10 Benefits of HTML5 Apps You Can't Ignore
When building a mobile app you have three choices. Build Native, Hybrid or HTML5. With each of these options there are a variety of development languages and approaches you can use to deliver your app, however at some point you'll have to weigh up the benefits of each route.
If you've ever undertaken a period of analysis into app suitability, what’s interesting to note is that depending upon who you talk to, how many years they’ve been in app development, and their personal allegiances to particular programming languages; you can receive very different information when it comes to choosing an app development language and/or method for your project.
Without the proper knowledge and/or tools at your disposal, this can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of extra expenditure, and a great deal of headache for you if you make the wrong choice.
To help out, we’ve provided a list of 10 Benefits of HTML5 Apps You Can’t Ignore, so that next time you’re looking to develop a mobile app, you'll have all the facts when it comes to assessing the value of HTML 5 apps so you can make the right choice for you and your organisation.
#1. HTML5 apps are extremely flexible
One of the major benefits of HTML5 app development is that you're only required to build a single app for all devices. This of course means that you’re going to save a lot of time, effort and money on your initial build and future updates.
HTML5 apps can be built using a number of languages that output HTML (i.e. PHP, .NET, Ruby and Python), and can even be wrapped in what’s called a “mobile wrapper” using technologies such as Adobe PhoneGap and Xamarin which will allow you to publish your app on the app stores.
When looking to produce a Hybrid app using HTML5, the wrappers your code base is wrapped in will differ, but when compared to rebuilding the majority of your app in two different languages which is what you'll be required to do as part of a Native build, the flexibility of HTML5 as an app development method are clear to see.
#2. The gap between HTML5 and Native app development is closing
For many years’ app developers have preferred Native over HTML5 or Hybrid app development.
Developers who work regularly in the app development space have cited that across the board the feature set previously available to developers vastly superseded that of HTML5 and Hybrid capabilities. However today, the gap is without a doubt closing.
With HTML5 app development frameworks becoming increasingly feature rich, and fewer functional requirements out of reach, it's highly likely we're going to see more HTML5 apps being produced.
With services such as PhoneGap and Xamarin contributing heavily towards the movement of using HTML5 for Hybrid apps, HTML5 is going nowhere, and is definitely an option developers and customers across the board are considering on a much more regular basis.
#3. Rapid product development and updates
One thing customers of HTML5 app development are huge fans of (not to mention the development community), is that when you build a HTML5 app, you only need to build it once. Contrast this to building twice and publishing twice for a Native app, and building once and publishing twice for Hybrid apps, and you're definitely onto a winner.
For customers this provides a major reduction in cost, a huge decrease in the time to market, and much lower rates of running into programming bugs across multiple platforms.
When developing an app in HTML5, because you only need to test your code once (excluding cross-browser testing), testing time is also reduced allowing for rapid product development.
#4. HTML5 is more conducive to emerging markets
In today’s fast moving world, there are a number of highly populated regions who are yet to see the sort of uptake westernised countries have seen in the areas of mobile use and Internet access.
Because expensive devices such as iPhones, iPads and other top-tier products are largely out of reach for many citizens in these countries, this has resulted in a major opportunity for HTML5 app developers.
With older devices that do not support modern app technologies still widely in use, there is a huge market out there looking for HTML-only solutions.
For example, Africa is one area where tech-giants such as Google, Visa and Facebook are all looking to make an impact across mobile payments and social media, whilst contending with developing support for technology.
So if you're an entrepreneurial type looking to reach a large increasingly active audience, a HTML5 app either wrapped as a Hybrid app solution or produced for the web may be for you!
#5. HTML5 apps are highly affordable
It’s a matter of simple math when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of HTML5 apps. For example, when building a HTML5 app:
- You're only required to develop one set of source code
- Testing is only required in web browsers
- There's no need to undertake lengthy app store approval processes,
- Web-based languages are more affordable to resource, and
- Your time-to-market is greatly reduced
So with this in mind, what does this amount to? Big savings.
