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HTML5 vs. The Native App: Which is Right for Your Business?


There’s been a lot debate in the past about whether we’re entering an era where the web continues to lose importance as native mobile apps dominate the mobile web and general web landscape.  

In 2011, a NYTimes article made the opposite case stating that the quickly evolving HTML5 standard would bring the web back to prominence.

Our view at Koombea is that this debate misses the point, and, as in many cases having to do with the web, it’s not a winner-takes-all battle. Although it may make life tougher for companies who need to develop for a variety of platforms (in addition to the web), we believe that each platform has its advantages and is appropriate for different audiences. If companies want to reach these audiences, they’ll have to offer their digital experience on the platform that each audience prefers, which means that some audiences will require a presence on multiple platforms.

This doesn’t mean that HTML5’s evolution isn’t exciting. It might seem self-serving for us to have this world-view, as we provide our clients with talent to develop applications on a multitude of mobile (thanks to Rhodes which we know very well) and web platforms.

The reality is that if we thought we could serve our clients better by steering them towards one platform, we would organize our company to be successful by doing just that.

However, the reality is different, and we don’t feel that would be sound advice, or a sound business model. Customers have a lot of power, and more and more often they are demanding to use the platform or platforms that they choose, and not the one that makes it easier on developers and businesses.

So, while some experts are bullish on HTML5’s ability to make native web apps less necessary, we feel that all the important platforms (including HTML5!) will see tremendous growth in the future, and customers will be the ones reaping the benefits.

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