With the rapid proliferation of the mobile web technology, there is much discussion over the most suitable application that would deliver consumers access to any form of content irrespective of place or time. HTML5 became increasingly popular in 2012 and spread across the internet, defining all latest practices for navigation, layout and content structure of web pages. Yet there are concerns about the architecture of HTML5 which sparks a debate regarding the use of native mobile applications versus those applications which are developed for the mobile web.As consumers get hooked to their Smartphones for browsing the web, playing games, downloading applications, and streaming movies, apps developers need to spend considerable time on determining how to render more functional and richer experiences across the numerous device platforms available. An inappropriate choice may result in unnecessary expense or may invite user dissatisfaction due to dull performance and poor quality.In comparison to the previous versions, HTML5 makes it more convenient to develop feature-rich web-oriented applications that facilitate remote updating with new functionality without requiring repeated installation or download. In short HTML5 bridges the functionality gap between mobile apps and websites.On the other hand, a native app can be directly installed within the Smartphone and can operate without internet connection. However, while an HTML5 app can operate on many platforms, a native app is platform specific and hence is more expensive.A host of companies have already started taking advantage of the HTML5 hype. For instance, Burberry gained considerable popularity when it turned to HTML5 for launching one mobile application. Again, HTML5 is being increasingly used for mobile applications by newspaper organizations like Financial Times and Guardian. But native apps are not far behind in terms of making headlines with an average download of 40 applications per Smartphones within a year.HTML5 however, has its own shortcomings and limitations. To begin with, the implementation procedure is different for different browsers and mobile platforms. This type of fragmentation in technology creates a hindrance for software developers wishing to understand which part of HTML5 can be utilized. Moreover, HTML5 apps can suffer from reduced speed and often work erroneously in the event of an intermittent data connection.Other limitations of HTML5 as compared to native apps pertain to the lack of Digital Rights Management, required for handling numerous multimedia services and the non-availability of support for background processing. Moreover, HTML5 does not provide any kind of notifications or secure storage outside of the applications. Because of these shortcomings, some renowned companies have cut down on their use of HTML5.The big myth revolving around the mobile web market is that native apps and HTML5 are the only two options. Some of the above-mentioned limitations may be dealt with by adopting a hybrid application approach, wherein considerable parts of the application are composed in web technology, but incorporating native code features within an HTML5 wrapper. This enables developers to add components of reusable HTML5 to operate over the native code so that the choicest features of each platform can be leveraged. Interestingly industry experts foresee the use of mobile web-based or hybrid apps in 80% of HTML5 mobile app development projects, by 2015.Apart from gaining an in-depth knowledge about the potential of HTML5 and other related web technologies, companies can opt for the following:
Hybrid apps are very significant because they offer opportunity to build an efficient mobile strategy on the basis of factors like necessary device functionality, programmer’s skills, and the significance of interoperability and security. While the debate over whether to go for HTML5 apps, native apps or hybrid application goes on, for the time being the best approach is to leverage what is available, to keep up with the pace of the rapidly moving mobile world.
- Watch out for any “one size fits all” promise: There are various types of mobile apps and there are rapid changes in user expectations. Hence there is least possibility of the existence of a single development method or tool that is suitable for all cases.
- Take care of back-end design and device software: While designing user-experience for business services, check whether you are dealing with mobile friendly services. The crucial road to making a business mobile through a website or apps normally starts with building web-oriented interfaces for portraying existing services.
- Optimize the mobile web presence: As consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices for accessing websites, the user-experience factor cannot be ignored. Keeping separate desktop and mobile web presence becomes unmanageable after some point of time. So it is advisable to look forward to responsive design opportunities to ensure effective user interfaces.
- Make use of standard technologies to suffice your needs: It is good to go for a continual reassessment of the status of technologies associated with HTML5 to leverage this opportunity, as the ecosystem is rapidly evolving.
HTML5 Apps Versus Native Mobile App Unveiling Popular Myths