How does HTML5 fit in the mobile device landscape?

Native apps for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7 and Android devices have received a great deal of attention recently, and for good reason, they represent a new way to interact online and the best apps use device features such as cameras and GPS in ways that you can't easily duplicate on your desktop or laptops. So where does HTML5 fit in the picture? Should companies and designers create native applications or web applications? Do they need to create both? The answers to these questions can get complex and there is no easy answer, however these are some benefits to building web applications in HTML5:

  • The capabilities and performance of HTML5 applications is quickly catching up to native applications. The ability to create animations, animated CSS transitions and delver multimedia content in HTML5 is a huge benefit . Although native applications have the edge at the moment, the state of the art in HTML5 web applications is being advanced daily by designers and developers worldwide.
  • HTML5 ¬†leverages the fundamental simplicity of the web browser. Chances are most users do not have a fraction of the apps created by Fortune 500 companies on their phones and/or tablets. Yet with a web browser, every Fortune 500 company is immediately accessible. Apps are of no use if they are never installed and as apps (and companies) begin to compete with each other for space on the user's device, the simplicity of the browser is appealing.
  • Developing for multiple platforms/devices. Although ensuring that HTML5 applications look and work the same across muitple devices is by no means a piece of cake, it is much easier (and less expensive) to do than trying to develop native apps across the major mobile platforms.

These are just a few of the reasons why HTML5 applications will become increasingly more popular for delivering web content in the months and years to come.