This is a question that every developer in the world poses, when he/she is developing an app for a website or a service. The first question though, is the type of service that you are going to provide your users. If it is a website, there is no point in making a native app, or a RSS feed reader if your mobile web app works perfectly well.
But that is one part of the equation. Mobile web development has a lot of constraints in terms of delivery. Yes, the most important app in any smartphone, the browser. Due to different browser technologies and various standards, developers have to rack their brains in finding out the most suitable standards and methods to make it work, which is time consuming, but once done right, it will sustain. But instead of that, may be the developer can target the biggest mobile platform with a native app? Well, yes, that can be done too!
Let us take some steps back and think. Mobile web development is a bizarre world. HTML5 is still in its infancy, native apps still perform way better than web apps, and browsers are slowly evolving, but increasingly becoming dependent. So, in the end, it is really upto the developer to decide which platform to support.
Native gives you excellent performance, but the target crowd will be less, consumes a lot of time and money for development. Whereas, mobile web development is code once, sustain forever, absolutely tough to support all browsers and time consuming too. As I said, up to you, the developer. Take for example, the developers of the Pulse news reader. They were native apps in almost all the platforms, but recently they decided to make the switch to, guess what. Yes, completely HTML5, and it is supported on all the browsers, except there is a catch. Touch gestures are optimized only for the Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8.
So, again, concluding, it is really up to the developer to choose native development on mobile web development. What would you choose? Let us know in the comments section below.