As seen across the last three years or even less of this survey, the adoption of HTML5, and more modern web technologies for application development, both web and native apps, has been little less than startling. The survey also suggests an considerable increase in the number of web developers looking to develop native apps using HTML5 and related technologies in the coming year.
As we noted, this presents real opportunities for less established platforms, as developers need not develop entirely separate apps for different platforms, but can rather reuse much of the codebase across multiple platforms. Solutions like PhoneGap and Appcelerator make this even more straightforward.
Developers express a desire for ease of development when it comes to platform choice. So the easier it is to build an app for a given platform (and for other platforms), then the more likely it is for developers to consider that platform. Ironically, one of the best strategies platform developers can have is to make it easy to use their tools to develop apps not just for their own platform, but for others as well.
Perhaps the great unknown factor in the shorter term is whether users will find native apps developed using web technologies responsive enough, and attractive enough to rival apps developed using native technologies. In the longer term, perhaps the question is will we see the continued distinction between native and web based apps, or will this distinction slowly disappear? We’ll likely have to wait a few years yet to see whether that occurs.