HTML5, Native or Hybrid…where is the herd heading?

The debate is overblown and the mobile technology landscape is incredibly confusing. There are numerous choices from HTML5 based mobile web application to native application development methods.

 

At Infostretch we have developed numerous mobile solutions including native and web solutions for mobile. The biggest issue to address is the ongoing battle between HTML5 and Native, most of the debate between the two is focused around various parameters, however the decision should be made based on the requirements such as application performance, platform compatibility, hardware access requirements, offline usage, offline storage, data security, user experience, scalability and of course; return on investment.

Native application is preferred because…

  • HTML5 apps are a ‘browser app’ — several aspects are not as optimized for user interaction as a native app. For example, very long scrolling lists run slower in browsers even with HTML5.
  • Accessing certain hardware like barometers, cameras, near field communication (NFC) chips and so on is not available presently.
  • The security of locally-stored data is still not widely adopted
  • Interpreted (JavaScript) and rendered (HTML and CSS) code delivers a generally slower experience than a compiled native app.

HTML5 based Mobile web is preferred because…

  • Allows excellent UX elements such as 3D animation, canvas drawing capabilities and more…
  • HTML5 promises to be the new standard for mobile web on all smart phones
  • Most Smart phones including Windows Phone 7 with Mango IE9 browser supports HTML5
  • HTML5 apps can access certain native hardware like GPS and local on-device storage
  • Performance can be enhanced by deploying HTML5 with Single Page Architecture
  • An easy way to engage users with your company without requiring them to download an app

 

While everyone is religiously preaching for one approach over the other, we at InfoStretch are opting for a third option! The “HYBRID APP APPROACH

 

Hybrid app development enhances the native capabilities towards adoption of HTML5!

A hybrid app is a native, downloadable app; that runs all or some of its user interface in an embedded browser component. To the user, a hybrid app is a native app as it’s downloaded from the app store or marketplace, it is stored on the device, and it is launched just like any other app. To developers there is a difference, as they write some of their application code in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and reuse it across multiple platforms.

While there is a work in progress at W3C to allow web apps to access device capabilities like camera, microphone, address book etc. which is a key requirement for many mobile apps, hybrid frameworks such as Open source PhoneGap, plays an important role to make it possible! To improve hybrid app performance, HTML5 deployment with Single Page Architecture is good combination

 

Conclusion:

There really is no controversy; HTML5 won’t end up killing native apps. Instead, HTML5 is simply another tool that will help build a lightweight UI based mobile web applications and can be swiftly integrated into hybrid application to enhance native accessibility. Native apps will continue to have their place since they will likely always have access to more extensive graphics and hardware capabilities compared to HTML5-driven apps.

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