The flare of mobile web gave rise to a debate over HTML5 for applications development for the users and the employees as per their expectations. Even though 2012 has been remarked as HTML5 year as it became the word of mouth of everybody to set the navigation, content and layout of the webpages through different browsers. But there have been many instances which made it a front-burner question for the developers to ponder of native mobile apps or HTML5 mobile web app development. Facebook has been one of the major instance, as according to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook faced a few difficulties in developing mobile apps.
He quoted: “When I’m introspective about the last few years, I think the biggest mistake that we made as a company is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. Because it just wasn’t there.
It’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile Web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile web is a big thing for us.
We built this internal framework that we called FaceWeb, which was basically this idea that we could take the infrastructure that we built out for pushing code every day, not having to submit to an app store, to build web code on the web stack that we have, and that we could translate that into mobile development. We just never were able to get the quality we wanted.
We burned two years. That’s really painful. Probably we will look back saying that is one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistake that we made. But we’re coming out of that now. The iOS app, I think, is in good shape, and the Android one will hopefully be soon.”
Can you Conclude?
Can Mark’s statement take you to the conclusion? No, and one should not, as most of the users surf internet using their SmartPhones, it is hard to define whether to stick to native apps or rely on mobile web apps. Native apps are not meant for all devices, but they are smooth when in use. If you are ready to invest in various versions of Java, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Symbian, etc then Native Apps is a way to go. But if not, go for HTML5 as it would offer 90% of what you expect from a native app on all the devices for mere 10% development cost.
In comparison to the previous versions of HTML, HTML5 makes your life simpler by easy updation of the latest functionality without any hassle to download and install an update from the app store every time. In one line, we can say that it is the case of “write once, run everywhere”. An application created on HTML5 can run on most of the browsers unlike native apps. This feature offers seamless development and this appeals to both the users and developers to experience continuity and latest versions regardless of the operating system.
According to CNET, Facebook has 955 million monthly users, 543 million of whom are mobile users, which is an increase of 67% year over year. This is a huge shift in the very basics of how Facebook works, which was the major reason that Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the difficulties he faced for Facebook mobile applications development.
Although there are several websites like Facebook, which needs to be constantly updated with the latest content and functionality. Let us say twitter, it is similar to Facebook, both networks allow its users to stay updated about their friends and followers, a feature that HTML5 masters in. Native apps are obviously smooth when in run, but developers need to learn about the adaptability in order to make use of amazing functionality offered by HTML5. As per current scenario, native apps are second to none while playing games and quick loading of social networking websites. But, this is going to be changed soon as HTML5 hits the list for weather and shopping applications.
HTML5 has certain inhibits and shortcomings, its implementation is divergent from different browsers and mobile platforms. But, HTML5 will still take a while to create a niche over native apps.
Be it HTML5 or a native app which is unique to different operating systems, websites that are shifting to mobile-based world should lock down the key points of their software and make use of programming to make it user-friendly and easily accessible.