The debate between choosing to build a native app or cross-platform HTML5 has been in existence for a long time. Native apps currently dominate the mobile apps world but cross-platform HTML5 apps own a significant share of the market. According to Business Insider, Androids make up 34% of the market, iOS makes up 33%, and HTML5 makes up a smaller, but sizable 17%. The number is likely to grow as technology improves.
HTML5 hasn’t gained as much adoption despite its cross-device functionality because of a few limitations. For example, monetization still remains a problem for HTMl5 apps. Native Android and iOS apps bring in significantly more revenue for developers. However, the numbers for HTML5 apps are growing. VentureBeat recently stated in an article, “There is a slight uptick in the number of developers who are going pure HTML5 rather than native, with 41 percent of developers building cross-platform apps rather than native apps, up from 36 percent in January of 2013.” The article goes on later to state that “most developers continue to use hybrid development methods, with some native apps built with HTML code, some hybrid apps that incorporate native components with shared, cross-platform components, and some apps built in pure cross-platform code.”
As of now, native apps can do more. With native, hardware and software can be more seamlessly integrated to capitalize on important mobile functions such as swipe events, camera, and GPS. However, with the open-source PhoneGap framework, the standards for web-based mobile apps are improving. Hybrid apps are gaining more adoption. Mobile is evolving and it is important to stay on top of the languages and frameworks that make up the infrastructure of the mobile app environment.