January 20, 2014

HTML5 Gaining Steam in Mobile App Development

It’s not news that native apps are by far the most popular type of app on the market today. It’s also not news that HTML5 is beginning to challenge native app dominance. It is news, however, to say that choosing between HTML5 Web app and native app development isn’t the binary choice it seemed to be even a year ago.

Indeed, Marcelo Ballve over at Business Insider Australia points out in a recent article that the use of Web technologies like HTML5 and JavaScript is a great way to complement native platforms, eliminating the need to make a choice one way or the other. Meanwhile, more enterprises are starting to opt for a mix of native, HTML5 and hybrid app development in order to deploy the best app with the best possible feature set for each specific scenario.

In other words, the tide of app development is shifting toward Web app development as some have predicted, but not in the way they predicted.

This is well-represented in the results of a recent report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s subscription research service, which shows that more mobile developers have begun to rely on HTML5 as their main development platform as of July 2013. Indeed, 17 percent of developers now primarily develop mobile apps with HTML5, while 33 percent prefer to develop natively for iOS and 34 percent do the same for Android (NewsAlert).

On the surface, this simply shows that HTML5 apps are growing in prominence. Reading between the lines somewhat, it suggests that HTML5 is becoming more prevalent throughout app development as a whole.

Other key insights from the BI Intelligence report include the fact that the ability to develop apps across all platforms at once is becoming increasingly attractive. Meanwhile, missing features once cited as HTML5 Web apps’ major disadvantage are slowly being addressed as performance issues are addressed as well.

That said, Web apps still have some hurdles to overcome, namely in terms of monetization; there’s no getting around the fact that iOS and Android apps generate more revenue for developers currently.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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