Mobile Application for Your Business:
Native or HTML5?

This is the question we often hear: should we create a native or a HTML5 app? How do we decide? The decision made at a project start have a severe impact on the project results.

It is important to understand that:
Native apps are written for a particular platform, iOS, Android, Windows. Each platform uses a specific programming language. Native apps are distributed through an app store or marketplace. The main advantage is that native apps make better use of device’s hardware capabilities (GPS, microphones, accelerometers, etc.)

HTML5 apps try to be platform-independent. The code is written in HTML5 and JavaScript which is later compiled for any required platform (iOS, Android, Windows, etc). Just like native apps, HTML5 apps are also distributed through an app store or marketplace. They are easier (faster) to create and maintain. There is a number of interface features that could be more functional and easier to develop in HTML and JavaScript, rather than using native programming.

Today, companies migrate toward cross platform HTML5 designed mobile applications (for example PhoneGap). Native applications are great for a specific set of business problems, like gaming or other animation heavy apps. However, the key lies in identifying the problems you need to solve, and choosing your technology accordingly.

As said, HTML5 apps are much cheaper (around two times!) to build if you need to support the application on multiple platforms. A native application targeting multiple platforms will need to be rewritten for each platform.

Limitations on the HTML5 mobile user interface have been significantly reduced during recent years. Refined technologies allow developers to create applications that look and behave beautifully on any device, mimicking native controls, interactions and hardware.

Finally, there is a hybrid approach to developing a mobile app. A hybrid application is essentially a native application that uses HTML5 where it is beneficial from user experience and programming design point of view. This approach allows developers to leverage benefits of both a native application (hardware availability, background processes, etc.) while using HTML5 where it provides easier and cleaner interface, such as forms and drill-down menus.

Making a final decision will require conversation and collaboration with your software development partner, but by understanding and considering the pros and cons up-front, you may be able to streamline your process and create the best product for your users sooner.

Do you need help with Native, PhoneGap or Hybrid project?
Call us at +1 (973) 597-1000 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

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