As mobile devices continue to enter the workplace in growing numbers, developers will need to ensure that users have the right programs to get their work done. With the increasing amount of technology, it's important to consider whether to develop native applications or use a language that will span a range of devices. While the latter can be less expensive and resource intensive, many of these coding systems are still maturing. HTML5 has made significant headway in the mobile market, and as it's evolving, developers should learn how to work with it to leverage competitive advantages.
Although a cross-platform approach is becoming more popular for businesses, some firms are still concentrating on using native applications. Google, for example, is ignoring HTML5 completely by focusing on its Android platform, creating a market immune to Google's search technology, according to ReadWrite contributor Matt Asay. Because the organization's algorithm can't crawl through applications, it makes it more difficult for Google to gather information on consumer behaviors and market to their audience. HTML5 and hybrid approaches are searchable, but the company hasn't been as vocal on the language as other large supporters like Apple and Microsoft. However, if Google were to commit more to HTML5 development, it could spur application adoption and drive further innovation in the programming code.
"Google knows how to index the Web," Asay wrote. "By investing heavily in improving and promoting HTML5, Google could help to build the mobile Web, and monetize it handsomely."
Determining if HTML5 is right for business
Because HTML5 is still a relatively new program, many organizations are hesitant to give it their full support. However, the potential of the language is growing, making it important to research and experiment with now to maximize its benefits. Meetings and Conventions contributor Jordan Schwartz noted that the HTML5 Web mobile app will run over all modern devices, but native software will have to be created separately for each system. This will take substantial time, effort and funding to accomplish, which could be devoted to other areas of operation. With HTML5, the development cycle is considerably reduced, allowing faster time to market and generating substantial savings in the long-run.
Before choosing between native programming and HTML5, there are a few things that must be considered. For example, HTML5 apps support sign-in authentication and personalized links, whereas native apps can't automatically log-in users. In addition, while native software can run faster than HTML5, mobile Web applications are becoming substantially more efficient and may soon be quicker than common native programs.
"The bottom line is that a well-written HTML5 app will be better than a poorly written native app, and a well-written native app will be better than a poorly written HTML5 Web app," Schwartz wrote. "On the other side, mobile Web app providers are able to go from start to launch literally in hours as opposed to the weeks it takes to pull together and launch a native app. As a result, mobile Web apps can fit a budget that a native app cannot."