Android or iPhone app - SDK or Webkit

I have just recently had a look at programming with the Android SDK. And I have seen a demo of a project using Domino xPages and the Webkit facilities of the iPhone and Android devices. Mark Hughes has posted a handful of blog entries about xPages and WebKit, for instance Xpages: Free X-Page iPhone App Template.

Webkit is a rendering engine that web browsers can incorporate. And a lot of browser do use Webkit. The iPhone browser and the standard Android browser are both Webkit based. The Nokia S60 devices have a Webkit-based browser.

When developing for Android or the iPhone and what you are doing is actually creating a mobile version of a Notes/Domino application, I have had a few thoughts about pros and cons with going for a Webkit solution instead of developing a native application for the device using it's SDK.


  • If you want an app to integrate with a Domino application, you have Xpages. Rapid Application Development.
  • You can have the same app work on both iPhone and Android.


  • You need to be online.

But then again.... If you need it to integrate with a Domino application, you would probably prefer to be online anyway even if you created the application using the Android SDK - or the iPhone SDK. Creating a native iPhone or Android application that has an offline capability that is near Lotus-Notes' offline quality (encryption) using an SDK is IMHO quite a task. A lot bigger than creating an xPages user interface for an existing Notes/Domino application.