The fact that mobile content will come to define both consumer and corporate content viewing is not in dispute. Better devices are emerging at a rate of several a year, bringing with them improved screens and connectivity features. Users are snapping up these smartphones and tablets, then using them in their homes, at the office and on the road.
The main question left to be answered is how developers should optimize their mobile content to reach the formidable group of individuals with access to mobile devices. The app model from the early years of the iPhone era falls a little flat in the face of the many operating systems and hardware configurations that are popular today. This is where newer cross-platform methods show their worth.
"There is a focus on the mobile Web rather than software from an app store."
A recent Enterprise Apps Today article summed up the many forces at work in determining whether mobile developers favor developing in native languages or take to HTML5 to create content. The source noted that the tide is turning toward HTML5 methods, as there is a very real market for content that is accessible on any piece of hardware across the OS spectrum. There is no monumental platform with a lock on the mobile environment, as the top two - iOS and Android - are both deeply entrenched. Entering this landscape means, at least, being compatible with those two OSs.
The source noted that there is also a focus on the mobile Web, rather than software that can be downloaded from an app store. This could be a major consideration in the office environment, the source noted, especially for digital tools that only do one thing. This is because the process of installation, going to either the operating system or company's app store and downloading the application, seems unnecessary when the action in question is simple. If IT technicians follow this logic and craft HTML5-based websites, there is a better chance users will go ahead with the approved solutions.
Enterprise Apps Today quoted Icreaon Technology CEO Himanshu Sareen, who explained companies need to think about their unique situation when deciding which languages to code their mobile offerings in. He noted the big picture should be an area of focus, with internal officials crafting their strategies to be appropriate for the future rather than the present. With no one leading platform and many companies favoring a bring-your-own-device methodology, diversity of operating systems may be the order of the day. Whatever the verdict, mobile will be present, and acting on it is important.
The predicted outcome
As InfoQ recently indicated, it has now become clear that HTML5 is the chosen development language in enterprise. The source noted that the main proposed way to make mobile development for multiple platforms work in offices is to impose limits on the operating systems that can be brought in. This is a problem in the face of employees using their own hardware, and InfoQ elaborated that even working in one environment is an expensive option compared to HTML5 work. The economic factors are tipping in favor of switching over to HTML5 development.