Responsive v. Adaptive v. Native app?

Responsive v. Adaptive v. Native app?
0.0 0

#1

Hi, friends! I know this question could generate a thesis, but can anyone provide a “short and sweet” answer, or links to some good sources, to these concepts I’m struggling with? I’ve read mixed explanations through my Google search, and hope for some clarification here. I think I understand the general definitions for “Responsive”, “Adaptive”, and “Native App” designs, but…

(1) Technically (though probably not good practice), could a developer structure “Responsive” media queries to act like “Adaptive” design? In other words, could a responsive web page technically also be adaptive? Is the CSS code for “Responsive” and for “Adaptive” different?

(2) Is a “Native App” technically considered “Adaptive” design as well, or is it a native app an entirely different creature?

Thank you in advance!


#2

Hi tina,
did you see this https://css-tricks.com/the-difference-between-responsive-and-adaptive-design/ already for a term explanation? A responsive website is (should be) capable of adapting to any screen whereas an adaptive website only toggles layouts at the given breakpoints. It’s more or less static in between. Whether a page is responsive or adaptive is purely based on its CSS. The difference is not the media queries (at least it doesn’t have to be), they could be all the same. The difference is the CSS in these queries. Relative units can adapt to their context, absolute units don’t.

A native app is something rather different as you wouldn’t use HTML, CSS, JS for that but a backend language such as Java, C#, Swift… unless you’re planning to use a wrapper such as Phonegap. A native app is optimized for the device at hand being written on top of the device OS. As such I’d call that responsive.

I think you mixed things a little bit. Responsive and Adaptive are design types. Native (app) relates to using the native programming language on a device to build an app.

I hope that was short and clear enough :slight_smile:
bye


#3

Thanks, @boneyfantaseas. I did indeed read the css-tricks article (the site is great but sometimes way over my head!) The article seemed clear until I reached the comments section. The discussion was a super confusing never-ending train. I think you’ve greatly clarified this for me with your explanation: “The difference is not the media queries (at least it doesn’t have to be), they could be all the same. The difference is the CSS in these queries…” The note about them both being design types helps too. Your native app explanation makes sense as well. Thanks again!