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HTML5 vs Native Apps

HTML5 vs Native Apps

The battle between HTML5 and Native App development has been going on for some time now, but which development approach will come out the clear winner in the future?

Rich User Experience and Performance

HTML5 still faces challenges in accessing native features of the device. However, later mobile operating systems, such as iOS6, have now made it so that HTML 5 Apps can utilise the camera on the device. This shows a big leap forward for the HTML 5 world. 

Cross-Platform Development

HTML5 was built to be the common development language on the Internet so that any browser on any computer could deal with it. HTML5 works on mobile devices in exactly the same way. Native Apps fall down in that they can only run on the device operating systems they were developed for. Not only does this increase development time, but also the cost of development.

Faster App Updates and Greater Control of Distribution

Native Apps must always go through an App Submission process, whether it is for Apple, Google, Amazon of Samsung. The same happens should an update to the App be required.  This way of releasing new versions of Apps can be slow. With HTML5, the functionality is hosted on a web server away from this whole process. This means that updates, which could be critical to an App, can be released immediately.


HTML 5 really falls down when it comes to monetisation. Native Apps allow for inApp purchases meaning Apps can be released for free, potentially producing a quicker user based, and added functionality charged for later. HTML 5 has no way of utilising the inApp framework at present. 

Hybrid Solutions

Frameworks, such as PhoneGap help to provide a hybrid between the two worlds. Where HTML5 falls down, functionally can be instead created in native code. HTML5 code can still be written and wrapped up within PhoneGap and the device specific functionality, such as push notifications and inApp purchases can then be handled outside of the HTML5 code.

Where will the battle end?

For now the battle continues, but as HTML5 progresses and frameworks such as PhoneGap become more advanced, there is the ever increasing chance that HTML5 will eventually outweigh pure native app development.