HTML5 versus native? Everyone has to look at this question and constantly re-evaluate your answer. The focus of your mobile application has a lot to do with it.
LinkedIn is a great example of how quickly things change. Last May (less than 12 months ago), LinkedIn was touting its iPad app as 95% HTML5 with only its main screen being native. Relying heavily on Node.js, they made the comment that "if the performance wasn't there, we wouldn't have gone with the web." What has changed since then?
Was it speed? No. In their most recent version, they indicated that it was based on the fact that users were spending more time in the app and it was running out of memory. Interesting! They also wanted to take advantage of the "smoothness" of some of the native widget animations.
Another disadvantage they pointed out was tooling support. Reliable debuggers and performance monitors to name a few.
It looks like the tooling vendors need to step up and help the HMTL5 effort. I will be watching closely to see what IBM has to offer here.
If you would like to discuss this or more on the topic of mobile development, be sure to attend the IBM Rational Innovate Conference this June.
See you there!