held horizontally too, a function lacking in the native iOS app, which only works in a vertical view.
In both native apps, Sencha also noticed unnecessary data transfers occurring. Using API calls, the developers found that about every 10 items in the native apps requires about 15KB to 20KB of information, much of which is not needed to render views. In the HTML5 version, Fastbook loads as little as 10% of that data to render the same items.
Sencha developers say they worked on the app in their spare time to prove that HTML5 can work as well as, if not better than, native apps. Fastbook is available from the company's website, but Sencha says it's not meant to be a replacement for the Facebook native apps. "It's a technology demo that shows what developers can do with HTML5 if they take the right approach, and use the right frameworks and tools," Sencha's blog post reads. The company was founded in 2008 and has been backed by Sequoia Capital, among other venture capital firms.
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