Sencha says HTML5 at par with native apps, shows proof of concept

Sencha says HTML5 at par with native apps, shows proof of concept

By | December 20th, 2012
1 Comment on Sencha says HTML5 at par with native apps, shows proof of concept

Sencha created a proof of concept demo app called Fastbook to show that

HTML5 is actually mature enough to work as fast as native apps.


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Sencha, the HTML5 frameworks and tools development firm says it took an offense when Mark Zuckerberg ditched HTML5 in favour of native apps. In a blog post today, it said that while developing an HTML5 app, teams have to choose the right frameworks and architecture for the job and avoid taking the “website” approach to app development. Accusing the Facebook app of having these very problems, it took it upon itself to develop an HTML5 “proof of concept” app for a demo which is aptly called Fastbook.

The company also did a bit of analysis on the native apps which are now available on iOS and Android. Suprisingly, the analysis finds the native apps to still be based off Facebook’s mobile website and that most of the data transferred is still raw HTML. The news feed and Profile pages have reportedly moved to native code, but most other elements were still found to be simple HTTP GET requests. Another major flaw that they found in the Facebook app was the fact that it transferred much more data than it actually needed, i.e. at times around 15 to 20 KB of gzipped JSON, which is truly a lot.

As opposed to the official Facebook app, the Fastbook app is based completely on Facebook API and apparently works only on Webkit browsers. This limited support did create a bit of backlash, but support for more browsers should come soon. The app is available for use on smartphones recommended with at least Android 4.1 or an iPhone 5. It obviously works at par (and possibly faster) to the native app and does a good job at caching and loading data. There is also a video which does a comparison between the native Facebook app and Fastbook:

Robert Scoble also did an interview with the developers at Sencha, which is worth a watch too:

Sencha Fastbook from Sencha on Vimeo.

This does look like a great attempt by Sencha to disprove Zuckerberg’s earlier statement that “HTML5 just isn’t there yet”. Close on the heels of this announcement, it has also announced an “HTML5 is Ready” competition to take the pitch for HTML5 a step further.

What do you think about HTML5 or native apps? Let us know in the comments!

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet: