HTML5 promised to be an easy and effective way to develop mobile apps. It’s considered more cost effective to develop and in theory anyway, works across all mobile OS and devices, assuming you have an internet connection. It is therefore a tempting proposition for today’s budget conscious corporate sector. Native in contrast sits on your devise so doesn’t necessarily need a connection and can utilise a Smartphones built in features. The question about what you are looking to do now / future, is therefore critical, as you may find HTML5 does not deliver the experience or the journey you are after…. Hmmm.
Facebook are one high profile example who started with HTML5 strategy only to change their approach, releasing a completely rebuilt version of its iOS app for iPhone and iPad. Yes, HTML5 abandoned without so much as a text. In its place, Facebook rebuilt its iOS app using Apple’s native framework. The results? More streamlined, faster, smoother and quicker to load versus its Mobile Web counterpart, and therefore an improvement on the user journey and experience.
Linkedin have done the same; here’s a quote from their Director for Mobile Engineering who said “We have definitely shifted from HTML5 to native. The primary reason for that is, we’re seeing that more and more people are spending more time in the app, and the app is running out of memory.”
The arguments are many but for today’s demanding Enterprise users, I believe a native approach is preferable. As consumers we all expect a great mobile experience as Facebook and Linkedin would agree, so why shouldn’t Enterprise users? In fact if the experience is poor, it’s likely you may invest a small fortune in an app, only to see 90% of users stick to the current processes. How frustrating! So therefore, improve the experience over and above desktop and it stands to reason that users will switch too.
Businesses looking to invest in a mobile applications strategy should consider their requirements not just for now, but also the future. If you go down the HTML5 route, and it’s not fit for purpose, you will likely have to start all over again and get native; (that’s assuming you’re still in post)!
If you are looking at SAP Enterprise Mobility, Green Lemon Company are the first and currently only UK provider of the enosiX framework. The framework allows you to build rich native applications without the need for specialist ABAP skills and handles effortlessly the integration into SAP using Smart Business Objects. Jon Idle - Chief Operating Officer - Green Lemon Company
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