I just read an interesting article at the Chicago Tribune’s Web site (my home town paper) about using HTML5 for mobile app development. The Financial Times and ESPN just released new applications for mobile devices, but instead of creating standalone apps, they used HTML5 to make Web apps. HTML5 provides all the functionality the apps needed, such as content storage for offline reading, video support, and the ability to respond to touch and gestures. By creating a Web app, one application can reliably work on all the platforms, and the proceeds from the app do not have to be split with Apple or the Android store. The jury is still out as to whether it’s prudent to use HTML5 for a Web site, because of the ever-present issue of browser support, but mobile devices have current browsers built-in by default.
In no way am I suggesting that HTML5 is the only smart way to create mobile apps—there’s still plenty HTML5 can’t do, but this is an interesting turn of events that I, for one, didn’t see coming.