HTML5 is a new technology that allows developers to build rich web-based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser.
Many think it will save the web, rendering native platform-dependent apps obsolete.
So, which will win? Native apps or HTML5?
Here’s why the Apps-vs-HTML5 debate matters:
- Distribution: Native apps are distributed through app stores and markets controlled by the owners of the platforms. HTML5 is distributed through the rules of the open web: the link economy.
- Monetization: Native apps come with one-click purchase options built into mobile platforms. HTML5 apps will tend to be monetized more through advertising, because payments will be less user-friendly.
- Platform power and network effects: Developers have to conform with Apple’s rules. Apple’s market share, meanwhile, creates network effects and lock-in. If and when developers can build excellent iPhone and iPad functionality on the web using HTML5, developers can cut Apple out of the loop. This will reduce the network effects of Apple’s platform.
- Functionality. Right now, native apps can do a lot more than HTML5 apps. HTML5 apps will get better, but not as fast as some HTML5 advocates think.
In full, the special report analyses:
- What HTML5 is, giving an overview of how it is a technology done by committee.
- Why the HTML5-vs-Apps debate matters, breaking down its impact on distribution, monetization, platform power and network effects, and functionality.
- The pluses and minuses of HTML5 vs. native apps, comparing each by cost, user experience, features, distribution, and monetization.
- How and when HTML5 will take over, laying out how it has all the hallmarks of a disruptive technology.
- The success of an HTML5 pioneer, The Financial Times.
- What an HTML5 future will look like, with the promise of richer and more interactive experiences.
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