December 03, 2012

Hybrid Apps Drive HTML5 Adoption

HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML markup language, CSS3 and a series of JavaScript APIs that combines to offer a feature-rich Web experience. App developers are turning to HTML5 as mobility continues to take over our everyday lives. When it comes to mobile apps, the question comes down to choosing between HTML5, native and hybrid.

According to a Business Insider Intelligence (BII) report, hybrid apps are accelerating the adoption of HTML5 technology. Because hybrid apps combine the best of both the worlds, they offer cost-effectiveness and flexibility of HTML5 along with the performance and distribution advantages of native apps.

Factors driving rapid adoption of HTML5 include cost effectiveness, scalability, open-source platforms and some successful stories. Regarding cost effectiveness, the hybrid approach allows developers to write HTML5-based code once and tweak it to redeploy for iOS, Android, Windows Phone (NewsAlert) (NewsAlert) and other mobile operating systems. Likewise, many enterprises need to develop scores of apps, including consumer-facing apps, employee apps, even client-targeted apps. Hybrid allows them to scale their app strategy without breaking the bank.

A common complaint about HTML5 is that apps run too slowly on various platforms. A huge example of this is when social networking giant Facebook (NewsAlert) marked HTML5 as one of the company’s biggest mistakes. The company moved to native for mobile content instead of HTML5. In an effort to enable fast HTML5 mobile apps on a varietyLudei, a game technology company, has developed a component for the Ludei Platform, the Ludei Cloud Compiler, that allows companies to take any HTML5 app and convert it within minutes into a hybrid native app. The Cloud Compiler includes support for any HTML5 Web app, not just games.

The hybrid approach has aided the wide adoption of technologies such as PhoneGap, an open-source app builder that wraps HTML5 in a native "container" so that the resulting app can enter popular app stores.

Lastly, there are some success stories of hybrid deployment. A case study focused on Untappd, the Foursquare (NewsAlert) for beer drinkers with more than 300,000 users, illustrates how hybrid apps have been successfully deployed. The report suggests that breweries can also plug into Untappd in order to gather information about their brand and products, communicate with consumers, and track feedback. As per the BII report, “It’s all packaged in a graphically attractive interface, and to end-users looks and feels like a native app.”

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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