Concrete Options @ Application Development

Qamer's View on Dev. Options

Why or Why not “HTML5” for Cross Platform Mobile Development ?

Posted by Qamer Farooq on March 7, 2011

Pros :

  1. Likely standard for cross-platform mobile development.
  2. It has open standards, open source, easy to dive in, tools & libraries support and diverse community.
  3. Its combination with JavaScript & CSS3 make it more special to do great things.
  4. All modern mobile operating systems include native WebView control (Webkit) which can run this rocking combination of HTML5+JavaScript+CSS3.
  5. Same old web development skills are required, which could make it an ideal option for the web development community.
  6. Same code base could be used for other non-mobile environments with a little work.
  7. Dream of supporting all major platforms with a single-shot becomes reality.
  8. Many of the modern cross platform mobile development frameworks are based on HTML5.
  9. Lot of companies (including Facebook) are looking at HTML5 as the future platform for their apps that target next generation devices.
  10. An easy way out to cut your time and cost.
  11. Packaged in a native distribution with an embedded WebView.
  12. Device capabilities (Camera, contact, sms & file storage etc) can be utilized unlike conventional web applications.
  13. You can stay away from learning Java, Objective-C, C++ and other SDK specific languages.
  14. HTML5s offline application cache can store your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on the device. After the first load (effectively an install), it’ll launch without an Internet connection, just like a native app.
  15. If local storage isn’t enough, there’s a full-fledged SQLite database built into WebKit.
  16. All WebViews provide hooks from Javascript to Java and vice a versa.
  17. Rapidly prototype an app. targeting multiple devices including: iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, Chrome OS Devices, Mobile WebKit Browsers & Desktop Browsers.
  18. Any native app can contain a WebView. If you need native for only part of a cross-platform app, there’s no reason you can’t code other parts of it in HTML
  19. If you’re targeting multiple platforms, or your expertise is largely Web-centric — and if you’re willing to spend some time optimizing — then it would a certain option.

Cons :

  1. Be ready to make trade offs.
  2. Native apps perform better than HTML-based ones, More accurately, it takes more work and expertise to achieve decent performance in a Web app than great performance in a native one.
  3. Its not suitable for extremely complex and highly interactive applications (3D game , multimedia or animated app).
  4. At the end its a web-app which is presented in the native wrapper, an intelligent user can distinguish the difference.
  5. Available support is inconsistent across platforms and browsers.

References :

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