Using HTML5 for Mobile App Development: 7 Points to Support Your Idea

By | September 2, 2015
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

HTML5 Mobile ApplicationsIn 2012, I helped my team create first mobile application using the Sencha Touch framework and PhoneGap Build. And, since then mobile apps have become an important part of my life. I have also experimented with several different frameworks such as, Phaser and Ionic.

From the past three years, I have been building HTML5 mobile applications that look and perform just like native applications. Earlier in 2012, HTML5 mobile frameworks were quite dynamic and robust, but they are just getting better and better.

I faced a lot of hurdles and obstructions while developing the HTML5 mobile application. It could be due to the fact that HTML5 was my first effort in mobile application development, but mostly because there is a lot of complications for HTML5 mobile developer than for native developers.

If you belong to a web development background, then it may be easy for you to learn a HTML5 mobile framework than getting a native language like Objective C. Still, you have to learn how to master the complications while using HTML5, such as:

  • Regulating the DOM (a bloated DOM can generate poor performance)
  • Accessing Native APIs (You can use PhoneGap or PhoneGap Build)
  • Signing Applications (You can also use OpenSSL in the place of Mac)
  • Developing app store ready builds (Use PhoneGap or PhoneGap Build)
  • Providing the User Experience a native feel (mainly handled by framework)

All these points are child’s play to overcome if you have a good practice and know how to do it. However, discovering how to do everything is quite a difficult task than doing it in the native way.

With all my experience, I have learned and observed over the time that I have been creating hybrid mobile applications. The following are the essential 7 Points that you should keep in mind before getting started with HTML5 mobile development.

1. HTML5 is NOT Prominent than Native, but It Hardly Matters

Mobile Application DevelopmentAs I said, HTML 5 mobile applications look and work just like native mobile applications, but many sophisticated native applications still have the capability to be better. The Pareto principle or the “80/20” rules execute really well here. With the support of HTML5, you can easily develop an app, giving you about 80% of the performance if the same app was developed over native platform. But this 80% achievement will attract cost and time that would be 20% of the whole app developed on other platform.

HTML5 works fluently across all platforms that terribly minimize the cost by only having to create a single version of the application. But, to get a perfect app, you may require an investment in developing native applications for each and every platform.

You know that HTML5 offers some exciting features, and Fastbook by Sencha is an excellent example of this, but for most of the HTML5 developers it may require professional assistance to replicate the same level of quality.

However, some people presume that native is better than HTML5, in terms of its performance and features. Plus, if they want to create a ‘real app’, they just go for native.

But the fact is that, well created HTML5 mobile applications can beat an average native application. There is hardly any difference between these two apps. That means you can create a well-designed mobile application with the HTML5. If you are new to HTML5, please follow here to understand basics of HTML5.

In fact, many clients don’t even know the difference between the HTML5 and Native. Just deliver what they want and they will be satisfied with your work.

2. HTML5 Can Do Anything that Native Application Can Do

Technically speaking, HTML5 apps are only limited to the capabilities of the browser your device may have. However when we compare the gap of this limitation and capability of a native app, you may find this difference is very small and isn’t a lot.

The browser can connect with PhoneGap and PhoneGap can communicate with the device, so the browser has all avenues to everything that a native application can do using the support of phonegap itself and inbuilt functions.

However, this process may be quite complicated, but with the help of PhoneGap plugin you can easily implement the native functionality.

If you want to integrate Google Maps in a Website or Mobile application like Android, iOS and don’t know how to integrate and create programs in Google Maps by using Google Maps JavaScript APIs? you can find this complete Video Course really helpful:

Using HTML5 and JavaScript, you will be:

  • able to setup Google Maps APIs
  • able to create Google Maps for devices
  • able to create Google Maps in a website
  • able to control the Maps UI events

For detailed course outline, follow here.

3. You Can Also Create iOS Applications without a Mac

It is the most accepted fallacy that you need a Mac to develop iOS applications, even if you are making the use of HTML5. But, it is not true.

Perhaps, it’s not your fault as many tools will instruct you that you need the Mac if you want to build an iOS application. You can see the following message that appears when you try to add iOS as a platform from windows computer:Warning

After viewing this message, you might think that you require a Mac, in order to develop iOS applications.

You can use the PhoneGap Build cloud service to build the application (this refrains the need of having the SDK as the application is developed on their end), and utilizing OpenSSL to create a personal information file that is important for signing your application (otherwise you would need a Mac to create) you can also build iOS application on your Windows system.

4. The DOM is One of the Determining Factors for Performance

The performance of JavaScript is getting better and better with the time, Apples new WKWebView with the NitroJS engine touts an imposing 400% increase, but it doesn’t mean that HTML5 mobile applications will work 4X better.

DOM (Document Object Model) operations are considered to be the biggest limiter of performance for HTML5 mobile applications. The DOM is a tree of nodes that showcase the complete structure of a web page. DOM has become more complicated because of more elements and more nesting and takes longer to navigate and adjust.

However, the framework that you will use, has some resourceful ways of decreasing impact of influencing the DOM, but still you should pay more attention.

While creating HTML5 mobile applications, don’t forget to look up strategies for keeping the DOM as simple as is possible.

5. It is Imperative to Use a Good HTML5 Mobile Framework

HTML5 Mobile FrameworkIf you are not using a great HTML mobile framework, then your application won’t look and perform as well as the native application. Thus, always build a mobile application using a UI framework like Ionic and Sencha Touch.

In general, HTML5 mobile frameworks have been directed to manage all the new and unique challenges of building native-like behavior with JS. It includes elements such as scrolling lists with acceleration and deceleration, screen transitions, viewport bouncing and more. The framework is also used to boost performance by doing things, such as re-using DOM elements. However, it may need a great effort to make its performance near to the native application, without using any of the frameworks.

Well, there are some frameworks that are not as good as others. Thus, choosing reliable frameworks can be one of the strenuous tasks for you as there are tons of mobile frameworks available on the market.Microsoft Certification Exams: 70-480

From my experience, I would recommend you the Sencha and Ionic frameworks. These two are the well-performing frameworks and will help you in creating a robust mobile application.

6. Sometimes Debugging is Great, Sometimes It Is Difficult

DebuggingYou can test your mobile application right in your browser that means no devices or emulators are required. In fact, you can debug in an environment that you are already familiar with, like Chrome Dev Tools.

If you are using something like PhoneGap, then it cannot be tested via browser since it approaches the native API’s of the device.

In order to cross-check any PhoneGap functionality, you can check it on your device, but then thinks become a little more challenging. However, you can use GapDebug to provide you with debugging tools similar to a browser when your application is activated on a device. It is an easy way to test functionality, but the irritating part is that you need to create a new build with PhoneGap and then install it on your device to cross check any changes.

Note: When checking with GapDebug, if your application is not working and there are no issues, then you can try this:

  1. At first, open up the debugger for your application.
  2. Wait until it loads.
  3. Go to the ‘Resources’ section and click on the refresh icon.

This will confirm you that the debugger is active while your application is starting up, so you won’t lose any issues that occur at the start.

7. Elitist Native Developers and Protective HTML5 Developers

Many native mobile application developers perceive an attitude that they are the real developers because they code native mobile apps. While, some HTML5 application developers get defensive of their selected tech. This can build an extremely noxious environment.

I really think that both the developers are scared of this argument because the time they have spent on their tech may become redundant. Of course, there is a benefit of using both the applications in different situations.

As a developer, we always want to learn something new and challenging. It is great to associate yourself with the impeccable skills you possess. So, the criticism of your selecting tech can feel like a personal attack.

If you are moving into the world of mobile application development, then always try to learn new things and grasp everything with humility.


In this Web Development Tutorial, we learned the 7 lessons that can help you while creating HTML5 mobile application. There is a lot more technical stuff than conceptual one in this post as I shared my experience with the HTML5 mobile applications and tried to give you the relevant points that will help you while you are creating the mobile app with HTM5.

Author Bio
Lucy Barret is a Web Developer at WPGeeks Ltd. She also assist her clients in hiring WordPress theme developer for their urgent projects. You can follow her company on various social media networks like Facebook and Google+.

HTML5 Web/Mobile Developer Jobs [Updated Daily]

Recents HTML5 Jobs

Front End Developer
Source: MediaPro
Details: This position requires a combination of programming skills (namely PHP, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript) and aesthetics (understanding element arrangements on the...  More
2 days ago

Bothell, WA 98011 09-December-2017

Web Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3. We are looking to add talented web developers who are excited to learn about new technologies and can adapt as needed....  More
30+ days ago

Fairfield, NJ 27-October-2017

Front-End Web Developer
Details: Knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3. We are looking to add talented web developers who are excited to learn about new technologies and can adapt as needed....  More
30+ days ago

Essex County, NJ 29-September-2017

Senior UI Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Javascript, JQuery, Angular, AJAX, Bootstrap 3/4, CSS3, LESS (or SASS) HTML5. We are a start-up company currently developing an ERP software application that...  More
4 days ago

Remote 07-December-2017

Web Developer 1 (Flexible/Remote)
Source: Marriott International, Inc
Details: JavaScript, JQuery, HTML, HTML5,. Start Your Journey With Us Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel company, with more brands, more hotels and more...  More
2 days ago

