HTML5 isn't solving mobile dev issues yet

Developers say there are challenges with using HTML5, although some will be overcome

HTML5 will likely make mobile development easier but not for some time, a group of wireless experts said Monday.

"HTML5 is not a panacea. It won't solve all your problems," said Ted Woodbury, an executive with AT&T. "It won't be a disaster but I think people will always do both" apps and HTML5 sites. Woodbury and others spoke at Mobile Northwest, a conference in Seattle that is organized by the Miller Nash law firm.

Companies have been debating the value of HTML5, which allows developers to build new kinds of features into websites so that sites behave on mobile phones like applications.

"We've run into the limits of what HTML5 can and can't do and it's painful," Woodbury said. He expects the standard to improve over time, though.

Some people are looking to HTML5 as a tool that will make it easier to write an application once and see it work well across the many different mobile platforms. "We have customers who believe HTML5 is the future so why make an app," said Hans Gerwitz, a director at Frog Design, a company that designs and builds apps. "Others think HTML5 is the new J2ME and will save us." J2ME was positioned as a platform that would let people write an application that could run well on many different phones.

So far, HTML5 isn't serving as a platform that can be used to extend apps across platforms. Starbucks initiated a project to use HTML5 in hopes of making its website work well across the many mobile browsers. "It worked but it taught us it was too hard," said K.C. MacLaren, director of mobile and emerging technologies at Starbucks. Starbucks' website is relatively "high functioning," with a lot of Javascript, making it hard to replicate, he said. It took too much work to transition the site to HTML5 and make it run well on the many browsers that run on mobile phones, he said.

Whether a company should use HTML5 instead of building an application depends on what functions the company is trying to create, Gerwitz said. Content-oriented apps like those that publish news or weather are best developed using HTML5 instead of a standalone app, he said.

Most of the experts think that HTML5 will advance enough to become widely used and when that does happen, it might create some significant changes in the market. Woodbury predicts that in 18 months the shift to HTML5 will boost Web application stores, which will then "take a serious bite out of the OS-driven app stores," he said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags starbucksconsumer electronicsAT&T WirelesssmartphonesPhones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?