HTML5 as good as native apps when it comes to mobile development, survey says

Christina Mulligan
November 20, 2013 —  In the battle between HTML5 and native apps, HTML5 is starting to become a strong contender. While native app approaches have been a top choice in the past, a recent survey revealed that 57% of participants believe HTML5 is enterprise-ready, or will be in within the next year.

The survey, “The HTML5 vs. Native Debate is Over. The Winner is...,” was conducted by Telerik in October 2013 and polled 3,500 respondents from around the world.

“Not only can HTML5 be a powerful technology for unlocking more you can do via the Web, but done right, HTML5 could be one of the valid approaches for solving some of the challenges that mobile is creating,” said Todd Anglin, vice president of cross-platform products and solutions for Telerik.

According to the company, the survey indicates that the lines between developer preferences for mobile app development approaches are blurring, not only in terms of the end-user experience, but also the app development experience.

“Developers are taking the time to really understand the advantages and best practices for hybrid and native development, and are quickly realizing that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for their mobile development process,” said Anglin.

But not everyone is convinced HTML5 stands up to native. Vision Mobile recently said in a research report, “How Can HTML5 Compete with Native?” there are five areas where HTML5 falls short when compared to native SDKs: APIs, performance, education, tools and marketing.

Telerik believes these gaps will close as the market for HTML5 matures, and that the perceived “lags” in HTML5 are a result of assumptions rather than the technology itself.

To prove its theory, Telerik conducted an HTML5 Mobile App Challenge to see how much perception can play into a developer’s opinion of an app’s performance. Developers were presented with two identical phones and two seemingly identical applications. After looking at the apps, they were asked to identify which one was built with native or hybrid applications. A majority of the developers picked the apps with better loading time as native, but in actuality both apps were Kendo UI HTML5/Hybrid apps.

“Many developers are finding that the choice between native and hybrid approaches is dependent on business needs, app requirements, developer skill, development timeline and other factors,” said Anglin. “When considered in context, we’re seeing plenty of cases where hybrid is the right choice for a given app, and others where native still makes the most sense. What developers need, then, are tools that can help them be effective, regardless of the chosen approach.”

The full report and survey findings can be downloaded here. Key findings include: Web and hybrid approaches are becoming more popular with developers; the combination of HTML5 and JavaScript is the top choice for building cross-platform apps; and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for mobile application development.

Related Search Term(s): mobile app development, HTML5, Telerik, hybrid, native

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11/22/2013 05:41:26 AM EST

HTML5 is so good, that almost actually no one real programmer is using it! It's a joke with serious programming, produced on a hype out of a screamed laud big lies of Jobs. Thank You Jobs, now almost every complete moron think that he can do software, and believe that it will run everywhere. (just more and more missconceptions stacks)

United StatesBatMan

11/22/2013 09:48:56 AM EST

It's about time, now hopefully the browsers will get the needed access to the mobile features like gestures and the like. it's time to get rid of the financial dependency and extortion developers are forced to live with and pay especially to Apple.

United Statesdcu

11/22/2013 05:27:36 PM EST

@BatMan - Not sure what you're talking about. There are plenty of web apps taking advantage of the features of HTML5. Ever hear of Facebook? Twitter? Gmail? @dcu - +1 I'm just afraid Apple (and others) will cripple web apps in mobile devices (not that they aren't already crippled!) to preserve their cash cow. Unfortunate.

United StatesTyC

11/24/2013 03:02:41 PM EST

Well, if this is like VBA, when suddenly every excel user fancied himself as a developer quickly adding lots of useful stuff to their sheets, eventually becoming a support nightmare.

Canadayuri olshevsky

11/26/2013 06:54:23 AM EST

If you want to make an app and maintain it easily and quickly there are many cloud based services which allow to do it. Most of them even support drag-n-drop functionality that works for non-programmers too. I am using snappii platform that offers lots of helpful features and allows creating really feature-rich and complex native apps.

United Statesvlad

12/03/2013 10:27:01 AM EST

What is the level of expertise of 57% mentioned above. This level talks that: "we surely can evaluate 2+2 on HTML5!" Great? No! We just accomplished 2-month research on HTML5 - it is awful in the 2 main topics where it must wins! 1 - the cross-platformity is stopped by proprietary engines (like iOS or IE). Your final page is patchwork quilt for different browsers. 2 - very weak support of enterprise solutions: weak support of storages and cross-page communications, restriction of multithreading. On server-side you have to rework your services to web-socket support. Finally - use HTML5 to display cool pictures of your kitten, but not for serious applications.


12/30/2013 12:38:43 AM EST

Good to see Kik with over 100million users supporting the HTML5 card platform for messaging and also some popular app like Belly (which was native and then went HTML5 hybrid) being quite successful. I just finished a large contract for a major enterprise which did not want to support what was two different mobile app code teams and was going to become three with iOS, Android and Windows mobile. Enterprises which often natually have a lot of different kinds of devices to support and don't need the utlimate high polish consumer face are getting to be a no brainer for HTML5 hybrid territory. I still would not recommend it for extreme high polish or 3d game type apps however it's increasingly going mainstream for others as the support gets better.

United StatesRyan

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