Cross Platform App Development

How HTML5 helps in Cross Platform App Development

At present, Android has a much larger installation base in comparison to iOS and Windows Phone. But a number of surveys have highlighted that the people using iPhone and iOS are more likely to indulge in mobile commerce transactions and in-app purchase options. Likewise, the State of Mobile App Developers 2016 report released by InMobi claimed that Windows Phone developers earn more than Android app developers. That is why; it has become essential for developers to go for cross platform app development so that applications are available on multiple mobile platforms to reach out more users and generate more revenue.

As a programming markup language, HTML5 helps developers to build, distribute, maintain and update cross platform mobile apps without putting extra time and effort. The developers also have option to combine HTML5 with other commonly used web technologies like CSS3 and JavaScript. At the same time, they can also use several robust HTML5 mobile app development tools and frameworks for cross platform app development rapidly. There are several reasons why many developers nowadays prefer using HTML5 for cross-platform mobile app development.

8 Reasons Why HTML5 is used widely for Cross Platform App Development

1) Faster Time to Market

When a business decides to develop native apps, it needs to deploy professionals proficient in specific programming languages. For instance, the business has to deploy skilled Java programmers to build Android apps, and programmers proficient in Swift or Objective-C for developing iOS apps. But a business can leverage the skills of existing web application developers to build cross-platform mobile apps rapidly by combining HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. It can further make the app available to various mobile platforms with a single code base.

2) Overcome Device Diversity

While developing mobile apps, the developers have to target a wide variety of devices powered by the same mobile operating system. For instance, a developer must to target different models of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch while developing iOS apps. Likewise, he has to target a wide variety of mobile devices launched by different companies while building Android apps. HTML5 enables developers to make the app look and feel identical across multiple devices with a single code base. The feature makes it easier for HTML5 programmers to overcome the varying screen sizes, resolution and hardware features of individual mobile devices.

3) Overcome OS Fragmentation

Most developers build mobile apps for Android OS to take advantage of its massive installation base. But the popularity and market share of each version of Android OS differ. At present, some older versions of Google’s mobile operating system are more popular than its current versions. Hence, mobile app developers have to address device fragmentation issues while developing Android apps. HTML5 enables developers to build mobile apps that run seamlessly on different mobile platforms and different versions of the same mobile operating system.

4) Easy Discoverability

The developers are not required to submit the HTML5 app to various app stores. They have option to distribute and promote the cross-platform mobile apps more efficiently through a number of distribution channels. As the apps are not submitted to various app stores, the developers are not required to launch expensive marketing campaigns to boost their visibility. The open distribution model further enables developers to promote their apps by targeting relevant users regardless of their mobile operating system.

5) Simplified Maintenance and Updates

As noted earlier, HTML5 enables developers to make their mobile apps available on various mobile platforms with a single code base. The single code base makes it easier for programmers to modify and update the mobile app without any hassle. They can simply make changes to the single code base to add new functionalities to the mobile app, or fix bugs and performance issues identified by users. Likewise, they can also keep the users engaged by updating the content regularly. The end users can further access the modified app and updated content immediately without updating the HTML5 mobile app.

6) Many HTML5 Frameworks and Tools

The developers can take advantage of several robust HTML5 frameworks and development tools for cross platform app development rapidly. These frameworks enable programmers to build robust cross-platform mobile apps by combining open web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Some frameworks even help developers to make the HTML5 mobile apps look and perform just like native mobile apps. Based on their specific needs, the developers can choose from a number of widely used HTML5 frameworks including Twitter Bootstrap, Kendo UI, jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch and 52Framework.

7) Option to Build Hybrid Mobile Apps

The developers also have option to use HTML5 for development of hybrid mobile apps. The option enables programmers to make the mobile app deliver personalized user experience by taking advantage of native hardware features and background processes of individual devices. The developers can simply create a HTML5 app and then get it covered with a native application wrapper. They can further distribute the hybrid apps through various mobile platform-specific app stores. The hybrid apps further make it easier for developers keep the users engaged by making the app deliver dynamic and updated content.

8) Reduced Development Cost

As an open source technology, HTML5 can be used by developers for commercial purposes without paying any licensing fees. Further, the programmers can go for cross platform app development by combining HTML5 with other open source web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3. At the same time, the developers also have option to use several open source HTML5 development tools to build cross-platform mobile apps rapidly without increasing project overheads. The openness makes it easier for small businesses and start-ups to launch cross-platform mobile apps without spending a lot of money.

However, the developers still need to address a number of challenges associated with HTML5 cross platform app development. For instance, they have to explore ways to enhance the using HTML5 for cross-platform mobile app’s speed and security. Likewise, they have to look for innovative ways to make the HTML5 mobile app deliver personalized user experience by taking advantage of native features of the mobile device and operating system. But the developers can still use HTML5 to simplify development, distribution and maintenance of cross-platform mobile apps.

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