Real men don’t eat quiche. Don’t they? It took the quiche industry years to recover from those 5 little words. Our society constantly pits people/places/things against each other and HTML5 v Native is no different. Can’t we all just get along and realize that there is a time and place for everything. I for one, truly enjoy a nice quiche Lorraine after my Saturday morning hike right before I go for a nice glass of Pinot Noir (notice it’s Pinot Noir, not Grigio, as real men cannot eat quiche and drink Pinot Grigio in the same day, that’s just a known fact). It’s time people realize that you don’t have to choose one camp over the other, there is a time and a place for HTML5 and a time and place for Native development, don’t let anyone tell you differently.
I face this conundrum regularly within HP and we have decided on a hybrid approach to development. For our internal apps, those just for employees, we are implementing the HP Anywhere platform that relies on HTML5 development. This allows us to have our developers create their apps once and deploy across the myriad of devices we allow corporate access to from within the company. This flavor of development works great on a number of fronts from the Enterprise Mobility perspective:
- We speed development for our dev teams allowing them to focus on functionality
- We create a consistent look and feel across the apps and platforms
- Teams develop the app once rather than having to develop for each operating system
The above is the argument against native for many of the true-believers in the HTML5 camp and it is an argument that can be shouted from the rooftops blowing away the need for native development and moving us forward as an assimilated Borg. However, there are many out there that like the idea of using the native features that came with the phone (really the operating system) they purchased. We see the battles raging on with iOS vs. Android, just like we saw with Mac vs. PC, but wait; it’s not one-on-one this time. The mobile industry is a true battle royal that is pitting many different operating systems against each other and it doesn’t look like any sort of consolidation is going to be coming soon. So what is a developer to do? Well, that’s where the wonderful world of the hybrid comes in, no not your Prius, but the Hybrid mobile app.
Hybrid apps can be developed using an HTML5 framework, Enyo for instance, and then using a wrapper such as PhoneGap, be targeted to any number of devices. This has become our mantra within our enterprise mobility development to focus on HTML5 and wrap it. Whether that be placing it inside our HP Anywhere container for our internal employees, or taking the same app and wrapping it natively for Android, iOS and Windows for our customers and partners. Using the Hybrid concept, we get the best of both worlds for our end-users while taking the burden of learning all of the various native development tools for our developers. As we move forward into this ever expanding landscape, we are going to see more options laid at our feet prior to any sort of consolidation takes place. During this time of uncertainty, it’s nice to know that there is a capability that meets both the enterprise and consumer needs around mobility that doesn’t force everyone into looking and acting the same or choosing sides.