HTML5 is a programming markup language specifically used for structuring and presenting content on web apps and desktop browsers. HTML5 is very often used for producing the same app on different devices and operating systems, but that approach comes with its own set of benefits and challenges.
Developing apps for different platforms can turn out to be a daunting task. It is indeed a very difficult ordeal to keep pace with programming technologies such as C#, Visual Studio, Objective C, Swift, Xcode; Java, Android APIs and Eclipse. Doesn’t it sound like an intimidating job to keep pace with inundation of technologies or hire developers for each platform?
In such scenario, you can take advantage of cross-platform app language – HTML5 development. This approach allows you to focus on things that really matter such as creating perfect user experience and developing right functionality. The best part is that because your code is written using HTML 5, your app works on new devices as and when they are launched in the market.
Rise of HTML5 Mobile App Development
HTML5 offers a wide range of new features such as advanced streaming video and audio features as well as integration. HTML5 allows developing applications that can easily adapt to different resolutions, device screen sizes, aspect ratios and guidelines.
Several advanced and robust features such as camera, GPS and accelerometer in modern devices can be used with HTML5. The ultimate focus is to provide a user experience that is customized and context driven on a wide variety of devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.
Advantages of HTML5 Mobile App Development
- Easy Learning Curve: HTML5 code writing is typically easy to learn compared with other technologies. On the other hand, companies can save money if they develop apps working on all operating systems instead of native apps.
- Quicker Time to Market: Its “write-once-run-anywhere” methodology saves time. Efforts both time and resources in getting to market, as the app develops works across different browsers across all devices.
- Less maintenance of apps: HTML5 is an open-source language. Most developers already are well versed with HTML5 and practically use it. It makes the app easy-to-update without the need to re-submit to an app store.
- Offline Browsing: One of the biggest advantages of HTML5 is that it supports local storage of web application code and content, through the offline application cache to provide an offline web experience for readers.
- Remotely updated: Html5 Mobile App Development require being updated for every mobile platform separately as compared to native or hybrid apps that demand to be updated for different operating systems and devices. The process of update in HTML5 is easy to go because the app gets remotely updated on the server, preventing any manual update.
- Cost-effective: HTML5 allows developers to have a single line of code and still create an app that runs consistently across all platforms and devices. This is true for enterprises which have budget constraints and still want to reach users through various devices and platforms.
- Cleaner code: ‘Keep the codes clean’, this is what every coding tutorial would tell you and now you can keep the codes clean with HTML5. This has been one of the major improvements in this new version of markup language as it allows you to write descriptive and semantic code cleanly. You also are able to separate style from the content without any special effort.
- Ease of use: One of the great benefits of HTML5 web apps is the fact that updates happen automatically for users so there is no need for them to update manually. This is because, much like a website, everyone visiting it or using the app will only see its latest version. Although this is sometimes considered a contentious issue, in my opinion it is more often positive than not. It benefits all parties – for the app provider or developer, it means they don’t have to provide support for multiple versions of apps. For users, it means they don’t have to go through the, sometimes cumbersome, process of a manual update.
- Cross-platform: One of the most attractive features of HTML5 is its compatibility across a range of devices. The same HTML5 app will work on different mobile operating systems, whether that’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry; the upshot of this is that the cost of developing the app is much lower than creating native apps for each OS. Some have argued that it takes longer to create an HTML5 app than it does to create a single native app, but this overlooks the fact that in order to have the app on multiple platforms, multiple apps need to be developed while you only have to build it once using HTML5.
Disadvantages of HTML5
- Slow performance: Data and screen features need to be called down on every page resulting in poor performance.
- Several device-specific features such as NFC, bar code readers, camera cannot be accessed from browsers resulting in second-rate UI.
- Relatively less storage/cache space for retrieval of elements in both states such as online and offline.
- Developers work in languages that are not native for different platforms targeted. This might reduce the overall efficiency of code depending on the translation engine. As a result, coding techniques might come across as redundant.
Undoubtedly, HTML5 provides top app developers more flexibility to build exciting and interactive websites and more powerful and efficient applications. It is here to stay!
However, it is crucial to understand your business objectives, technical constraints and operational requirements to narrow down on the right development approach for your app. HTML5 is not a be-all-end-all situation, but an effective way to deliver meaningful experience to users across different devices and platforms.
The mobile app industry is experiencing burgeoning growth, especially in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa. However, in such markets there is a diverse range of devices which could often add to the developer’s woes. iOS has not gained market traction in emerging markets due to extremely high costs. HTML 5 app can turn out to be a feasible option and improve the visibility of your app.