Why HTML5 Rocks For Mobile
HTML5 is the latest version of HTML – the standard for presenting and structuring content on the World Wide Web. One of the great advancements with HTML5 is that it allows websites to function like mobile apps by offering design capability that is mobile-friendly, as opposed to laptop/desktop friendly. This means websites can be designed to fit mobile screens and have a user interface that is easy to control and highly functional with a touch screen. The term used for this technology is “web app”.
For practical purposes, there are two ways to implement a web app. The first way is to design websites so that they can scale from a desktop monitor down to a smartphone screen. The second is to create a bespoke web app, which will open when a website is accessed on a mobile device.
This new approach of presenting mobile content is breaking down barriers - including time, money, and the ubiquitous App Store. The doors are now being opened to individuals and small business. Big players are also gravitating to this alternative, as they begin to appreciate the benefits.
Here are the facts about the mobile market: 50 per cent of all local searches are now carried out on mobile devices. This is largely due to smartphone ownership surpassing feature phone ownership in the US and other countries. Despite this, most businesses still don't have any mobile solution of any kind - let alone the subsequent marketing benefits that accrue from them. Unfortunately, traditional app development just looks too time-consuming, expensive, and technical.
So without further ado, here are five reasons why we believe that HTML5 is going to keep growing in a big way:
It's not about iPhones. It's about ALL phones
For all the buzz the iPhone generates, it only represents 25 per cent of the market. Android is the market leader, with 50 per cent of the smartphone market in N. America, and BlackBerry does surprisingly well with Tablet sales. Web apps work for all popular touch phones and Tablets - letting you to connect to almost every customer. That's not just a good thing – it’s business-critical.
HTML5 web apps run for about half the price and half the time to market compared to native (machine-code based) apps. Building native apps can also be a nightmare. Let me repeat that - an expensive, time-consuming, nightmare. Building one-mobile-platform (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPad, the list goes on…) just isn't a workable solution for most companies. And it gets worse because...
Things change. Your business will change
Imagine you're a business owner and it’s six months after your new native app has launched - your business and customers have changed a little; and you need to make an update. Good luck! Start tracking down the development team, get your marketing and sales folks involved again, and get ready to pay them all again. Then, resubmit to the relevant app store(s)... and wait.
Web apps can reflect your organizations' updates quickly. Like a website, changes can be implemented instantly. There's just no comparison to a mobile solution that allows a business to be responsive to priorities and needs in real-time.
Location, location, location
Proximity is one of the best indicators for interest, relevance, customer purchases - you name it. Web apps have the capability to provide location-based services, like informing users with nearby points of interest and enabling users to tag content (i.e. photos and notes) to specific locations.
Your brand is web-side and social, your app should be too
What is a website anyway? It's a location where your business/brand/persona lives online. Except that it's not just that way with the modern web anymore. Brands, people and products exist across the entire web - on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Tumblr and hundreds (if not thousands) of other services. Today, that's where connections are made, products and people are found, and new ideas grow.
Web apps are made to work and live with other elements of your brand on the web - allowing you to connect to your existing customers, find new ones, or just share ideas in every way possible. Web apps excel, appropriately enough, at working with other web applications.
That's just year one folks; wait till you see what's coming next!
Andrew J. Holden is co-founder of Weever Apps