The rise of native apps as the primary medium for mobile content is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down at the moment — if anything, it’s growing, with smartphone-wielding consumers in the U.S. recently tipping to using more native apps than mobile web sites for their information/games/video fixes. But that also belies a secondary trend: support and functionality for HTML5, the markup language (not-quite standard) for feature-rich mobile web content, continues to grow.
This two-track approach, and the pros and cons of each, is the subject of the latest report from the French analyst house faberNovel, on HTML5 and how to rethink web strategy. It’s embedded below.
HTML5 is increasingly getting adopted by companies that need other solutions in place besides native apps. Some of the reasons why include the ability to target all consumers in a fragmented mobile market; and the ability to bypass some of the rules put in place by app store operators. Opera, making of mobile and web browsers, is one of the bigger companies that have promoted the standard.
Of course, the reason why native continues to shine anyway is that the user experience and in some cases functionality of native apps simply remain better there than on HTML5. This report leads you through examples of how websites have been translated into each, and what works and what does not.
faberNovel comes away with its own point of view on the subject: HTML5 is here to stay, and for now hybrid approaches are the way forward. However, judging by recent moves from companies like Facebook (once a big supporter of using HTML5 in its native apps, but more recently dumping it for the faster performance of native apps’ Objective-C) point to problems with this approach. Hybrid may ultimately mean developing for multiple platforms, rather than trying to integrate everything.
As with its past reports, faberNovel takes a high-level view of its subject, and then drills down into a lot of detail to fill out the picture. It’s an approach that favors those who may not have been watching every move in a particular area but needs or wants to be kept abreast of everything in one place.
Past reports have included a look at Amazon’s “hidden empire”; how Facebook is still the perfect startup; how Apple dominates; and what could go wrong with Google. When you think about it, these are all still pretty time-sensitive subjects — especially Amazon and Apple this week and next. The jury is still out on whether HTML5 will stand the test of time, too.