HTML5 for Mobile Applications: does it click?

There has been never a dull moment in the mobile app creation world with innovations flying in thick and fast. Even with the existence of preferred developing platforms like Android and iOS, other application-building operating systems are making their way into the market.  This has also created gateways for other innovative technologies to flourish.  HTML5 is a newly launched tool that has been creating ripples in the world of mobile and web application, the reason for this being its endless possibilities. HTML5 not only includes built-in mobile application tools, but also incorporates multi-platform tools that aid in the development of mobile and web applications.

This application development platform has gained notable success owing to its easy adaptability that allows developers in various aspects like User Interface development, scripting and more. Let us review a few key points that make the HTML5 a great option for mobile app development.

HTML5: The Pros

1. Single Application, Multiple Features

Most developers look for an application that gives them the ability to carry out multiple functions via a single platform. There are numerous applications being launched in the market and this only adds to the confusion. Developers can now process multiple tasks in a shorter length of time, and HTML5 creates the ideal platform for this. The Chrome store has initiated a number of applications that are efficient in their functioning, giving HTML5 development an upward nudge, above other developing platforms for mobile apps.

2. Easy Distribution

Most native methods of creating mobile applications are limited in their deployment on particular app stores, making HTML5 an easier option to go with. The process of deployment with HTML5 is simpler, as it has the option of installing fractional parts, which are easier to deploy with the help of freely available JavaScript tools. Compared to native apps that have an abundance of terms and conditions attached to them, HTML5 helps launch applications that are more efficient as it gains its renowned acceptance via the Chrome store.

3. Cost-Effective Hiring of Manpower

The development and creation of any app calls for an expert team of developers that contribute to the success of a project. There are a multitude of programmers who utilize HTML5 in their day to day work; this makes it easier to find the required trained and experienced manpower for projects, besides contributing to cost efficiency. Comparatively, Android and iPhone developers are sparse on the ground, and the ones you find are likely to demand higher monetary remuneration. In addition to other important perquisites, it also offers a cost-effective solution to cross-platform development. The display pages feature consistent designs along all platforms, making it easier for the user to relate to its functions. When compared to native apps, HTML5 is said to require lower maintenance as it supports a single code base, thus eliminating the need for constant developer support.

4. Unlimited content approval

HTML5 apps have the ability to store and transmit content without seeking prior approval from any sort of closed app store. This is quite an advantage to developers as they can utilize data and content without any restrictions.

5. No restriction on customer data

As mentioned earlier, native apps tend to have a list of app-store terms and conditions that define their process and functioning. This also restricts the amount of data collected from the customer, through the native apps. Contrary to that, HTML5 holds no such restrictions, giving developers the benefit of collecting and collating unlimited customer data.

Considering all these attributes of HTML5, it is one of the most preferred mobile applications in today’s market. However, every app has its limitations and so does HTML5. If we were to consider the pros and cons of HTML5, the cons are fewer and can be disregarded. Nonetheless, here’s a review of its limitations.

HTML5: The Cons

1. Requirement of extensive testing

HTML5 requires extensive testing for User Interface development as different mobile devices provide the same app differently.

2. Limited performance

The access of HTML5 app to a device’s hardware is restricted, causing the standard of performance to drop, particularly when heavy graphics are involved.

3. Limited monetary prospects

HTML5 is one of the “freemium” apps available in the market and hence generates lower monetary prospects compared to those apps that make huge profits through direct app sales.

4. The speed factor

When compared to native apps available in the market, HTML5 developments are slower in performance. In one of the recent surveys carried out on HTML5, it was stated that in 59 percent of reviewed cases, the apps that were developed only with the use of HTML5 took much longer to deliver than intended. This is mainly owing to the delayed updates or bugs that are present on mobile platforms. Most developers state that HTML5 is most appropriate when used in developing small business apps, as the apps tend to be too slow and cannot be used as a means for business development.

What the future holds for HTML 5

For segments of business looking for high performance coupled with outstanding user experience, HTML5 may not be the safest bet. Businesses that require high standards of performance need to consider complex aspects such as integration with back-end systems, offline synchronization, data security and push messaging. For such complex processes, it is best to adopt a platform approach towards developing an app.

Even as native apps rule the market, HTML5 will continue to progress and expand in the next few years, creating for itself the ability to bridge the gap that currently exists due to its limitations. It is also expected to entice more and more customers and secure a space in an ever-growing market. Until then, there is amplitude of area for both players in the mobile apps market.

HTML5 is undoubtedly a preferred choice when developing mobile apps and enhancing performance, thus yielding monetary benefits. However, a business must base its strategy on actual use cases, business aims or requirements and the target audience in question. This will help decide if HTML5 is the ideal fit for any business. In the highly competitive market that most developers find themselves in today, it is beneficial to focus on this newly launched tool and incorporate it into the app development business to stay on top of the game.

Image Credit: davidchief on Flickr

Author : Stanley Anto Date : 19 Dec 2014