HTML5, Native or Hybrid? Gartner Weighs in on Mobile App Future
So you've got a BYOD strategy and a mobile device management platform. Have you considered whether hybrid apps have a place in this new world? A recent report by IT research firm Gartner concluded that they do. According to the report, more than half of the apps deployed by 2016 will be hybrid — a combination of a native app and an HTML5-based web app. Here's a deeper look.
First, let's take a quick look at hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are designed to offer a balance between HTML5-based web apps and native apps by leveraging strengths of both, while minimizing weaknesses. For instance, HTML5 ensures portability among platforms. Native apps ensure access to features of each device.
That combination of strengths is what is driving enterprises to look at hybrid apps.
"The BYOD trend and the increased pressure on organizations to deploy mobile applications to accommodate mobile work styles of employees will lead businesses to manage a portfolio of mobile application architectures, and hybrid architectures will be especially well-suited to business-to-employee applications," said Gartner Research Vice President Van Baker in a prepared statement.
Gartner forecasted PC shipments will be less than 50 percent of combined PC and tablet shipments by 2016. In addition, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide and by 2013. Businesses will also see a proliferation of alternate methods of access, including set-top boxes, internet TVs, appliances, and wearable personal devices. These devices will demand support from the businesses, opening up the need for multi-device strategies that include integrations into existing applications and architectures.
"We recommend organizations are open to augmentations to the Web (such as hybrid application development) to deploy on mobile today, with the goal that more should be done without those augmentations after 2015," said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow in a statement. "Organizations also need to continue to develop web technology skills, find the right uses for promising new technologies and approaches like HTML5, and deal with the uncertainty and speed of the consumer-driven mobile landscape. All the while it’s important to maintain IT governance while increasing productivity and usability."