Monday, October 17, 2011

Mobile HTML5/JavaScript Apps Part I

I'm convinced that HTML5+JavaScript is the future of mobile development. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges throttling the adoption of this technology in the mobile space. But suffice it to say we feel the advantages of JavaScript are so compelling that critical mass has been achieved.

In my next article I’ll highlight the challenges facing mobile HTML5/JavaScript adoption. But first, here are the top 10 reasons why I believes HTML5+JavaScript is the future of mobile app development:

1) iOS (Apple)

2) Android ( Google )

3) BlackBerryOS ( RIM )

4) Windows Phone 7 ( Microsoft )

5) WebOS ( HP formerly Palm )

The first three mobile platforms each have close to a third of the market share. Yet their ‘native’ application platforms are all different. All of these devices have modern HTML5 browsers.

As a Mobile App Developer, you want to target as many different platforms and customers as you possibly can. At the same time, your app needs to look GOOD and it needs to be consistent across platforms. Finding the talent to target all these native platforms would be expensive.

6) JavaScript Is The Most Widely Available Development Platform, Ever.

There are over 2,000,000,000 internet users in the world now. Each uses a web browser, and that browser runs JavaScript. Eventually HTML5/JavaScript will work on every phone, laptop and desktop in the world.

7) You Can Still Sell HTML5/JavaScript Apps Through Regular App Stores

Great things are happening at fellow Canadian startup Nitobi. They’ve created an open source HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. With PhoneGap it’s possible to write your application in HTML5/JavaScript, package it in a native wrapper, then distribute it through traditional app store channels.

8) JavaScript Is F A S T, Fast.

Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla are all throwing cash and talent at making JavaScript faster. Techniques like JIT Compilation and Inline Caching are raising the bar on JavaScript performance. JavaScript is already fast and it will only get faster.

9) There Are *A Lot* Of JavaScript Developers Out There And The Number Is Growing

Chances are if you do Web development in PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, Java etc, you’ve also implemented client side logic in JavaScript. That is, almost every web developer out there has at least dabbled in JavaScript. As the Web as a platform continues to gain traction, so does JavaScript. There’s a large pool of talent waiting to code in this language.

10) Windows 8

Even Microsoft is committed to supporting HTML/JavaScript as a core development technology. In a recent press release they describe Windows 8 as a re-imagining of the operating system. Here’s the part that stands out:

“Windows 8 apps use the power of HTML5, tapping into the native capabilities of Windows using standard JavaScript and HTML to deliver new kinds of experiences. These new Windows 8 apps are full-screen and touch-optimized, and they easily integrate with the capabilities of the new Windows user interface.”

No where in the press release do they mention .NET or Silverlight, technologies that Microsoft developed which compete directly with HTML5. So it seems that Microsoft is acknowledging that HTML5/JavaScript is platform to back if they’re going to retain developer mind-share.


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At January 19, 2013 at 3:22 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

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