This is the question we often hear: should we create a native or a HTML5 app? How do we decide? The decision made at a project start have a severe impact on the project results.
It is important to understand that:
Native apps are written for a particular platform, iOS, Android, Windows. Each platform uses a specific programming language. Native apps are distributed through an app store or marketplace. The main advantage is that native apps make better use of device’s hardware capabilities (GPS, microphones, accelerometers, etc.)
Today, companies migrate toward cross platform HTML5 designed mobile applications (for example PhoneGap). Native applications are great for a specific set of business problems, like gaming or other animation heavy apps. However, the key lies in identifying the problems you need to solve, and choosing your technology accordingly.
As said, HTML5 apps are much cheaper (around two times!) to build if you need to support the application on multiple platforms. A native application targeting multiple platforms will need to be rewritten for each platform.
Limitations on the HTML5 mobile user interface have been significantly reduced during recent years. Refined technologies allow developers to create applications that look and behave beautifully on any device, mimicking native controls, interactions and hardware.
Finally, there is a hybrid approach to developing a mobile app. A hybrid application is essentially a native application that uses HTML5 where it is beneficial from user experience and programming design point of view. This approach allows developers to leverage benefits of both a native application (hardware availability, background processes, etc.) while using HTML5 where it provides easier and cleaner interface, such as forms and drill-down menus.
Making a final decision will require conversation and collaboration with your software development partner, but by understanding and considering the pros and cons up-front, you may be able to streamline your process and create the best product for your users sooner.
Do you need help with Native, PhoneGap or Hybrid project?
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