When deciding on a mobile strategy for your company, one of the first important decisions you need to make is whether to use HTML5, build and maintain separate native apps, or build using a hybrid approach. Each approach has different benefits and drawbacks for key factors such as performance, security, maintainability and cost and the right approach to will heavily depend on your needs and priorities. Either way, being well informed before deciding on your strategy is critical and we’ve highlighted the key strengths and weaknesses of each platform that you need to consider in this article.
These two deficiencies alone rule out using HTML5 as an approach for many purposes, particularly consumer facing ones.
Hybrid apps combine many of the benefits of both HTML5 and native by creating an app that displays HTML5 content as part of the app. Many large companies including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have used this approach to great success. The benefits of mixing the two approaches include: ####Advantages * The ability to get your app in the iOS and Android stores * The ability to web content as part of full screen apps * The ability to maintain control over your site and to update it easily (including eliminating the delays associated with submitting to the public app stores).
We chose HTML5 for the Fluid UI web app and hybrid for our mobile apps - the right choice for a tool where the focus is on creating value in business. We can easily save our user’s prototypes in the cloud and display them on both the desktop and mobile at the same time. The drawbacks of our users needing to be online and the slower speed was easily offset by the fact that we were able to offer a solution for a wide range of platforms without being limited solely to Mac, Windows, iOS, Android etc. We are happy with decision and dont plan to change it.
If you are looking at a consumer product however, native will almost definitely be the better option, even if you have to release your app to different app stores at different times and have them developed separately. The speed and flexibility of native apps combined with the easier distribution platform of the app stores makes native a smarter choice.
Finally, we’ve also spoken to a great number of enterprise customers and hybrid is winning the battle there. The security benefits and manageability afforded by a simple app that loads a website with private access to a company’s intranet are frequently deemed the most important factors. This is made easy by Apple and Android, who both provide solutions for setting up and managing your own enterprise app deployments outside the official app stores.