Here’s why mobile sites—and not apps—are the future of the Web

It seems HTML5 may finally gain the upper hand over Apple’s and Google’s app stores.

Within a few months, a number of new mobile operating systems will come out—Firefox OS, Tizen and Ubuntu—and since they are all open source, they will provide support for HTML5 apps, according to the MIT Technology Review.

HTML5 is a relatively new technology allowing companies to build web-based apps that can be opened in a standard web browser on any device, including smartphones and tablets.

Native apps — well, they are exactly that, those attractive apps you can find in Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. They are hugely popular right now, with each OS claiming to having a richer app ecosystem and more developers on its side.

So far, developers have been forced to create apps native to either (or both) iOS or Android and await approval before seeing their app in the app store. But with the introduction of Firefox OS and friends, developers could regain some control.

Business Insider also predicts that HTML5 will eventually win out, and here’s why:

It is cheaper to make HTML5 apps than native apps. Although it seems that native apps are better than HTML5 at a lot of things right now, HTML5 is improving. Over time, the newer, cheaper HTML5 technology will get better and capture a bigger chunk of the market.

Monetization. Simply put, apps that incorporate text, images and video, and that monetize through ads and subscriptions are better and more cheaply designed in HTML5.

“Shell apps” will push HTML5 forward. Shell apps are those which can be opened via a “native” app but actually function entirely using HTML5. It’s basically the best of both worlds, meaning more development will have to go into the currently less popular HTML5.

– Aleksi Tzatzev

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