HTML5 is the newest hyper text markup language for websites from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The first draft was made public in 2008, but not much happened until 2011. In 2011, HTML5 was released and people started writing about it and using it, but the support in different browsers was still poor. Today all major browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, IE) offer HTML5 support, therefore the newest HTML technology can be used at its best today.
HTML5 works with CSS3 and is still in development. W3C plans to release a stable version next year, but it still looks like this is a long shot. Since its release, HTML5 has been in continuous development, with the W3C adding more and more impressive features, therefore it seems quite unlikely that HTML5′s development will end soon, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The new markup language was developed based on pre-set standards:
- The need for external plugins (like Flash) needs to be reduced.
- Error handling should be easier than in previous versions.
- Scripting has to be replaced by more markup.
- HTML5 should be device-independent.
- The development process should be visible to the public.
HTML5 in the Business Space
HTML5 holds major benefits for mobile development, starting with the fact that organizations can tap their existing HTML talent for mobility projects. And as mobile apps get built with HTML5, reusing some of that content for Web sites becomes possible. No wonder firms such as IDC are predicting that by next year, there will be more than 1 billion HTML5-capable browsers in use, worldwide.
But for enterprise mobile app development to be highly efficient, and the apps themselves functional and secure, there exists a host of “below the waterline” features that HTML5 doesn’t fully deliver, but can be found in an enterprise mobility platform. This includes capabilities such as integration to back-end enterprise systems, the ability to manage apps centrally and deploy change instantaneously, as well as owning a platform that lets you develop native apps for multiple device platforms, rapidly and efficiently.
Businesses need to let their users access their core applications quickly and easily. With HTML5, the browser is becoming the main business platform. Features like websockets, offline storage and rich user interface let you create amazing business web applications. HTML5 brings substantial benefits for companies that no other IT model can — in simplicity, cost, security, flexibility and mobility.
With HTML5 you can be on everyone’s device – at once. Browser, desktop, mobile, it all works and can all be connected instantly for multiplayer. This means that firstly if you don’t have a marketing budget and can’t dominate a particular platform, you simply launch on all the various platforms available.
Even if you can only get a thousand downloads on each platform, across the ten or so HTML5 compatible platforms (the likes of Windows, iOS, Android, Facebook etc), that’s ten thousand downloads. So launching a HTML5 game cross platform can get you many more downloads than focusing on a single platform can.
This also spreads the risk of releasing your game, as you’re not relying on one platform featuring you. Also, you can sit back and see which platforms your product takes off on the most, so if you see that your product is most popular on Android, you can focus more of your marketing and community management on that platform.
Blending Both Worlds
The central question with HTML5 for mobility is how to get the best of both worlds: the efficiency, security, and back-end functionality of an enterprise mobility platform, and the ability to leverage Web talent and content wrapped up in the movement toward HTML5. In essence, mobility platform vendors and users should look not just to embrace HTML5, but enhance it. You can enhance it by allowing HTML5-based mobile content to run in concert with native apps built on a proven mobility platform, taking full advantage of the platform’s integration, security, and management capabilities.
The real key is to blend the two worlds without losing the strengths of the platform when it comes to areas such as integration to back end systems, encrypted security, or instant, centralized change management. At the same time, HTML5 excels in areas such as rich animations and graphics, and powerful ties to HTML-based social media. Perhaps first and foremost with HTML5 is that as the progression of HTML, it carries forward a vast ecosystem of HTML developer know-how and content that enterprises can leverage.