HTML5 vs. Native – Enterprise & Startup Mobility

To go native or HTML5 is an argument that’s settled for a while now. Remember, when Facebook (not so quietly) ditched its HTML5 version in favor of native?

There are several reasons why native apps are so better than HTML5.

What works in favor of native apps?

1. Rich Choices – [tweetherder]Native apps can take advantage of over 6000 (all platforms put together) native device capabilities[/tweetherder]. HTML5 comes no way closer (meaning saying ‘No!’ to certain features or going for alternatives that do not give the same or better user experience). Try building a voice recognition app or much less, try playing a video across several browsers. You’d understand the difference.

2. Security -[tweetherder] By design native apps are more secure than HTML5 apps which carry the same vulnerability the web has with browsers & URLs.[/tweetherder]

3. Velocity – Being backed by large players with commercial interest would mean that innovation happens faster (or atleast) in comparison to consensus driven consortium like W3C.

What works in favor of HTML5 apps?

1. Development cost – When it comes to startups this may make a huge difference. But then cross platform compatibility issue is quite relevant even for HTML5 (considering at least in the enterprise there is still IE 7 and lower!)

2. Learning curve – More developers can participate in the mobile app movement. Is that inherently good thing for your product? May be not!

3. Freedom from user initiated updates – It’s no longer ‘push and wait’. [tweetherder]Updates can be automatically made to every instance (so to speak) of your app[/tweetherder]

If we have to sum up:

[tweetherder]Go Native if you have the money and user experience is critical (even if it means you’re concentrating on only one platform to begin with).[/tweetherder]

[tweetherder]Go HTML5 if you are strapped for cash and/or user experience does not matter that much (This might work well for enterprises, though a regressive way of thinking!)[/tweetherder]

[tweetherder]For startups, when you go the HTML5 way for a prototype (minimum viable product), make sure that the sub-par user experience does not turn off users and thereby leading you to wrong conclusions about your hypothesis.[/tweetherder]

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  • Martin

    You forgot a major factor; downloading an app is a huge barrier to usage. (Most apps – “Native” in yr article, aren’t downloaded even 10,000 times). HTML5 (mobile) websites remove this barrier.