Should I invest in HTML5 or native mobile apps? Yes.

Slalom Consultant Jeff Barber

Jeff Barber is a Seattle-based leader in Slalom Consulting’s mobility solutions practice. He’s a mobile technology expert with deep experience helping clients “operationalize” mobile technologies.

HTML5 is another of the hot topics in mobile technology these days. Have you considered making HTML5 an integral a part of your mobile strategy? Have you assessed how HTML5 can complement your current native application efforts?

Proponents tout HTML5 as the holy grail of mobile applications. It’s the “build once, deploy everywhere” solution to mobile applications. Escape the walled garden and revenue sharing imposed by Apple!

Detractors are quick to cite the pre-standard status of HTML5. You cannot tap into the full range of device capabilities. Native applications built for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and others are the only true mobile applications.

In the rapidly evolving, perpetually changing marketplace, there is no room for either/or thinking. You have to think in terms of both/and. You need to be prepared to respond quickly to shifts in the marketplace and moves by your competition.

Who’s Leading the Charge for HTML5?
Despite its pre-standard status, marquis names in key industries are using HTML5 to power critical business and mobile commerce applications. They are also launching platforms and programs to enable HTML5 development.

  • Carriers—Fast Company recently featured AT&T’s plan to offer a new API platform for HTML5 developers. The Verizon Developer Community event in Las Vegas this month featured HTML5 as the #3 topic.
  • Enterprise Apps—Salesforce is pioneering a new generation of HTML5-based enterprise mobile applications.
  • Publishing—Industry icons such as the NY Times, Financial Times, and the Boston Globe are betting their businesses on HTML5.
  • Social media—Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple have announced and demonstrated their on-going commitments to HTML5.
  • Toolkit providers—Early market leaders such as Sencha and SproutCore are making it easier to get in the game with HTML5 for mobile applications.

Five Key Advantages of Native Applications
Native applications provide access to massive user communities, development ecosystems, and advanced device capabilities.

  1. Mobile apps get the most usage—app usage surpassed web usage in June 2011, according to Flurry.
  2. No infrastructure investment required—Apple, Google, RIM, and others provide the distribution mechanism.
  3. Take full advantage of device capabilities—new chipsets and device APIs enable you to build graphics-intensive applications and interfaces with add-on devices.
  4. Benefit from Apple, Google, and RIM’s market dominance—ride the smartphone wave and reach over 80% of all devices on in the U.S. market by deploying your app in the iTunes App Store, Android Market, and App World.
  5. It’s expected—It’s 2011, your company needs to be able to say “there’s an app for that.” Checkbox satisfied.

Five Advantages of HTML5

  1. HTML5 provides more options and more control to build and deploy mobile applications quickly and economically.
    Accelerate your speed-to-market—no app store approval process required.
  2. Supported by most new devices coming on the market—including tablets, which should be an integral part of your mobile strategy as well.
  3. A new way to extend your web strategy and web media to mobile—works especially well if you are embracing HTML5 in your web strategy.
  4. Build disposable apps—build and take down event-based and experimental apps quickly and inexpensively.
  5. Control your data—retain ownership of your usage and subscription data.

HTML5 and native application development both have a place in your technology toolkit and your mobile strategy. On an application-by-application basis, assess which technologies meet your business objectives. If you have yet to jump on the HTML5 bandwagon, the time is now.

About Jeff Barber
Jeff is a senior Business Analyst and Product / Program Manager, a leader in Slalom Consulting's Mobility Solutions practice with deep experience helping clients “productize” new technologies.

6 Responses to Should I invest in HTML5 or native mobile apps? Yes.

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  3. few months ago i was in the same situation. also had the same question. then i gone with mobile and now it going really well.

  4. Morris says:

    Html5 will be the native platform for Windows 8. Arguably, Microsoft is leading the charge as well.

  5. Magnificent items from you, man.I have read your blog and i got a very useful and knowledgeable information from your blog.its really a very nice article.
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  6. For now i guess investing in mobile apps is much better option and html5 can be seen as a future option.

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