Americans Prefer Native Mobile Apps Over HTML: Survey

A recent BiTE Interactive survey showed that most Americans prefer native mobile apps over HTML5 standard-based apps.

Native smartphone applications are more likely to result in loyalty and regular usage over HTML5, and one in five Americans will not consider switching mobile operating systems once they have spent $25 on apps, according to a recent survey from Bite Interactive.

According to the survey, two in every three iPhone (66 percent) and Android (63 percent) owners say it is important that the apps they download are native applications that can better make full use of all their smartphone's capabilities.

Yet only one in five consumers (19 per cent) said they do not care if an app they are using is native or HTML5, and almost seven out of 10 (69 percent) Americans with a smartphone use only two to 10 apps on a regular basis—once a week or more frequently, the survey said.

"Smartphone home screens across the country are littered with the tombstones of mediocre, try-once-and-forget apps," Joseph Farrell, executive vice president of operations at Bite Interactive, said in a statement. "Brands and developers too often lose sight of the most important aspects of developing mobile applications: build in-brand, powerful and highly usable apps that continually deliver real value to your users by solving the problem they have asked you to solve. Delivering continued, iterative and brilliantly executed solutions to those evolving problems should always be the primary objective."

The research showed that that almost one in five Americans (19 percent) will not switch operating systems once they have spent $25 on apps. Not surprisingly, due to the Apple fan syndrome, iPhone owners are the most loyal to their apps investment; only 17 percent would be willing to switch to a different operating system—regardless of how much they'd spent—compared with 21 percent of Android owners.

The findings were released March 12 from Bite Interactive, a mobile application specialist that commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,127 American adults online.

The study showed that the number and variety of apps available on a particular smartphone is an important factor for one in two Americans (49 percent) when deciding what model to buy. For both Android (69 per cent) and iPhone owners (72 per cent), the apps ecosystem around their smartphone is a key factor in their next handset choice as it is for two-thirds of 18 to 34 year olds (67 percent).

"The app store has been a cornerstone of Apple and Android's success, and their ability to engender loyalty among their user base," Farrell said. "For Windows Phone and BlackBerry the easier route to gaining market share is not on persuading Apple or Android owners to switch, [but] rather on capturing the next generation of feature-phone owners looking to upgrade. Even then, both Windows and BlackBerry must continue to build out their app store propositions, given that the quantity and quality of apps available is such an important factor in the smartphone purchase decision for every other American."