Mixed Reviews on HTML5, JavaScript and Native App Development

Although it continues to look like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript are growing as development choices for mobile applications occasionally your project might need to go “native”. According to a study conducted by Embarcadero and Dimensional Research 74% of the respondents surveyed, over 1,000 Windows developers, said they “struggled” to create mobile apps with HTML5 and JavaScript. Now you need to keep in mind that Embarcadero is a development company focused on developing in environments that are native to specific mobile operating systems. Many more in the industry are scrambling to build apps utilizing development tools that are more “device agnostic”

There are good arguments on both sides. HTML5/Java is faster to develop for more devices, they are tried and true methods, and most developers have the skill needed to work with them. Native apps have less latency, contain libraries, have device management capabilities and easily provide the user with access to device features from within an application.

The use of mobile applications for business purposes is however on the rise. Increasingly mobile work-forces, the availability of business applications in hybrid or private “clouds”, and the ongoing integration of enterprise level business systems are driving the need.

The choice of whether you develop your business app in a native device method or HTML5/Java is not one to take lightly.

Native apps are labor intensive and costly. Multiple versions of the application have to be developed, coded, tested and deployed. They work a bit faster because more of the code runs from the device libraries not from the Internet.

However, the release of Apache Cordova is bringing at least more device control. According to their website “Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device functions such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Cordova provides a set of uniform JavaScript libraries that can be invoked, with device-specific native backing code for those JavaScript libraries. Cordova is available for the following platforms: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, Bada, and Symbian.”

With this aspect, the difference between native app development and using HTML5/JavaScript may well close the gap even further. It will, however, still be a choice you should make with some expert help. Development as a service from offshore teams has grown in recent years and the focus of many of these teams has been on aiding the client in choosing the right development platform.

Lower in overall cost than many North American development firms, these offshore teams can provide sophisticated development services in either HTML5/JavaScript and native operating system platforms. The cost of these services is surprisingly low and North American project managers aid in providing solid business based recommendations and keeping projects on track.

From healthcare to manufacturing and logistics, mobile application use is on the rise. How you do it affects your return on that investment, so it is a critical decision. Choose wisely, and give your competition a “run for its money”.

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