HTML5 vs Native Apps

Written by Brad Traversy on 28 March 2013.

HTML5 mobile apps are catching up to the native App store apps. HTML5 is attractive for mobile apps due to the much easier and more familiar coding standards of HTML, CSS and Javascript. However, native apps are usually better built and look more professional. Here are some pluses and minuses of both...


HTML5 Advantages

Familiar Programming - As stated above, you can build HTML5 appps with HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript which is much easier than using the more complicated native languages like C#, Objective C or Cocoa.

Native to the browser - Apps can be displayed in the browser which makes it available on all devices and systems including desktops

Can be written once and used on any device and OS - Only one version of the app needs to be created and can run anywhere. Native apps need an iPhone version, an Android version, etc

Much Lower Costs - HTML5 apps are MUCH cheaper as they are easier to develop and you only need one version of the app

In my own opinion, I think there is a place for both types of web apps. If you 

No Approval - HTML5 apps do not need to get "approved" by the app store

No Downloads - Most HTML5 apps do not need you to download anything unlike native apps

Native App Advantages

More Professional - Having an app publiched in the App Store looks more professional and commercial

More Reliable - Native app development is more complicated in terms of programming BUT that usually means the programmers know what they're doing. It most likley is not a high school kid building his first Hello World application like it could be with HTML.

No Need For an Internet Connection - Many native apps can be used without an Internet connection. HTML5 apps will because they run in a browser

Faster - Native apps are generally faster than HTML5, usually by around 15%-20%.

Better Device Integration - Native apps are usually more effective at integrating the capabilities of the device into the app itself, such as GPS, Camera and Voice Recorders. In native apps, images, GPS coordinates, voice memos, etc can be piped directly into the database without users needing to search and attach them.

About The Author

Brad Traversy is a web developer/designer from Boston Massachusetts. He specializes in web development using open source content management systems such as Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress.

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