With the rapidly increasing success of mobile app development, the web developers have started embracing innovative technologies for building mobile apps that are not only rich in visual features but also contain easy-to-use functionality. Among the wide array of mobile app development technologies used by app developers across the globe, HTML5 is the one that has turned out as a strong contender. My aim behind penning down this blog is to throw some light on the growing popularity of HTML5 as the leading choice for mobile app development. So, let me take you on the success journey of HTML5.
What exactly are Hybrid Mobile Apps?
Mobile apps can be segregated into three categories viz: native, hybrid and web apps. Here’s an explanation for all the three:
- Native apps– These are the mobile apps that are specially built for a specific mobile operating system, with the platform SDK, tools and languages being provided by the platform vendor itself. For example, xCode/Objective-C are being made available for iOS and Eclipse/Java for Android and so on.
- Mobile apps– These are basically the server-side mobile apps that are built using the server-side technology such as PHP, Node.js and ASP.NET. In such apps, the HTML code is being styled for featuring perfect on the device form factor.
HTML5 has emerged as the perfect solution to fight challenges posed by mobile technology
Unlike native mobile apps, the ones developed using HTML5 have been able to meet the varying requirements of the business professionals and individuals who’re thinking about developing high-performing mobile apps. When it comes to the continuous battle between native apps and HTML5 apps, definitely the HTML5 apps have emerged as successful. As per a recent survey, it has been found that around 90% app owners believe HTML5 is enterprise-ready and will witness more popularity in the years ahead. HTML5 has served as an answer for the suite of challenges that are being created by today’s mobile phone technology. Whether it’s regarding the cross-browser compatibility, screen resolution compatibility etc., HTML5 has undoubtedly become one of the best technologies for flawless mobile app development. As compared to one of its biggest contenders i.e. PhoneGap; HTML5 has been brilliantly used for building hybrid apps that can be published on different application markets such as the App Store, Google Play etc. without the need for any kind of approval. With HTML5’s capabilities increasing at a rapid pace, it doesn’t come as a surprise that soon the hybrid apps would be competent in offering functionality that is at par with the apps that have been developed using the native technologies. In simple words, hybrid apps would be able to perform advanced functions.
Low-cost availability of HTML5 adds to its incredible success
Well, today, the mobile app development market is loaded with companies which are willing to deliver fine-quality HTML5 mobile apps at reasonably lesser prices. Whether its about offering a rich user experience or an advanced accessibility and storage options, HTML5 has acted as the key driver of outstanding mobile app development projects. One of the greatest advantages of HTML5 is the incorporation of auto-updating in all the latest web browsers. This has helped the app developers gather the confidence for using HTML5 for executing unique app development projects.
HTML5 powered apps can be updated remotely using innovative functions
In today’s world where app monitoring and management has become a fuss for enterprise owners, HTML5 has emerged as a huge sigh of relief. It is interesting to note that all mobile apps created using the HTML5 technology can be easily updated remotely with the help of specific functions and methods. WEINRE is one of the finest tools used for debugging layouts of Windows Phone HTML5 apps. Yet another remarkable feature included with HTML-based hybrid apps is the automatic updating. The greatest advantage of automatic updating of mobile apps is that neither the app provider nor the app developer has to provide any support for the multiple versions of the respective app. All users of the app will automatically see the latest version of the application, without the need for going through the tiring, daunting process of updating the app manually.
HTML5- Makes it flexible to use system fonts
As an app developer, you need to ensure that the target users are able to feel at home while accessing your app. This is something that’s possible just with the use of system fonts. If you’re planning to develop an out-of-the-box mobile app then usage of appropriate system fonts can work wonders for your app’s success. Here’s my recommendation for the font stacks that are useful for developing apps for major mobile platforms:
/* iOS */ font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; /* Android */ font-family: 'RobotoRegular', 'Droid Sans', sans-serif; /* Windows Phone */ font-family: 'Segoe UI', Segoe, Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif;
HTML5 encourages Iconography in mobile apps
As a key element of remarkable user experience, Iconography can serve as your best approach for grabbing the attention of target customers. Quite similar to the usage of fonts, even the use of high-quality icons can work wonders for enhancing the performance of your mobile application. All mobile apps created using HTML5 technology involve the use of scaleable icons. Moreover, it is possible for the HTML5 mobile app developer to moderate the icon’s appearance including the color, shadow and transparency using CSS.
Business Intelligence of HTML5 makes it the #1 choice of entrepreneurs
HTML5 comes with enterprise-friendly features that work best for development of mobile apps targeting product/service buyers. For example, after creating the report dashboard once, the same can automatically be made available on any Internet-enabled gadget that’s equipped with an HTML5 compliant web browser. And that’s not it. The advanced caching options available with HTML5 play a vital role in enhancing the visualization for app analytics. With detailed and high quality views available for app data, the business professionals can now convey their message in a faster way.
HTML5 doesn’t miss out the app’s native functionality
Using HTML5 for mobile app development doesn’t mean that you need to ditch the incorporation of native app functionality. One of the most interesting things that need to be considered here is that all the major cross-platform app development tools are actually equipped with a built-in access to the vital native functionalities which include: the file system, APIs for device data, network connection, the accelerometer, geo-location, notifications and much more.
Emerging markets can see a ‘Brighter’ future with HTML5
Being one of the largest growth areas for mobile devices, emerging markets can expect to scale new heights of success via an investment into hybrid mobile app development using HTML5. Unlike the platform-dependent mobile apps, the ones built with HTML5 can function on a range of devices equipped with different mobile operating systems.
HTML5 boosts development of apps that can be seamlessly tested on real devices
While building mobile apps using web technologies, it is obvious to get tempted about testing the app in a web browser. Choosing HTML5 for development of hybrid mobile apps is something that will make it real-device app testing feasible for you. HTML5 comes with in-built features that aid in creation of hybrid apps that can be tested with multiple manufacturers, platforms and form factors.
HTML5 reduces the risk of vendor lock-in
Unlike the no-SQL databases such as CouchDB, MongoDB and ZeroMQ which increase the complexity of database migration scripts, HTML5 lowers down the risk of any such complexities. Being an open format interchangeable between web and mobile. HTML5 serves as the best tool for developers who don’t want to stay restricted by the use of proprietary plug-ins.
Irrespective of whether you dream of building a simple mobile app or one that’s rich in visual and functional assets, HTML5 can turn to be your right choice in terms of cost and flexibility. The innovative tooling improvement has certainly helped developers in creation of hybrid mobile apps. Since the performance of a hybrid app is dependent on the platform it runs on as well as the browser, it becomes vital for the app user to check whether the software and browser used for operating the app are up to the mark or not. This is simply because faster the browser, faster the hybrid app will run. The future of hybrid apps is definitely bright and hence it is better to invest your time and money into developing some. Despite the uncertainties revolving the development of hybrid apps, I recommend you to opt for HTML5 because the software has a lot in store for app developers who’re constantly struggling to build apps that can keep the users engaged to the business products and services. A custom mix of HTML and native code has paved way for creation of exclusive hybrid apps that perform flawlessly on a wide range of mobile devices.