If your app does not require Native features, to be accessed in the field, or a persistent Internet connection, then a HTML5 app may be for you.
Contrast this with the added cost to develop Native (or even Hybrid) apps, and the benefits of HTML5 apps are pretty clear.
#6. Cross-platform issues are almost nil
For year’s web developers used to sigh when asked to build a cross-platform web app for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome.
Now with the advent of Microsoft’s Edge browser and the support of the Webkit browser standard, these issues are almost non-existent.
With Google’s widespread support for the Webkit standard and the successful launch of their Chrome browser, the browser community has followed suit meaning that when you build something for the web it will look and function the same regardless of the platform you're using.
Because HTML5 is part of an Open Standard for application development, no corporate control is enforced over code bases, rather community support for the best possible user experience, making HTML5 a fantastic choice for cross-device applications.
#7. Increased discoverability
One of the challenges Native and Hybrid app marketers face when promoting their apps, is their products and services can quickly get lost online.
When it comes to HTML5 apps, this is an area the competition cannot compete, and is a major reason why many product owners choose to create apps of this vein.
For example, the following benefits are predominantly out of reach for Native and Hybrid app marketers:
- Strong search engine visibility
- Referrals from websites on non-mobile devices
- URL references from non-digital mediums (i.e. Radio, print, T.V excluding QR codes), and
- Paid advertising links from a wide-variety of search and social mediums
So if you’re looking to market an app, just remember that marketing HTML5 apps is a much easier process. For those new to app marketing, this may be a selling-point for you when selecting which type of app you should be developing.
#8. HTML5 app integration is an ever-evolving industry
If you’ve ever needed to connect a website or app with a well-known service such as MailChimp, Magento or Salesforce, you’ll know how widely supported this is.
These services, which are essentially web apps themselves, offer integration API’s that are excellent to work with. After all, if you’re gathering data from your HTML5 app (i.e. sign ups, logins), interpreting and using that data in other scenarios is a vitally business tool.
At OSE we’ve connected a wide variety of HTML5 apps to external services and have found it to be a breeze, and a real selling point for app owners looking to do more with their app data.
#9. HTML5 apps perform extremely well on all devices
These days’ it's rare to hear of anyone complaining about the performance of a HTML5 app.
Due to increases in broadband capabilities, the advent of scalable cloud-based architecture such as AWS, and the number of web application frameworks popping up; its fair to say that users of HTML5 apps are a happy bunch.
In fact, when you consider the impact services such as Google Analytics, Page Speed Insights and TinyPNG have had on web development over the past few years, professionally built web applications are indeed becoming the norm.
However, where HTML5 apps really stand out is when performance issues do occur.
Because the diagnosis time and ease of which updates can be implemented is so low, issues that effect performance do not last long, unlike Native apps which are subject to app approval processes if the issue exists within the source code of the app.
#10. Responsive website design gains
Regardless of the app you're looking to produce, if you’re considering building it on HTML5, you can take advantage of responsive website design principles.
Responsive website design is the process of building your app to display perfectly on mobile, tablet and desktop devices using a single code base.
If you’ve ever seen a website which you know displays differently on a smart phone as opposed to your desktop, chances are the site has been built using responsive website design techniques.
Because mobile access to the web now exceeds that of desktop, for developers of HTML5 apps, responsive website development is a must, providing a simple mechanism for providing a high quality user experience across multiple devices.
So if you’re looking to build an app, start a new business, or perform some data analysis, the benefits of HTML5 apps cannot be ignored.
Not only are HTML5 extremely cost effective, flexible in nature, and easy to develop; they're widely loved and used across the globe.
HTML5 apps are multi-purpose apps which can be used across a number of platforms, and are extremely easy to build a successful marketing campaign around.
If you’re looking to develop a HTML5 app, feel free to get in touch with the team at OSE for a confidential discussion.