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HTML5 Mobile Application Development Vs. Native



HTML5 mobile application development vs. native development – this has become old debate that is still talked about. With this longstanding issue, there are two schools of thought. Proponents of HTML5 mobile application development see the ubiquity of HTML5 as the single reason for adoption. Proponents of native see the superiority of functionality that native apps can provide the moment.

Most recently, two events have occurred that have brought this issue back into discussion. The two events were that first, Nokia adopted Windows 7 as its smart phone platform, and second, Blackberry allowed Android apps onto its Playbook tablet. Unbeknownst to many, this had a large impact on HTML5 mobile application development.

Why did large brands such as Nokia and Blackberry do this? The answer is simple – customers are buying phones these days not just for the features, but also for the surrounding eco-system of apps. At this tame, Apple and Android have become the players in the app space.

What does this mean for the HTML5 mobile application development? This means that there are just 3 big mobile platforms to develop for: iPhone, Android and perhaps Windows in the future. Coming back to our HTML5 debate – where does this leave us now? Developers have to just develop for two platforms – iPhone and Android, and hence a cross mobile development on HTML5 does not offer as much benefit as it used to in the earlier scenario with 5 to 6 prominent platforms. This clearly has an impact on HTML5 mobile application development.

We think HTML5 is a great technology and it will stay here for a long time, but we also believe that the first battle will be won by native apps. The next two years will remain native and two years in mobile is like two decades in any other technology. What happens next is anybody’s guess.

Sirish Kosaraju

Director, RapidValue Solutions



  1. Dan Cornish says:

    We have been building enterprise apps for years. About two years ago, we built a native iPhone app. It took us about 9 months to build it and get it approved for the app store. Recently we have decided to abandon all native app for mobile devices and go the HTML5. The web is viewed as a common platform for application development and a way away from the tyranny of the platforms and their sdk. Why should mobile devices be any different. I have a more detailed post on my blog.

  2. Sirish says:

    Hi Dan

    We all love open source .. dont we…. We have developed many enterprise grade native IOS apps as well as HTML5 apps and some of our enterprise apps have complex integrations with a large number of backend applications. We do not see any difference in terms of coding speed on native or HTML5 except for the fact that a lot of developers out there who are more familiar with HTML and hence they can get a HTML app faster. Our developers can get native apps as quickly as HTML apps. So I dont think its an issue of speed at all.

    Frankly we believe that mobile OS will go through a consolidation phase in much the same way the PC OS business consolidated into two camps – Mac and Windows. On Mobile its gonna be Android and IOS. So developers can continue to develop native on just two platforms and still can still address over 95% of the market. Its just a matter of couple of years

  3. […] would still play a significant role in computation-intensive contexts. Essentially, a hybrid of HTML5 and native apps will be the key driver especially in enterprise apps space. Tags: Andriod phones, HTML5, […]

  4. The web is considered as a typical system for database integration and a way away from the tyranny of the systems and their sdk.

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