HTML5 Vs. Native Mobile Applications: Why The Debate Matters

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native apps and HTML5HTML5 has driven the world by storm after its launch. It has changed the face of basic HTML. HTML5 defines the content, extravagant layout and web page navigation through different browsers. HTML5 has a lot of special features, upgrades and Application Programming Interface (APIs) support.

Native apps are coded for a specific platform so they can take full and complete benefit of operating system features and functionalities. They are designed to run on particular platform or device. Native apps can use the software and hardware of specific device or system. For example: You have a phone which has Global Positioning System (GPS) and a Camera, the native apps can take advantage of these features available in your phone. Native apps are mostly used for mobile devices. It can be directly installed and used on mobile device. Native apps may or may not require internet connectivity.

With the advancement of technology and latest gadgets, more and more people are using smart phones for internet usage, play online games, download different apps and movies etc. Now it is the challenge for app developers to decide how they can fulfill the needs and wants of the customers in better way to provide them graphically rich and user friendly experience. There is also strong competition for developing apps across different device platforms.

HTML5 and Native Apps comparison

HTML5 app needs to be developed once and then it can run on variety of mobile platforms but in contrast the Native apps need to be developed separately for each platform and it is also more expensive than HTML5.

HTML5 helps you to create excellent and graphically rich and intuitive applications that can be easily updated remotely. It reduces the burden of downloading and installing the updates again and again. In comparison, Native apps can be installed directly on the device and can even work without any internet connectivity depending on what type of app you are using.

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HTML5 has one disadvantage compared to Native apps. It does not have support for Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM is required for many multimedia related services and functionality. HTML5 does not support processing from background and it does not allow security in storage. It also lacks the notification feature.

Topics Better choice Reason
Deployment cost across multiple platforms HTML5 Single app development which can run on multiple mobile platforms so less expensive
High performance and rich user experience Native apps Native apps are device specific so they are created in more graphically rich fashion
Easy updates and control over distribution HTML5 HTML5 is web based and can be easily updated as compared to native apps
Monetary benefits Native apps The native app stores like Google Play and Apple app store have lot of users and apps around the world so they are generating more revenues
Hurdles in fragmentation HTML5 HTML5 is a better option due to its cross platform support
Easy availability of developers HTML5 There are lot of designers who have expertise in HTML, CSS and JavaScript compared to device specific native app developers

Myths and Misconceptions

Most of the people have myth that HTML5 and the native apps are the only two choices to select from. But this is incorrect. There is a more advanced approach called Hybrid approach. As the name suggests, Hybrid approach is a combination which involves both HTML5 and Native apps code. Some parts of the apps are written in any web based technology embedded with native code aspects in HTML based wrapper.

Hybrid apps give the excellent feature to the developers where they can use the native code and on top of that code, they can add HTML5 reusable code to take advantage of multiple platforms. With the growing use of Hybrid approach, companies are now shifting to Hybrid applications rather than pure HTML5 or Native based applications.

Users can avoid their misconceptions about HTML5 and Native apps by looking at the following comparison table:

Native apps HTML5
Features related to apps
Performance Fast Slow
Graphics support Native based APIs HTML and SVG support
App distribution On App stores On Web
Device accessibility
Notification feature Yes No
Camera access Yes No
Calendar and contact access Yes No
Gesture support
Swipe feature Yes Yes
Spread and pinch support Yes No
Connectivity Can be online or offline Mostly it is online
Development knowledge Java and Objective C language knowledge HTML5, CSS and JavaScript knowledge

Advantages of Native Apps

  • Native apps gives complete control of the user experience.
  • Native apps allows the users to save your last visit by storing it in cache memory so that you can use the app without worrying about the Internet connectivity and network problems.
  • Customers have strong faith and they also think that native apps are very reliable as they have been using and downloading apps from Apple and Android app stores.

Advantages of HTML5

  • It is cost saving. It is browser based and the apps created using HTML5 automatically adjusts according to the device screen size to give the user the best and ultimate experience without worrying about the compatibility and resolution problems.
  • HTML5 allows you to market your applications directly from your website instead of any app store. You can easily target the customers through direct marketing by providing the customers with the facility of downloading the apps from your website.

Conclusion:

HTML5 will be better option with the upcoming technology and platforms and also the latest generation networks such as 4G and related upcoming networks. It will take more time for people to switch to HTML5 from native apps as it has built a strong impression in the minds of people. From the economic point of view, HTML5 is the best option. Current businesses which are still using native apps need to think out of the box and try to shift to HTML5 as it provides assortment of features to provide the users with highly rich and sophisticated Graphical User Interface (GUI) and user friendliness.

Published on behalf of Mr. Johan. He is working as a mobile application developer with PixelCrayons, a renowned name in web development and mobile solutions industry. It provides both mobile and Native Mobile Application Development services. You may hire Android app developers and iPhone app developers here.

A post by Kidal Delonix (2338 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Chief editor and author at LERAblog, writing useful articles and HOW TOs on various topics. Particularly interested in topics such as Internet, advertising, SEO, web development, and business.

2 Comments

  • Many people want mobile apps but think it is too hard to create them. Fortunately now there are quite a lot of useful online services which allow building apps without programming skills and in hours. I am using SnAPPii at the moment and really glad I can feel like a mobile app developer and make apps on my own.

  • First post about the subject that actually compares the options. Thanks! I recommend looking into the HTML5 apis for GPS and camera and WebGL, yes there are ones 🙂

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