Native apps have been a favorite mode of application distribution on smartphones. Users have had a rich and productive experience using native apps that are developed on the respective mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian etc.). However, in recent times, web apps developed using HTML5 and associated web technologies is fast making its presence felt.
In the current scenario it seems very easy for developers to switch from mobile apps to the fairly newer ‘program-once-run-anywhere’ functionality facilitated by HTML5 mobile app development. However the actual decision to switch might not be easy. Big names such as Facebook and LinkedIn who had switched to HTML5 mobile app development from native apps are going back to native apps.
On the other hand, the value proposition offered by HTML5 mobile app development—speed, anytime/anywhere mobile web access experience, significant reduction in development costs due to multiple platform deployment—is too good to ignore for web app developers and client companies.
There has been a raging on-going debate on which mobile app development approach is better. HTML5 mobile app development offers to answer all problems of cross-platform development and multiple screen sizes/resolution of devices that access Internet. However native mobile app development offers faster processing speeds and engaging user interface.
This leads the question – HTML5 Or Native for Mobile App Development?
The Criteria to Help Make Decision:
We believe that more than deciding which technology to opt for, we need to see what a particular web app takes to be developed and deployed. By determining the functionality and characteristics of an app a mobile app development strategy can be devised to help understand:
a) What are the hardware and software requirements and configuration required for the
flawless running of an app?
b) What are the resources and performance requirement of an app and how it can be delivered
efficiently on a mobile platform?
- Business model:
a) How are you planning to deploy the app monetarily? Will it be a free app, an ad-based app
or a ‘to-purchase’ app?
b) How will updates and improvements be deployed for existing apps?
- Technological advantages:
a) Native mobile app development scores on below factors
i. Speed and performance is higher on native apps
ii. Mobile browsers and platforms support native apps better than HTML5 apps
iii. Familiar look on smartphones and tabs where each app resides on home screen as an icon
iv. Highly engaging and animated user interfaces
b) HTML5 mobile app development has the below benefits working for it
i. Backed by the W3C consortium, it is expected to be more widely adopted in near future
ii. Brings down cross-platform development cost
iii. The increasing popularity and stability of HTML5 will mean that browsers too open up to HTML5 mobile app development, and improve compatibility with HTML5
These criteria will help you decide which approach to employ for your mobile app development endeavors. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to all businesses, we feel that HTML5 may just edge out native mobile app development in the near future with stronger developmental, compatibility and community support all around. Another win–win solution might be to go for hybrid mobile app development, which captures the benefits from both technologies and makes the app available across a range of mobile device screens.
Have you decided to choose HTML 5 for mobile application development? Read here!