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Technical Article => Web =>  HTML5

Will HTML5 ever overtake native mobile apps?

  Peter      2012-05-10 06:51:46      15,232    0

Since now HTML5 has become a very hot topic. It can be used develop some highly functional and amazing applications on desktop and mobile devices. Also, there are many libraries which are using HTML5 to develop some native app like applications on iPhone and Android systems such as PhoneGap. Someone on Quora asked a question which many people are concerning about.: Will HTML5 ever overtake native mobile apps? It seems that the number of people who are agreeing with it equals to the number of people who disagreeing with it.

Let's see the two most popular answers on Quora about this question.

Asking if web will overtake native is a bit like asking if movies will overtake television. Yes, they're kind of close but 1) They each have different strengths and 2) They can co exist 3) Something else is likely to come along.

Keep in mind  that our technological world, and it's underpinnings, are in flux: the very definition of 'an app' will change over time. Native apps will always be best and taking advantage of the constant flux that is happening in mobile hardware.

Web, for it's part, will be the best way to reach a wider audience across a wide range of devices. And yes, it will ALWAYS lag in functionality to what native can do.

However, consider how quickly the world is changing and what is likely to happen over the next 5 years. HTML *will* get better, it may not surpass what native can do but it will asymptotically approach what it can do: at some point the differences will become important to only the most demanding apps.

But more importantly, what the world demands of 'an app' is will change as well. There are multiple experiments being explored right now:
* apps running on my phone and my 'smart watch'.
* cheap devices that need a UX 'on demand' when I approach it
* Multiple screens in my environment that react when i approach
* Services such as smart bus stops that work when I approach them but also when I look at them in a desktop mapping application.

These 4 scenarios are just glimpses into how the functionality, and even the concept of 'an app' is going to morph. 'Functionality' is going to demand that it be accessed on multiple screens and in multiple formats. I'm not saying that native OR web is best for this, I'm saying the world is going to change radically and the quaint "Web vs Native" debate is going to change along with it. Let's not be defined by our current choices. --Edited by
Scott Jenson

I think HTML 5 will definitely replace native apps for certain categories, such as content-driven applications such as news and blogging. For these categories where content is the most important aspect, the user experience between native apps and HTML 5 will be minimal while the cost of HTML 5 will be significantly lower.

I think HTML 5 will replace some native apps for utilities such as location applications but not others. It would be difficult for HTML 5 to provide services like Google Maps Navigation which are computationally intensive. The same is true of games where most games will continue to be native for performance reasons, while simple board games will move to HTML 5.

I don't think HTML will ever replace core applications such as photo taking applications (Instagram), etc. where the hooks into the OS provided by native apps are essential and will never make it to HTML 5.

As for when this will happen, HTML 5 apps will not catch on until there is a proven marketing/delivery channel for HTML 5 apps. Right now native apps are taking over because iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon AppStore all provide a proven way to reach consumers. Consumers don't care about what technology their apps are written in - only how easy they are to find and use. Until there is a proven discovery channel for HTML 5 apps it will just be an interesting technology for building better websites. --Editted by
Sean Byrnes

For me, personally I think HTML5 will not overtake native mobile apps. The HTML5's core aims have been to improve the HTML language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices. It is not supposed to do something that it is not meant to do even it can.

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