Omaha, NE 09-December-2017

Front End Web Developer
Source: MedThink Communications
Details: Foundational knowledge of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Coding in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, and the ability to learn and implement new programming languages as...  More
3 days ago

Cary, NC 08-December-2017

Front End Web Developer
Source: EHE
Details: Proficient understanding of web markup, including HTML5, CSS. Who we are:....  More
19 days ago

New York, NY 22-November-2017

Front End Developer (Mid)
Details: High level knowledge of modern techniques when working with JavaScript ES6 + HTML5 + CSS3. We are a creative agency with offices in London and Los Angeles, with...  More
30+ days ago

Los Angeles, CA 90048 12-October-2017

Front End Developer
Source: IMGE
Details: Strong understanding of Wordpress, Javascript, HTML5, PHP, and CSS3. This opportunity is suited for a fast-paced, organized individual who can use their HTML5,...  More
12 days ago

Alexandria, VA 22314 29-November-2017

Front End Developer
Source: Centeva
Details: HTML5, CSS, SQL, AJAX, jQuery, and web services. Fast growing firm specializing in Federal Acquisition and Data Management seeks a front end developer to design...  More
24 days ago

Logan, UT 84321 17-November-2017

Front End Developer
Source: DealerOn, Inc.
Details: Knowledge of the latest trends in design and front-end website development (Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3, responsive design, SASS etc.)....  More
25 days ago

Rockville, MD 20855 16-November-2017

Front End Developer
Source: Need Supply Co.
Details: Need Supply Co. is seeking a Front End Develope r for our Richmond office. The Front End Developer will work closely with our Design team to implement new...  More
30+ days ago

Richmond, VA 23221 25-October-2017

Front End Developer
Source: LockerDome, Inc.
Details: LockerDome’s native ad platform optimizes ROI in real time. LockerDome's publishing platform powers content for thousands of brands and media companies,...  More
30+ days ago

St. Louis, MO 63103 12-October-2017

Front End Developer
Source: BurnAlong
Details: Skilled in Javascript, NodeJS, HTML5, websockets, cordova, MySQL and mongoDB. Do you have experience with Javascript, NodeJS, HTML5, websockets, cordova, MySQL...  More
30+ days ago

Baltimore, MD 26-September-2017

Web Application Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: SQL, OOP, JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3:. Substantial experience with SQL, OOP, JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. Your primary responsibility will be to maintain and...  More
30+ days ago

Seattle, WA 98101 29-August-2017

Web Developer: Front-End
Source: Indeed
Details: Bonus points for HTML5 animation skills. HTML, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, PHP guru. FULL-TIME | SEATTLE, WA....  More
3 days ago

Seattle, WA 08-December-2017

Front-end UI Developer
Source: Dom and Tom
Details: Expertise in HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3. Dom & Tom is an end-to-end digital product development agency focused on emerging technologies....  More
30+ days ago

New York, NY 10006 04-November-2017

UI Front End Developer
Source: Canvas Solutions, Inc.
Details: Proficient understanding of web markup, including HTML5, CSS3. Hands on experience with ES6, HTML5, CSS3, CSS Preprocessors, etc. UI/UX - Front End Developer....  More
30+ days ago

Reston, VA 20190 01-November-2017

Front-End Web Developer
Source: Luxoft
Details: 5+ years of experience with HTML5, JavaScript, CSS/LESS/SASS, Angular/Knockout/React or other modern JavaScript frameworks....  More
3 days ago

Redmond, WA 08-December-2017

Web Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Deep experience and understanding of core web programming languages such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, PHP. FiSci Technologies is a budding, high-tech company...  More
6 days ago

Madison, WI 05-December-2017

Web Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Make use of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, C#, and JQuery programming languages as needed. Serve as a technical expert on HTML5 and CSS as well as best practices for a...  More
10 days ago

Alpharetta, GA 01-December-2017

Backend Web Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Knowledge of HTML5, Bootstrap and CSS3 is a plus. We are looking for a junior web developer with strong experience in PHP, MySQL and Codeigniter framework....  More
27 days ago

Lake Zurich, IL 60047 14-November-2017

Web Developer
Source: Indeed
Details: Expert in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Front end web development and programming experience....  More
30+ days ago

Bentonville, AR 03-November-2017

Front-End Web & Mobile Developer
Source: Tresta
Details: Proficient understanding of web markup, including HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. Since 1990, Tresta has been providing award-winning communication services to...  More
30+ days ago

Tallahassee, FL 32303 28-September-2017

Jr. Web Developer
Source: Reverie
Details: Experience with Magento (preferably 2.0), Wordpress, PHP, Javascript, CSS3 and HTML5. Jr....  More
6 days ago

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302 05-December-2017
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest