Creating mobile-accessible content is hardly a controversial strategy at this stage of the enterprise IT game. There are so many tablets and smartphones in the world today that bypassing them is a surefire way to make materials less noticeable to potential readers - hardly the effect any producer is going for. This means the question is now not whether there should be a way to reach a particular informational download through a mobile device, it's what technological approach is best to make that happen. While native development for the individual phone and tablet operating systems has been the preferred mobile content methodology in the past, multi-platform creation through HTML5 is on the rise.
The reasoning behind HTML5
The mobile environment, at its most simple, is split between a plethora of Google Android devices and Apple's iOS range. There are two unique sets of infrastructure to plan for - developing everything twice. Leaders may be very leery of this, but cutting one or the other out of the picture isn't possible. The two operating systems have a huge combined footprint. HTML Goodies contributor Nathan Segal recently quizzed his colleague Earl Flormata about the critical decision that now faces developers: Do they want to concede that they have to develop in native languages, or do they add HTML5 to the mix?
Flormata told Segal that in cases where developers want to have access to device hardware, they resort to native development. This means creating content twice, but if there is a need for camera access, for instance, that is still the way to go. Flormata then elaborated that in cases when it's time to reach the whole spectrum of devices in one coding session, that's HTML5's role. He pointed out that this also pertains to Microsoft's mobile versions of Windows and the BlackBerry OS, the latter of which has fallen from its enterprise perch but is holding onto some devoted users.
There are other benefits to using HTML5 beyond the time and effort saved in development. Flormata explained to Segal that when users buy a company's app through Apple or Google's store - or purchase anything through such an app - the OS-maker gets a cut. When a piece of content has a "buy" button in it, it could be hugely beneficial to create and distribute the content as a multi-platform Web app, fully in the orbit of the company that designed it. This refusal to play with the Google Play Store or App Store might be a money-saver.
HTML5 is changing several aspects of the online experience for developers and viewers alike. TechTarget recently added that this means adding visual cues such as video "into the flow of the content" instead of splitting the company Web presence up into several portioned-off experiences. The source also noted that there is a fix on the way for one of the major worries about this type of material. Some developers are worried about performance slowness when HTML5 code is involved, but that is the domain of browsers, which are improving. Browser creators now have a finished HTML5 standard to work from when tuning their performance.