Product Engineering // Blog

Could you go wrong with HTML5?

A day does not go by when someone comes to us about advice on HTML5:

“Do you think I should take my content to a HTML5 format – every one else is doing it instead of basic mobile web or native apps. It accommodates most operating systems. What do you think?”

 

HTML5 is young and very popular. The reason for the HTML5’s popularity is due to the growing support of HTML5 in the most popular devices as well as big brands like the NY Times and Apple using HTML5 for content publishing. Other brands are still using native mobile apps.

 

In the past year, there have been stronger debates (its been going on for three years now) from industry professionals and brands on which works best for them – We also have these debates in the office.

 

“ While developers working on business apps agree that HTML5 is coming along, they’re not ready to abandon native applications.”  Source gigaom.com

 

“In the ongoing debate over Web vs. native mobile and tablet apps, it would appear the Web just racked up a few major points.” – Financial Times Proves HTML5 can beat native mobile apps – Source: www.readwriteweb.com

 

 “I assume you have already read numerous articles about the never-ending debate between mobile and native web applications. Moreover, this debate will undoubtedly grow along with Android’s market share.” Source: Forbest.com

 

 Apps Rule Mobile World, But HTML5 Spreading – 09/28/2011… Source: mediapost.com

 

Now you are asking, wait – what is this HTML5 and what makes it different from native apps?

 

First, let me help you clarify the difference between the two.

 

HTML5 or some call it hypertext markup language is a format language for the web that allow programmers and developers to use it to create documents on the webs. HTML5 has specific rules that allow placement and format of text, graphics, video and audio on a web page. Programmer would use these programming tags or elements to produce web pages in unique and creative ways. HTML 5 new features makes it easier to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having a resort to plugins.

 

A native app as one that is specifically designed to run on a device’s operating system and machine firmware, and typically needs to be adapted for different devices. (Source: Global Intelligence Alliance)

 

Here is a breakdown of the key features both has to offer:

HTML5 Key Features Native App Key Features
Multi-threading (better performance) Seamless User interface
Direct communications using web sockets (interactivity) Seamless Installation and Payment Options
Video Streaming (multimedia support) Distribution and Market Visibility
Asynchronous processing (speed) Streamlined Support
View web offline content
Type of HTML5 apps are dominated mainly by news, weather publishers, and m-commerce Types of native apps: Games, social networking, lifestyle and entertainment, technology and gadgets, travel and local category apps

 

 

What would be a better fit for my brand or company?

HTML5 is rumored to be cheaper due to the development will be done by resources that have web experience already

 

Five things to consider for your mobile strategy before choosing HTML5 or Native apps:

1)     Who are your audience? And what are they using more – apps or browser? Who is your main target?

2)     What do you imagine the user experience to be like?

3)     What is the content you are going to feature and how often does it get updated?

4)     What is your business strategy? What do you want the user to value from the experience? And what does your company gain from it?

5)     What is the best mobile experience you want the user to have?

 

No matter if you go HTML5, native app, or both, you should consider the best mobile experience for your user and your business. Budget and time of development will follow once you build a strong mobile strategy.

 

Appendix

 

Yahoo! And Ipsos studies show that Mobile Internet is used more for shop and search while apps are being used for information and utility.

 

Related Articles:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=159771

 

http://www.mobiledevmag.com/2011/08/web-apps-v-mobile-apps-which-is-the-future/

 

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/mobile-development-avoiding-a-onesizefitsall-approach-09082011.html

 

http://www.netbiscuits.com/mobile-metrics-report-2011 (Need to login to access free report)

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/html5-web-apps-vs-native-apps

 

http://adage.com/article/steve-rubel/mobile-apps-evolutionary-dead-end/229429/

 

http://mobithinking.com/native-or-web-app

 

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