Monday, January 6, 2014

The Future of Mobile – HTML5 vs. Native Apps

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Enterprises today are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of mobile devices and the productivity they bring to the workforce. And considering consumers’ browsing habits, enterprises are keen to tap the benefits of mobile to achieve top-line revenue — be it by educating consumers about their products or services through mobile or providing mobile commerce services.

While the mobile trend is clear, enterprise CIOs (Chief Information Officers) are still deliberating as to how to best leverage mobile technology to expand the horizons of their business. One of the most hotly debated issues today involves the use of native apps vs. HTML5 web apps.




Should publishers develop native apps or HTML5 web apps? To tackle this question, let’s examine the contenders and their respective advantages and features. But first, here’s a look at the basic differences between the two platforms:
Native Apps
Native apps are software applications that are built to run on specific platforms like Android or iPhone. They are downloaded and/or purchased through a distribution platform like Google Play or Apple App Store, and installed directly onto a user's smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.

Examples of native apps include Contacts, Maps, Calculator, YouTube, and games like Temple Run.
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(YouTube Native App)
HTML5 Web Apps
HTML5 Web Apps are software applications built on HTML5 web technology. They can run on any platform that supports a modern standardized browser, like Android, iOS, Symbian, or BlackBerry. Web apps ‘live’ on the web and are accessed via the user’s mobile browser.
Examples of HTML5 web apps include m.youtube.com and mobile.twitter.com.
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(YouTube Web App)
Feature Comparison: Native Apps and HTML5 Web Apps
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Now that we have a better understanding of each app type, let’s examine some current market trends.


Current Trends
According to an article by Business Insider, mobile consumers love native apps, as they offer an overall excellent user experience, speedy performance, and advanced security features. Native apps are also highly compatible with built-in device features and are easy to access on the various marketplaces. Last but not least, native apps offer tremendous marketing and monetization opportunities via the various app stores.

HTML5 web apps, on the other hand, are becoming a fast favorite among enterprise platforms, and a growing number of hugely popular apps are being built around HTML5. Developers love them because HTML is a familiar language, and they have the distinct advantage of working across all mobile operating systems. Publishers, moreover, appreciate the cost-effectiveness of designing a single app for multiple platforms and the ease of no-approval-necessary distribution. Not having to share revenue with Apple or Google is another considerable perk.
So which is better – native or HTML5? It depends. Ultimately, publishers need to consider which route best suits their content, resources, monetization strategies, and needs, and choose accordingly.

The bottom line? Native apps currently dominate the market, but as HTML5 continues to evolve and improve in the coming years, it will likely bridge the gap, attract more consumers, and secure a growing market share.

For the time being, there is plenty of room in the mobile playground for both

5 comments:

Kira said...

I think hybrid apps should also be in the picture, like in http://blog.mercdev.com/?p=200

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