With the Swiss Heritage Society’s free “Architectural Heritage” app, users of iPhones/iPads and Android devices can now find information on over 500 buildings in Switzerland. Terria Mobile hereby focused on a hybrid app development and the latest HTML5/CSS3 technologies. This web-based method avoids the costly multiple development under iOS and Android and enables a dynamic updating mechanism.

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The Swiss Heritage Society worked with Terria Mobile to develop the “Architectural Heritage” app. The excursion planner for mobile devices makes the same content and functions available to users on iPhone, iPad and Android devices free of charge. The new app has information on over 500 buildings all over Switzerland, covering the many facets of building culture in Switzerland, from medieval houses to 19th century landscape gardens and contemporary architecture. In addition to being thematically linked, the buildings are displayed on a map and using GPS, the users can find out about the sights near their current location.

Cross-platform: the new, efficient approach to app development

The hybrid app developed by Basel-based Terria Mobile (supported by EYE Communications and Stillhart Konzept) distinguishes itself by having been developed as a web app with web technologies. Depending on the desired target platform, it can be transformed into a native app. HTML5 and CSS3 are used for visualizing data, while the program logic was implemented in JavaScript. To enable distribution through the most commonly used app stores and guarantee offline functionality, the app was packaged in a native container (see Fig. Cross-platform development).

Thanks to this new form of development, the implementation costs were massively reduced, since the same HTML5 and JavaScript implementations are used on Apple and Android smartphones. There is no need for an expensive multiple development for iOS (in Objective-C) and Android (in Java). The solution was connected to the Swiss Heritage Society’s CMS Back-end System to enable a simple update.

Robin Wirz, CEO of Terria Mobile: “The hybrid approach combines the advantages of the native app and the web app development. A full-value app can be launched and updated quickly on several mobile platforms. It is essential for companies that their apps are available on multiple platforms and are easy to administrate.”

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