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February 7, 2013

Can HTML5 Prove Itself Worthy of Mobile Applications?

Recently, there has been great controversy regarding whether or not HTML5 is the best way to deliver content to mobile devices. HTML5 has already proved itself as a proficient desktop platform for several applications, with great benefits to web developers.

However, there are concerns that HTML5 will not be nearly as successful on mobile devices. Facebook has already denounced this technology, but others insist that the potential is there.

There is a lot of debate on whether HTML5 is a dead end or if it truly is a good way to deliver mobile-device content. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, claims that HTML5 does not deliver and that native applications are the best approach. Others suggest, however, that there are no problems with the device and that the trouble lies with how Facebook is using it. They may be burdened with an existing code base and specific functionality that make it difficult to implement HTML5.

Despite the disagreement, it is certainly true that you should not use HTML5 if you need access to specific hardware features of a phone. Several applications, such as the accelerometer, used to detect shaking, are not accessible through HTML5. Regardless, others still see HTML5 as a broad platform that may in fact improve functionality for certain web developers. The experiences different people have in creating a mobile application varies, so there is nothing clear-cut in the mobile war.

There was one company in particular that was wondering if they should create a Windows 8 mobile phone application, and they decided it was the best route, due to the difficulties associated with HTML5. There are simply too many different versions of Android to support. One solution to this problem would to be to create one HTML5 application, but the downfall is that it might be less sophisticated.

You have to make the decision very carefully when considering whether or not to utilize HTML5. For straightforward date or information display with some type of interaction, HTML5 is going to be the superior solution. Conversely, if you are using an application that depends on a feature of the phone itself or interacts with other applications, then HTML5 may not be enough.

An important step a team should make when developing an app is to commit to a specific platform, such as iOS or Windows Mobile, and then put the team into action. Make the platform a crucial selling point of the application; attract consumers by delivering the kind of mobile experience they are looking for. But do not count HTML5 out just yet. Although it did not work for Facebook, it may indeed work for others. The use of HTML5 for mobile web applications is still growing.

To learn more about HTML5 and Mobile Application Development, or to discover how an Accelerance partner can assist you with your IT or software development requirements, please contact us today at 877-992-2235 x100 or by email at

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Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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