Native Apps or HTML5: What Will You Prefer?

The most typical question asked by mobile app developers is that, “Should I develop my application with HTML5, or build Native?” Sometimes, it becomes difficult to choose the most suitable and valid option. But with the help of this blog post, we will explain our readers the different types of application categories, and also discuss the benefits and limitations of both methods.

Meaning of Native App

A native app refers to an application that is developed by using technologies native to a specific operating system. It can be Android, Windows, iOS, Blackberry, and more. For Android, native applications are commonly built by using Java, and if you want for iOS, then a native app can be developed by using Objective C or Swift.

Meaning of HTML5 App

The HTML5 app refers to a mobile application that is created by using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS only. HTML5 applications are the web apps and they should be accessed by using the underlying OS browser. In fact, HTML5 supports rich media and offline data only. It means that you can use HTML5 app when the device is offline.

Comparison between the HTML5 and Native Apps

HTML5 Applications are more scalable across multiple operating systems and device types. The HTML5 app is drafted with responsive design methods would also scale suitably depending on the size of a particular device.

When there is a requirement of an update, the single application is updated and tested, which is available for all devices instantly.

On the other side, Native apps are different to each operating system, and if you want to support different mobile operating systems, you need to build a separate app for each operating system. And, when there is a requirement of an update, each app should be updated separately.

Android apps don’t develop the layout to equalize the size of the device automatically, perhaps, during the development process; different layouts can be specified for multiple screen sizes.

Outcome/Winner: HTML5 is more portable and flexible as compared to Native apps.

If you are looking for an affordable deal, then you must opt for HTML5 apps. It is because HTML5 apps are cheaper to develop as compared to native apps, because a single app is required for different Operating System support. And, the single application can easily be developed by a single web developer.

However, the native apps require a professional developer for each Operating System, such as Objective C/Swift for iOS, Java for Android, and C #for Windows. This could be more expensive than the single web developer.

Outcome/Winner: HTML5

Performance and Speed
Native applications are always more effective, efficient and quicker than HTML5 apps. The HTML5 apps don’t have the ability to compete with the speed of native apps of the same functionality.

However, the App store of Apple can reject those apps that are too slow, which is likely to happen with a HTML5 application.

Winner/Outcome: Native Apps

Interaction with Hardware
Native apps use the huge range of hardware that is available on the device, such as camera, speakers, screen, location accelerometer and more. While HTML5 apps don’t interact with the hardware that can be a crucial deal breaker, depending on the aspired functionality of the application.

Winner/Outcome: Native Apps

If you want to develop an application for an affordable cost at the fastest speed on different mobile Operating System types, then you can opt for HTML5. But, if your app needs specific device hardware, or needs to run very quick, then Native app will be an ideal solution.

So, we have elaborated both the methods i.e., HTML5 and Native apps that can help you in making the decision quickly as per your requirement. But still, if you are not satisfied, then we have another option for you as “Hybrid Applications”.

Hybrid Applications
Despite HTML5 and Native apps, there is one more category of app that is known as hybrid apps. These are developed by using language or framework, and then they are written with native specific code for single desired mobile Operating system.

For instance, you can create an application using HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, and then produce a wrapper across the app for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. The final outcome to all purposes is a native app for each platform, but they share a single code base. In fact, the hybrid app is not different from a native app. The leading hybrid app frameworks contain Appcelerator Titanium, Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap), CocconJS, and Appzillon among others.

Let’s overview the pros and cons of Hybrid apps:


  • The hybrid app can be developed at the same speed at which a HTML5 app can be developed because the underlying technology is the same.
  • They are as flexible as HTML5 apps, as they enable code to reuse across the platform.
  • It can be developed at the same cost as a HTML5 app. However, many frameworks need a license that adds an additional development cost.
  • They can be delivered through the relevant app store, similar to the native apps.
  • Hybrid apps have huge access to the native hardware resources than simple HTML5 apps, which is usually through the corresponding framework’s own APIs.


  • Hybrid application appears to the end users like the native apps, but they run quite slow as compared to native apps. However, the similar limitation on HTML5 apps being rejected due to slow speed on Apple’s App Store also applies to hybrid applications.
  • Not all native hardware technologies are available to hybrid applications.
  • Each framework has its own idiosyncrasies and procedures of doing things that are not useful outside of the given framework.

However, choosing a particular app is your own decision. But it is worth explaining that there are various valid reasons to develop a native, HTML5 or hybrid app.

If you want to build a graphic intensive game, then you can develop a native app as it can give users the quickest and most responsive game play.

If you are developing an app for business that allows executives on the go access company information, you can choose between the HTML5 app, and a hybrid app, especially if your app don’t need the device hardware.

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About the author

Lucy Barret is a WordPress Developer by profession and a blogger by hobby. She is associated with WPGeeks Ltd. as a Sr. WordPress developer and handles all PSD to Wordpress conversion projects with 100% guaranteed client satisfaction. She loves to share her knowledge as a Guest Author through tutorials. You can follow her company on various social networks like Facebook and Google+.

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