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Your next mobile app should be HTML5. ht @sjpinches

October 18, 2011

Yep

The hassle of maintaining mobile apps across multiple platforms is all too often a recipe for buggy apps and development headaches, and the high cost of developing apps often means companies have to limit the number of mobile platforms they develop for – excluding any customers who use devices on alternative platforms.

Companies also have to tackle the app store factor – which can mean finicky rules, revenue slicing and hoop jumping that can delay or reduce the effectiveness, fiscal and otherwise, of apps distributed via official stores. As Ovum’s Dillon notes: “If you want to do an app on the iPhone there’s one route to market and Apple sets the terms.”

Don’t believe me? Check out no other authority but the FT.

The paper’s original iOS app was pulled from the App Store in August after failing, intentionally, to comply with Apple’s in-app subscription T&Cs – Cupertino takes a 30 per cent cut of in-app subscriptions. While industry watchers speculated that Apple’s top-slicing of subscription revenues had driven the FT away from native iOS apps, the main driver for the switch to HTML5 was simplifying its app development, according to Steve Pinches, the FT’s group product manager, emerging technology.

The FT's HTML5 iOS app running on an iPhone

The FT’s web app for iOS devices, running on an iPhoneImage: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

“The original driver… was around consolidating our code base so that we weren’t having to develop multiple apps – which gets very, very expensive,” he told silicon.com. “Also you’re always playing catch up – it’s just like spinning plates the whole time. As soon as something gets developed on the website we then have to go back and build it on to four platforms – it’s always behind. We wanted to be able to limit that to just one code base.”

via Should your next mobile app be an HTML5 web app? | Mobile | silicon.com.

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