There has been a spate of news in recent times when various big names on the Internet decided to work their way around Apple’s app store and started developing HTML5 based web apps. The Financial Times was one of the earlier names which decided to go this route, which believed it would have to make some compromises while going for HTML5 app instead of native app.
Users have to go to the browser to access the Financial Times app, and they can access most of the features available in FT’s iPhone native app. Users can even read articles offline, due to the enhancements made using HTML5.
Such web apps also have the benefit of working across all platforms whereas native apps have to be reworked on if they have to be made compatible with Android or Windows Phone 7.
Another similar piece of news has come from Facebook, where about 80 developers are developing a Facebook version which will open in Safari browser and bypass the iTunes app store from Apple. The project has been codenamed Project Spartan. If everything goes according to plans, whenever users point the browser to Facebook, a dropdown menu will allow them to launch the apps.
The benefit for the users?
Again, the same web app can be accessed from iOS and Android devices too.
A South Korean credit card company, Lotte Card has expressed its desire to go the hybrid way – means the core app was created writing HTML5 which was then wrapped around native iOS and Android code to make them suitable for both the platforms.
Probably it decided to go the hybrid way because if their app was based solely on HTML5, they would not have been able to use camera and address book of the phone. At the same time, it takes more work to make an HTML5 based app work well compared to native apps, but the users needn’t worry about it, it’s the headache of publishers.