How HTML5 Is Aiding in Cross-Platform Development

9 Mar

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As the mobile application space continues to explode, developers are increasingly using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 to aid in the creation of web apps and native mobile apps. This process is especially useful when dealing with cross-platform development or when working with content that already exists in some form on the web.

We’re going to take a look at how some of the best HTML5-centric, cross-platform mobile frameworks are being used to help developers deliver native app experiences on a variety of devices.

Why HTML5

Given the hype and buzz surrounding HTML5, it would be easy to believe that it is a technology that will do your laundry, mow the lawn and make you dinner. In truth, HTML5 isn’t the second coming, and it isn’t an officially ratified standard — yet. The spec continues to edge closer to completion, however, and when combined with JavaScript and CSS3, HTML5 can do some really incredible things.
This is particularly true for mobile devices. A de facto requirement for any modern mobile operating system is the inclusion of a modern HTML5-compliant web browser. The leading modern mobile platforms — iOS and Android — both use WebKit as their bases. Likewise, BlackBerry and HP/Palm are also using WebKit and Microsoft is going to release a mobile version of Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Phone 7.
What this means is that out of the box, modern smartphones and tablets support the bells and whistles that make HTML5 so special. It also means that developers can feel free to use those technologies when creating their applications and not have to worry that the device itself won’t support a particular function.
It also means that developers that choose to create HTML5 web apps for the desktop — like for the Google Chrome Web Store — can often use the same code when crafting an app for the iPad or for other tablets.
Earlier this month, leading iOS developer ScrollMotion released its first simultaneous e-book for the iPad and Chrome Web Store.
Because ScrollMotion has built its underlying app platform in HTML5, porting the content to a non-iOS device, like the Chrome browser, required very little work.

The Future is Bright

Whether it’s through a framework, via an application wrapper or as the basis for a mobile web app, HTML5 is going to continue to be an important driving force for mobile application development.

In fact, as the technology evolves, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more HTML5 elements popping up in native desktop applications as well.

 

One Response to “How HTML5 Is Aiding in Cross-Platform Development”

  1. Metro Casol March 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    What a marketer can do with HTML5 is impressive – just look at Apple’s iAd platform. However, for the moment using HTML5 is not feasible as it just doesn’t work on ar least 50% of browsersl such as Internet Explorer.

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