Another Holy War: Mobile Apps Vs Web Apps

There are as there have always been holy wars that divide people into opposing camps just in the nick of time. It seems that the rise of computer technologies has so far provided  enough space for a range of such inevitable clashes of the contrary opinions: Windows or Linux, Android or Apple are among the most outrageous examples. In fact, it is time we admitted existence of another stand: native apps vs HTML5. Of course, all those oppositions are not that breathtaking as the famous to be or not to be dilemma, but concerning the amount of words spent to uphold the both opinions they can quite well make the impression of Very Important Issues.

HTML5 or Native – Web Browsing or App Immersion?

The latest choice between native apps or HTML5 reflects the processes going on in mobile and web application development.  In general, the future of the hardware is more or less clear. In view of the fact that the sales of PCs and laptops fell drastically, while those of smartphones and tablets are persistently rising, it is no wonder the main device for using the Web will be some handheld. According to trustworthy researchers like Boston Consulting Group the number of broadband connections will have increased almost sixfold by 2015 in comparison with 2010.

According to surveys carried out by comScore and NetMarketShare only about 20% of all the time spent using tablets is devoted to web browsing. All the rest is accounted for gaming, social networking and a bit of productivity apps. In fact, it seems that native apps created specifically for a given gadget lure users by their style and performance and thus hold the very essence of a portable device. Will it change with the advent of HTML5, which has already been creating much fuss on the Internet?

HTML5 Promises & Its Flipside

HTML5 is promised to work flawlessly across a range of popular browsers and mobile platforms. That’s what makes it anticipated by users all over the globe. App owners will save on development costs, instead of having a range of apps developed for different mobile platforms and a web one for those, who stick to good old PCs, they’d get one app, which would come up both to their needs and users’ expectations as to its performance and quality.

At the same time HTML5 features such as cross-platform support, availability of tools and libraries, open-standard nature, rather reasonable costs of development and performance rate make it a lovely piece of pie for developers as well.

In any case, there is some fly in the ointment. HTML5 does face some challenges, which halts its progress substantially. Different mobile platforms have different mobile browsers and not all of them are likely to support the new standard. For example, Apple was quite doubtful about that. Opera Mini has the longest lists of HTML5 features non-supported. Besides, it’s true that HTML5 apps don’t perform well offline.

Follow in the Trend-Setters’ Footsteps. What Do LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Stick to?

However, it must be noted that actions by top-notch technological companies added their share to dig the hole for HTML5. LinkedIn dumped it and went native. Facebook is trying to have the cake and eat it but is more inclined to follow the LinkedIn’s path. Native apps definitely are greater in performance, UI design, monetization and security issues. However, HTML5 is supported by Google, which is a huge benefit and the enterprise community seems to like the standard as well. So, the result is yet unclear, the ball being in HTML5’s court, though.

Oxagile is a technology enthusiast, professional web application development company with in-depth expertise in such key technologies as Java, PHP, .NET and a dedicated mobile app developer with profound knowledge of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry development tools. We are curious about our niche and happy to share the information with others.