HTML5, Native or Hybrid?

The emergence of mobile applications has revolutionized the effectiveness of e-commerce. Businesses are now faced with a stream of completely different strategic decisions to make regarding application development. New clients often come to us seeking guidance on the decision between developing an application with HTML5, Native, or Hybrid. This concern is one of the most common to those new to the mobile application world. More often than not, we suggest building the application natively. However, each opportunity needs to be evaluated against the client’s budget, resources, and targeted audience. To help you make a more informed decision on which type of application best suits your project or business needs, we highlight the important talking points of each solution, below.


When an application is written with HTML5 all of its information is stored on the web. The benefits of creating an HTML5 based application include cross-platform functionality, virtually no content limitations, and cost effective support. On the other side of the fence is network dependence. If you lack a strong network your users will not have a good experience trying to get to your application. HTML5 applications also lack the app store monetization power. By having an application featured on the Apple App Store or Google Play it greatly increases customer awareness. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that it has fewer device capabilities. The inherent capabilities of the phone such as the camera, location based services, and push notifications are unavailable with an HTML5 app, which is ultimately reducing customer touch points instead of increasing them.


A native application is designed for a specific platform. There are several benefits of developing an application natively including increased customer touch points, better market visibility (Apple App Store, Google Play etc.), and increased customer loyalty. By using location based services businesses can push out notifications to their users based on their specific geographical areas. Marketers can now target consumers in ways that were never possible before the presence of native applications. However, developing a native application is also more time consuming and expensive due to the platform specific code creation. Any updates to the application must also be replicated across the various platforms.


A hybrid application (which is considered by some the best of both worlds) is a web-based application that is wrapped in a native container. Some of the benefits of hybrid application development include the following: a unique user experience on each platform, the ability to access certain features that are locked out of web apps, and low maintenance costs. However, you put yourself at risk for management issues, and face many of the same disadvantages of HTML5 based applications. Hybrid applications are also subject to tighter app store regulations.

Do you have a mobile initiative but still aren’t sure which type of application to use? Let us help you make the best decision for your business. Get in touch with us today.