Write once, run everywhere” this is the mantra of HTML5 technology.

HTML5 allow mobile developers to write code only once creating cross-platform mobile applications that can be opened with any mobile browser. An HTML5 mobile app is a web page, or series of web pages, designed to work on a tiny screen and on a widest range of devices and operating systems.

According to a recent IDC research over 80% of all mobile apps will be wholly or in part based upon HTML5 by 2015. Moreover a HTML adoption survey conducted between developers shows that 63% of them are currently using HTML5 and 31% plan on using it in the future.

Compared to native apps, HTML5 apps have some advantages and limitations:

Advantages:HTML5 vs Native Apps

  • Working on all mobile devices and OS
  • Offline support
  • Contents contained in the app can be found by search engines
  • Updates and bugs fixing are immediately available to all users
  • Distribution and support is much easier
  • No dependency on app stores
  • Faster and cheaper to develop


  • Limited access to native device functionality (camera, contacts, calendar, notifications)
  • Browser fragmentation
  • No secure offline storage
  • Difficult to discover as it is not listed in any app store.
  • No guarantee of safety and security of the app
  • Performance can be slower than native apps

Nowadays a lot of softwares give the possibility to developers to easily build mobile web apps based on HTML5. MobPartner has selected and review for you the top 5 HTML5 frameworks:

1. Sencha Touch

sencha-largeSencha Touch is a high-performance HTML5 mobile application framework. Built for enabling world-class user experiences, Sencha Touch enables developers to build powerful apps that work on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more.

  • Pricing: Available for free use, but powered from paid license version. You can buy support packs starting from 299$.  More details
  • Pros: 50 built-in components, themes for every popular mobile platform, model–view–controller system.
  • Cons: Sometimes slow on Android and not working properly on Blackberry. It’s very hard to debug and fix errors.



2. jQuery Mobile

jquery mobileInstead of writing unique apps for each mobile device or OS, the jQuery mobile framework allows you to design a single highly-branded web site or application that will work on all popular smartphones, tablets and desktop platforms.

  • Pricing: jQuery Mobile is completely free and open source.
  • Pros: If you know basic HTML it’s super easy to use. Drag-and-drop UI builder. Compatible with almost every device.
  • Cons: Sites may looks similar due the limited options of themes customization.

jQuery mobile


3. The-M-Project

m-project-logoThe-M-Project is a Mobile HTML5 JavaScript Framework that helps you build great mobile apps, easy and fast. The framework follows the popular model-view-controller (MVC) software architecture pattern, a huge selling point for many developers. It support all devices: smartphones, tablets and even desktops.

  • Pricing: The-M-Project is fully Open Source, MIT licensed and free to use.
  • Pros: it comes with a build tool called Espresso!, offline support, excellent demos
  • Cons: It’s a new project at its alpha stage so some things are not yet implemented.


 4. DaVinci Studio

davinci studio logoDaVinci Studio will become your steady side-kick in the world of HTML5. This  app framework enables you to drop and drag different elements with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) authoring environment.

  • Pricing: Free
  • Pros: Compatible with open source frameworks, emulator to simulate N-screen environments, extensive functions & widgets.
  • Cons: It’s very new on the market so some bugs has still to be fixed.

davinci studio


 5. Wink

wink_header_logoWink stands for Webapp INnovation Kit and is a toolkit which will help you build great mobile web apps for iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad), Android, BlackBerry, Bada and now Windows Phone 7. Moreover it is adapted for Firefox mobile and Opera mobile.

  • Pricing: Wink is an Open Source project of the Dojo Foundation, distributed under the modified BSD License.
  • Pros: it keeps the file size minimum, big library of widgets as 3D wall, sliding panels, flip page, coverflow, progress bar and much more.
  • Cons: the documentation looks a bit poor and cold.

wink illustration

Beyond native apps, mobile sites and HTML5 web apps, another option for mobile developers are hybrid apps that provide web view where its possible and platform-specific native components where it’s not.

Feel free to share your thoughts with us and send us your suggestions leaving a comment to this post!


9 Responses to Top 5 HTML5 Frameworks’ for Mobile Web Apps

  1. Alexandra says:

    HTML5 has provided an opportunity for rapid development of web-based mobile apps even by developers just getting started. Following a write-once-deploy-everywhere strategy, web apps deploy easily and are easy to manage and distribute changes and updates. Being web based, they can also run across multiple mobile devices. This has allowed for a myriad of apps to be created relatively inexpensively and in short time. That said HTML5 has some significant drawbacks especially for consideration in the enterprise mobile app space.


    • Dawesi says:

      All of the limitations the article linked mentions are also mentioned in this article.

      All of those limitations can be overcome, and on some mobile OS’s there is now ONLY HTML5 apps and some major Os’s are moving toward full HTML5 feature parity.

      There are also solutions like Sencha Space for security and native apps are also prone to injection attacks.

      As for speed, using a good framework speeds HTML5 up to sometimes past native in some cases – Sencha’s Facebook app (fastbook) is proof of that.

      It really comes down to what you are doing. Heavy processing? Native, any other app either, productivity app, HTML5/Hybrid. Simple.

  2. Nina says:

    I looked up Davinci and it seems like it works with jquery, so if you’re used to working with that framework, it should be easy to work with as well. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the info!

  3. […] This MobPartner article outlines pros and cons of HTML5 vs. Native and compares popular HTML5 frameworks: Top 5 HTML5 Frameworks’ for Mobile Web Apps. […]

  4. […] This MobPartner article outlines pros and cons of HTML5 vs. Native and compares popular HTML5 frameworks: Top 5 HTML5 Frameworks’ for Mobile Web Apps. […]

  5. hi,
    thank you for sharing such a great information with us.

  6. vlad says:

    You won’t need to choose whether your app should be native or HTML5 as there’re lots of cloud-based services which allow making a single app that’s distibuted to all major platforms such as iOS,Android and HTML5. I’m using Snappii service currently because they offer great features that can be implemented even without coding.

  7. Rémy DAVID says:

    I think you forgot Enyo that was the framework developed by HP for webOS and which is now open source. It is by far the best mobile framework I know, and I have tested quite a few.

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