HTML5 is the newest version of well-known markup language for web development. With new rich media elements and more descriptive semantics creating interactive web applications became easier than ever before. Forget Flash or Silverlight, HTML5 comes with a strong support for video and audio, and unlike before, the implementation consistency among platforms was significantly improved.
HTML5 provides many benefits over the older versions, these being the most important:
- Known by every developer – because there are no major differences between the new and older versions, developers already know how to use it. Moreover, it is extremely easy to learn when compared to native languages like Objective C or C++.
- Cross-platform – definitely the key advantage. Web applications built in HTML5 can be run across a large scale of devices and operating systems. The support of HTML5 is being improved constantly, so mobile developer will not have to worry about any major cross-platform issues that have to be dealt with before. No matter if the goal is to target iOS or Android users, web applications and games will be supported by all of them.
- Rapid development – once you get used to this whole new standard, creating simple app can be done in no time, especially when compared to iOS or Android native apps. However, the word ‘simple’ has to be emphasized because developing some complex mobile app / game can take quite some time. Moreover, there are limitations that have to be faced that can change the easy and fast development into nightmare.
- Performance – most likely the biggest disadvantage. No matter of all the neat benefits that HTML5 provides, mobile games and apps based on this standard are slower when compared to native apps. And always will be as these native applications take advantage of multithreading and GPU acceleration. Therefore, if your goal is to create some complex mobile game with rich user experience and a lot of graphics, HTML5 is not the way to go.
- Implementations issues – even though the support of HTML5 has greatly evolved over the last couple of years, there is still some level of inconsistency among web browsers and mobile devices. Just remember all the problems a web developer had to deal with due to different implementations of older html versions. The new version is not different and your application most likely will not run in newest versions and will have to be updated.
- HTML5 standard split – until now, WC3 and WHATWG were working together to introduce the fifth version to the world. However, WHATWG announced that they will continue to work on their own version as so called “living standard”. What does that mean? From now there will be 2 different HTML5 versions that will result in implementations issues in the future.
HTML5 and mobile games
At this point, HTML5 may appear as the right solution for cross platform mobile development, but this assumption is actually wrong. The hype of HTML5 is over and more and more developers are relying on native apps or more likely on some cross-platform SDK to save time and expenses.
Sure, the development is fast and comfortable with tons of tutorials all over the net, but at what price? Low performance and implementations inconsistency make it impossible to create a solid game that will be monetized at the end. The years of easy-to-create games like Tetris are over and people are looking for complex mobile games with animations and Facebook integration that can be played with their best friends online.
The goal of every developer is to reach the biggest audience possible. At least iOS and Android have to be supported as the two most common mobile platforms, but what about the others like Bada, Nook, or Kindle?
HTML5 is a great step forward and its support is being improved consistently, but it will never replace the native apps at least when it comes to game development. It is just not ready and if we take a closer look at all the limitations it comes with, we believe it never will.
Sure you can go native, but do you have time and resources to create the game several times? You barely have and at this point Moscrif comes into play. We believe Moscrif SDK is the right solution for mobile games satisfying all the needs of a modern developer.
Curious what Mark Zuckenberg said about HTML5? Click here to read the full article ...