Do you remember what web pages used to look like? On the right is a picture of MSN from 2000, taken with the Wayback Machine. Quite different from MSN today isn’t it? Today, MSN is powered by HTML5, at least in parts if not altogether.
But just what is HTML5? Is it another buzzword that people use to make their product sound really awesome? It could be. Is it a real technology that has been experimented with in browsers for the past few years? Absolutely. Is it quite possibly the future of apps and the internet? Without the shadow of a doubt!
What I am describing—3D, interactivity, memory, security—mobile phone apps seem to have fixed this, and often times they replace certain web sites. Who goes to facebook.com from their phone when you have the Facebook app? Why would you go to maps.google.com when you have the Google Maps app (Its understandable if you have the Apple maps app that you would do anything, even throw your phone at a wall)
The problem with mobile phone apps, though, is that you have iOS, Android, Windows, and a host of other mobile phone operating systems, and as an app developer, maintaining an app for one operating systems sucks enough in itself let alone three or four!
This is where I think HTML5 makes its grand appearance. One thing that can run on most mobile phones (at least, the smart ones) is a web browser. Even if the current generation of browsers that come with smart phones are still running a little behind in regards to HTML5 features supported, there are alternatives such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
So instead of writing an app for iOS, an app for Android, and an app for Windows, why not just write an HTML5 app that will run on all three? Testing may be a different story, but there is definitely the option of debugging tools for mobile phones. We can always wait to see what the future holds, but how can you take risks if you don’t jump on the emerging technologies early?