Jan 2013

HTML5 Apps or Native Apps – Who Will Win the Battle of the Web

Posted By - Kent L

HTML5, though in its developing stage, helps in designing mobile websites and mobile apps that function seamlessly across different mobile platforms. HTML5 is not a new technology, but an improved version of HTML 4. However, this version of HTML is created keeping the mobile revolution in mind, and it allows web developers to build a wide range of applications for different mobile devices. HTML5 apps can be accessed via any mobile browser and its content is easy to search as it remains on the web.

However, HTML5 apps lag behind native apps in the security department – an area of concern for most app users. Native apps score over HTML5 apps in terms of performance too. Let’s take a look at the major differences between the native and HTML5 apps, and see how they stack up against each other. 

Native Apps Vs. HTML5 Apps

Due to rampant “disintegration” among browsers, it becomes tough for developers to decide which part of HTML5 to use. HTML5 apps often slow down or work improperly during times of slow internet connections. Thus performance and connectivity are the major challenges faced by HTML5 app developers. This is one of the primary reasons why 63% of the web developers are getting discouraged from using HTML5 as pointed out by W3C.

Native apps are easier to install than HTML5 mobile apps; however, businesses have to hire mobile developers for different mobile platforms, and the cost of development is really high. On the other hand, deployment of an HTML5 mobile app is quite tough as it works on so many different platforms.

HTML5 apps do not have the DRM (Digital Rights Management) which makes it incapable to support tasks like multimedia and secure offline storages. In contrast, it seems that content centric-app works well with HTML5.

HTML5 Apps Can’t Do a Lot of Things

Different users have different expectations from the apps they use. HTML5 seems quite incompetent to meet the diverse demands of the customers. Here’s why:

Native app distribution systems are much more streamlined, whereas HTML5 mobile apps reach the consumers through the open web. Needless to say, users prefer to download native apps over HTML5 apps.

HTML5 mobile app may also be unable to make the most of native features of a particular mobile operating system. For instance, native apps come with more gestures compared to HTML5 mobile apps. Gestures like swipe, pinch and spread can all be used with native apps but most HTML5 apps restrict the user to swipe only.

HTML5 mobile apps make money more from advertising as they are less compatible with payment options, unlike native apps which make money from downloads.

What kind of App Works for your Business?

A lot of work is being done around security and access issues in HTML5. The web is making way for hybrid apps – an amalgamation of native and HTML5 mobile apps. You can go for a native, HTML5 or hybrid app, the choice lies with you.  

If your app depends on using features that are found only in the operating system, you have to go for native apps. But if you plan to develop a simple mobile app or mobile websites that functions smoothly on different mobile platforms, HTML5 app development will work fine for you.

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