Development teams seeking to create mobile apps should strongly consider using HTML5 as a platform. So says a recent article appearing on Whatech. Although the article was written by someone working for a company that provides an HTML5 software development kit (SDK), it brings up several issues that are compelling.
Cross-platform support is very important to any mobile app designed for a mass customer base. Currently, the majority of mobile devices are Android-based. It would be easy for a development team to decide to target only Android apps, but it would also be short-sighted.
Apple (News - Alert) iOS users, although a minority, make up a significant group and tend to have deeper pockets than Android users. Windows Phone is also starting to become large enough as a market that it can no longer be dismissed.
There are several ways to support cross-platform development, each with its share of disadvantages. Learning to develop native apps in Android (News - Alert), iOS and Windows Phone would be thorough, but it would be costly in the time it would take to overcome the learning curve. Many companies offer SDKs that target native apps in multiple platforms, but the licensing costs can be prohibitive and your future software development is at the mercy of a company that may or may not go out of business or decide to pull the plug on the SDK.
Since HTML5 apps run from a browser, they are not dependent on any particular OS. They can run on all operating systems, mobile or desktop, and do not require costly SDK licenses. Many developers have worked with previous versions of HTML so the learning curve is not as steep.
Other factors make HTML5 a compelling choice for developers. Teams would no longer have to deal with the approval process that app stores subject new apps to. HTML5 has added native support for video and other media, eliminating the need for installing plugins.
The decision of going with native app versus web app development is one that many teams face. If the need to support cross platform native app development is so great that the learning curves or the cost of cross-platform SDKs is no object, then HTML5 won’t prevail. For many teams however, HTML5 is a better option that solves cross-platform development issues without so many costs.
Edited by Maurice Nagle