While end users are not necessarily aware of it, there is a debate going on between the developers delivering their apps to various mobile platforms. Some say native apps are the only viable option, making good use of the hardware of the phone. Other prefer web apps, mostly because they are easier to deploy, need no updates to be downloaded, and are cross-platform, running on any device with a browser supporting web standards. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between.
Casual games are better run in a browser window
The vast majority of mobile games out there are casual. People don’t engage them for hours, like they do with MMOs and shooters on a desktop PC. What they seek is quick action, fast entertainment that’s easily accessible and doesn’t need commitment. For this, mobile browser games are the perfect choice. HTML5 offers developers the perfect combination of flexibility and cross-platform availability to quickly deploy mobile games. And with the right software running on the servers, HTML5 games can be as secure and interactive as their native counterparts.
The best example to demonstrate the advantages of a browser app is the All Jackpots Casino. The portal offers its mobile players a library of over 100 titles through an easy to use interface. New games are added to the All Jackpots library each month, but users don’t need to download updates – they simply navigate to the All Jackpots website, and start playing the new game right away. The services offered by the All Jackpots Casino are completely secure. They are required to be – the All Jackpots Casino is a licensed gaming operator, and its license requires it to be completely fair, secure and safe for the player. All its games run smoothly even on older smartphones, as long as their browsers support the HTML5 standard.
Native apps offer more interactivity
Now let’s take a look at the “other” platform: native apps. The “native” in their designation means that they are built to run on a specific software platform (or operating system), like iOS, Android or Windows Phone. There are over 1.5 million apps available for both Android and iOS (WP lags behind with just a few hundred thousand), and their majority are games. Many of them are simple games that would run easily in a browser window. But there are those select few that wouldn’t, as they need more direct access to the phones’ hardware, and the possibilities offered by the OS developers’ APIs to run at their best.
The best example to demonstrate the advantages of native apps would be Asphalt 8: Airborne, a racing game that easily beats most similar titles on consoles. It has amazing graphics and it runs quickly, and smoothly, on the latest generations of the iPhone. It matches, sometimes even outperforms, gaming consoles. Web apps built in HTML5 will never be capable of such performance.
So, which one is better?
The best answer to this question is “it depends”. It depends on the complexity of the app, and the processing power necessary to run it.