An HTML5 app is housed on the Web and runs inside a mobile browser. Unlike apps built specifically for Apple devices or Google’s Android operating system, it does not need to be built from scratch for each OS. The promise is that it can be “write once, run anywhere.”
It’s true: In many cases, HTML5 can work just as well as a native approach. But it is not the silver bullet it is often made out to be, for several reasons. HTML5 faces a fragmentation issue of its own, since there are gaps in the range of HTML5 app features supported by the different mobile browsers.
So where are we in the HTML5 vs. native apps debate?
In the report, we do a head-to-head comparison of the two, explain the specific reasons why HTML5 has a long term edge over native apps for mobile development, analyse the barriers to HTML5 as a development tool and explain how HTML5 is starting to overcome them, look at the current state of the performance gap between HTML5 and native apps, and get the developer’s perspective through interviews with HTML5 sceptics, early adopters, and HTML5 pioneers and advocates.
Here’s a few areas where native apps still reign supreme over HTML5:
- Rich user experience and performance: HTML5 still faces challenges in accessing device-native features across all mobile browsers, and in rendering graphically-rich user interfaces and data presentations.
- Monetization: The native app stores — Apple’s App Store and Google Play — win this one. There hasn’t been a convincing model for HTML5 monetization beyond individual vendors selling their apps online.
- Security: Currently, native apps still offer greater ease of access to advanced security features and encryption.
- So, where is HTML5 ahead? HTML5 has a leg up in cross-platform deployment costs, update speed and distribution control, available programming expertise, and in solving fragmentation challenges: Both native and HTML5 face serious fragmentation challenges, but of different sorts. Ultimately, it’s more likely that HTML5 and its cross-platform potential will win out here.
In full, the report:
- Includes a head-to-head comparison of HTML5 and native apps, explaining the winner in user experience, performance, deployment costs, distribution control, monetization, available programming expertise, fragmentation challenges, and security
- Explains the specific reasons why HTML5 has a long term edge over native apps for mobile development
- analyses the barriers to HTML5 as a development tool and explains how HTML5 is starting to overcome them
- Looks at the current state of the performance gap between HTML5 and native apps
- Gets the developer’s perspective through interviews with HTML5 sceptics, early adopters, and HTML5 pioneers and advocates
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