Monday, 1 July 2013

HTML5’s pros and cons compared to native app development

Pros –
  • Supports multimedia without plugin - It is the first version to support multimedia without plugins and has the ability to be “understood” by all computers and devices.
  • HTML5 web apps can be accessed on any device via a web browser - Much like a mobile website.
    These web apps also provide the capability for offline access and usage via application cache, meaning you don’t have to have a network connection to use them.
  • Single web app rather than multiple native apps - Some have predicted the impending demise of the native app.
  • Ability to bypass app stores – This presents an additional advantage for companies that use mobile apps to engage consumers in purchase transactions.
  • Makes things easier - HTML 5 is aimed at making things easier to build search front-ends, wikis, real-time chat, drag-and-drop tools, discussion boards and many other modern web elements into any site, and have them work more efficiently.

 Cons –
  • Security issues - HTML5 web apps are set up in a way that ultra-savvy users could tamper with processing scripts, which might allow unauthorized access. Variables could be altered in a way that would allow hackers to access perks, discounts, etc. for which they really aren’t eligible.
  • Functionality does not rival that of a native app (not yet anyway) - Most say that it’s pretty good, but it’s no native app.  It will be a while yet before web apps can offer the speed and features of a native app.  It’s important to remember that consumers use native apps because they’re easy, fast and convenient. Also, better integration with hardware and other apps.
  • You lose the marketing benefits of being featured in app stores -  If you are a smaller company, new and potential customers are probably more likely to find you if you’re featured in an app store.

Strategic decision-makers for successful apps should weigh the importance of the following:
  1. User experience
  2. Performance
  3. Monetization
  4. Cross platform deployment costs
  5. Fragmentation
  6. Availability of programming expertise
  7. Importance of immediate updates and distribution control
  8. Timeliness of new OS innovations
  9. Security
When does using HTML5 make sense?
The short answer: When the information is always updating; you don’t want Apple or Google as intermediaries, or if the user doesn't want to download an application.

Note: Above comparison may not hold true for hybrid container-based apps that run in a native shell