Mobile
Commentary
9/27/2013
08:48 AM
Mike Jennett
Mike Jennett
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'

Before you head down the iOS or Android native-app mobile development path, consider Amazon's choice regarding HTML5.

I was looking for writing inspiration recently and came across "A Pep Talk" by Kid President. Don't ask me to explain. You'll have to watch the video, like the 28-million-plus other viewers. Kid hits upon the famous Robert Frost poem, "The Road Not Taken," and he reports that the road less traveled "hurts, man." He would much rather take what he calls "the road to awesome."

What does this have to do with mobile computing? Well, I was thinking that the road less traveled could easily represent native Android and iOS development. This road hurts, so not many enterprises have gone down that path. I was wondering whether there might be an alternative. Then I heard about Amazon adding HTML5 apps to its app store and realized we can now hit the awesome road with HTML5.

With Amazon opening up the door to HTML5 apps, the time has come for people to stop fighting and realize that there's a mobile app development alternative. Many have talked about 2013 being the year of BYOD. I'm looking forward to 2014 as being the year of HTML5.

As the number of mobile devices soars and the diversity of platforms remains constant, developers must understand that their best option for getting their products into the hands of the most people is through cross-platform development. The protests will sound familiar: "HTML5 just doesn't give me what I want." But is it what the developer wants or what people want on their devices that matters?

[ Want to hear the counter argument for native apps? Read Mobile BI: Native App Or Browser? ]

Users want choice, they want availability and they want their experiences to be portable. This is going to hold true whether they are on their phone, their desktop or on their wearable devices of the future. The native vs. HTML5 battle is not unlike the Beta vs. VHS saga of the 1980s and Microsoft's proprietary VBscript vision that never really took off in the '90s as they hoped. Open platforms will always win out over proprietary platforms and HTML5 is no exception.

Jeff Bezos isn't the only one who sees the future in HTML5. Intel is now getting into the game. "You're going to see applications that exploit screen real estate in a way that we haven't seen before... For us, the developer economics are compelling," said Intel's Michael Richmond, senior architect in the company's Open Source Technology Center, in a recent article.

Richmond hits the nail on the head, as the economic comparison is stunning. Developing OS-specific apps is daunting from a cost perspective. There are different sets of expertise involved, disparate graphical layouts and inflated support costs. Ask anyone in manufacturing the best way to streamline operations and cut costs and they'll tell you it's to standardize. That's what HTML5 allows the developer community to do. Standardize on an open platform and distribute to the masses.

Still skeptical? Think about how a standardized approach worked out for Henry Ford. He was a pioneer of the road to awesome.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
flexengineer
50%
50%
flexengineer,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/9/2013 | 2:35:41 AM
Develop once, deploy everywhere is a reality, just not HTML5.
My feeling about HTML5, in music: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIBmj2asU6s

My views about it, make sure to read comments and feel free to add to it: 
http://www.facebook.com/notes/stephane-beladaci/one-code-any-screen-develop-once-deploy-everywhere-is-a-reality/10152672812579068

The lyrics for the song above, if you don't have time to listen to it:

All the promises we've been given 
All the fires that we've feedin' 
All the lies that we've been livin' in

All the promises...promises...promises...promises...promises...promises

All the promises we've been given, given, given 
All the fires that we've feedin', feedin', feedin' 
All the lies that we've been livin', livin', livin' 
Am I the only one that's still believin'

Wouldn't it be nice if we 
Could leave behind the mess we're in 
Could dig beneath these old troubles return 
To find something amazing

And Wouldn't it be cool if we 
Sail this ship to calmer seas 
Turn our backs on bush fires burn. 
Leave it on the coast

All the promises we've been given, given, given 
All the fires that we've feedin', feedin', feedin' 
All the lies that we've been livin', livin', livin' 
Am I the only one that's still believin'

I can see you're in it to go 
I think we knew this day might come 
I hope you'll find what we never ooh 
Could never seem to love 
But if you find just one reason to return 
You'll find me open arms

All the promises we've been given, given, given 
All the fires that we've feedin', feedin', feedin' 
All the lies that we've been livin', livin', livin' 
Am I the only one that's still believin'

Wouldn't it be nice, if we

Wouldn't it be nice
mjennett
50%
50%
mjennett,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/3/2013 | 1:49:42 PM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
I have to admit that my own daughter who originally turned me on to Kid President so I know where you're coming from!
MobiGnosis
50%
50%
MobiGnosis,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/1/2013 | 9:17:40 AM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
Great news that Amazon opening up the door to HTML5 apps and good for mobile application developers
that they have a mobile app development alternative.

Thanks
MobiGnosis
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2013 | 11:33:19 PM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
But most importantly, Mike, you got me to watch the Kid President video, which my kids have been telling me for weeks I need to watch if I'm going to understand their jokes.
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2013 | 11:32:34 PM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
What I hear often is CIOs who see HTLM5 as the future, but for now they have some mobile apps to knock out fast, and native apps for two platforms will get the job done best. Lorna's point rings true that having to manage three platforms might put the economics over the edge in favor of HTML5.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2013 | 5:22:05 PM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
It's chicken and egg, Mel - until a critical mass of developers gets deep into HTML5 and irons out the kinks, native will remain superior in terms of capability. Maybe once Windows becomes as compelling as iOS and Android in terms of having to port apps (and yes, I think it's when, not if) the pain will force that to happen.
melgross
50%
50%
melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2013 | 3:26:56 PM
re: HTML5 Offers 'Road to Awesome'
Yeah, 85% of developers are skeptical. So far, HTML5 is seriously inferior to native apps. Pretty much everyone in the business knows that, and so do users.

I understand why someone without a platform that's doing well would want to force HTML5 on people, because it's easier for them to do cross platform. But most people rightly shouldn't care in the slightest how easy or hard it is for developers. It's not their problem.

Until HTML5 can exist equally with native code in performance and ability, it's not going to succeed being used that widely, and it shouldn't be.
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.