In the world of mobile development, the long standing debates revolves around if mobile web will one day reign supreme over native apps. Common arguments lean towards no. Native apps have long trumped the mobile web because of speed, performance, increased loyalty, app store accessibility and push notifications.
However, TheNextWeb’s Viktor Marohnic disputes these native app benefits, arguing they offer no advantage; all except for push notifications:
“Unfortunately there is no good alternative for push notifications, which is sad. Such a trivial feature and it is not available in HTML5 browser-based apps. An HTML5 app that is running in the browser can already access GPS and the camera, and it can open up native apps—essentially everything you need from native functionality is already available. But you cannot send a push notification to your users.”
Marohnic believes if web apps implemented push notifications, users would run their apps in a browser instead of downloading a native app. He says that with push notifications HTML5 apps could quite possibly conquer native apps:
“All that we need to get around this problem is enabling a browser based app to receive push notification. For example when a user adds a browser app onto a home screen, that app should be able to access the OS API, register itself for push notifications with its own push notification certificate and from that point on it acts as any other native app. The user could even be able to modify its behavior via OS settings. I believe that this is a trivial technical challenge and yet it would to so much good for mobile app development ecosystem. It would be a small step for Apple and Google and a giant step for mobile developers.”
The majority of users have made it clear they prefer to access content via native apps – but could push notifications for web apps be the game changer? Marohnic thinks so; what do you think? Let us know in the comments section.