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Native vs HTML5: Who will win?

This is an old debate and lot of people have expressed views about this. There are two schools of thought as always with a debate. Proponents of HTML5 see the ubiquity of HTML5 as the single reason for adoption and proponents of Native see the superiority of functionality that native apps offer at the moment.

There are two things that have happened in the last quarter which brings this debate once more to the fore. Nokia adopting Windows 7 as its smart phone platform and Blackberry allowing Android apps on its Playbook.  Why did it propel such biggies like Nokia and Blackberry to do this? The answer is simple – customers are buying phones these days not just for the features but the surrounding eco-system of apps and Apple and Android have taken the cake in the app world.

What does this mean for the developers – it means that there are just 3 big mobile platforms to develop for iPhone, Android and may be Windows in the future. So coming back to our HTML5 debate – where does that 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.

We think HTML5 is a great technology and it will stay here for a long time but the first battle is won by Native apps. I believe that the next two years is going to remain native and two years in mobile is like two decades in any other technology and what happens after is anybody’s guess.



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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 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.

    March 31, 2011
  2. 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

    March 31, 2011

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