There is no doubt that HTML5 will play a critical and dominant role in the future of app development. As the number of devices and interfaces continue to explode, developing native apps will become a crippling endeavor. I am not saying all apps should be built exclusively using HTML5, but that HTML5 should seriously be considered for the bulk of the work, similar to current hybrid app models.
Here are my top 4 reasons to start looking into HTML5 and its associated web technologies for your next project
1. Devices and Interfaces will continue to proliferate
The biggest mistake people make, is to look at the debate through the guise of smartphone development. If you only look at mobile app development, then that argument makes sense, but we interact with technology and data beyond the small screen. There are new and exciting interfaces emerging that use HTML5 at its core, Smart TV, in car dash systems and Google Glass just to name a few.
2. Most apps do not need to be native
For the vast majority of apps, there is absolutely no reason to go native. If you objectively look at the apps in the app store, you be left starching your head wondering why they were written in IOS/Android. For example, a simple weather app can easily be written in HTML5, there is no inherent advantage to writing it natively.
3. Applications can be updated instantly
One of the biggest advantages to using HTML5, is that apps can be updated without approval. This allows bugs fixes and updates to be pushed silently and instantly. The release of IOS 7 drives home this point very well. App developers will have to redesign and redeploy their app, to support the new look and feel. If the core of the app was built using HTML, you could silently deploy an update to all your users. Another benefit is the ability to iterate and test. Trying to run a test natively is a very difficult and time consuming process.
4. HTML5 is closing the feature gap
Over the last couple of years, web technologies have closed the feature gap between native and web. For the vast majority of apps, HTML5 offers everything you need to build and run your app. I do understand that platform providers are constantly updating their APIs, but do you really need the 200+ new features in the latest IOS/Android release? I doubt it. There is going to come a point in time, where the number of new features released will trickle down to nothing, giving HTML5 the time needed to close the gap and reach feature parity.
As web technologies mature and get better, HTML5 will become the platform of choice for developers. It is just a matter of time until HTML5 development eclipses native app development, and that time is just around the corner.