Monday, February 27, 2012

Can I support one App Instance and have Mobile Devices Apps

The answer is Yes with HTML5.  When you code your user interface with the HTML5 standard you are able to deliver the same app to any browser based device (pcs, tablets, internet only devices, and smartphones).  
In 2012, Gartner projects that worldwide PC sales will reach about 400 million units, while smartphones will surpass 600 million units. Tablets will sell about 100 million units. That means that only about 35% of the new devices sold this year that will be connecting to the web will be Windows PCs. You may Google these trends yourself or look at Cisco's Mobile Data Traffic Forecast.  Mobile is the new normal and mobile application access is a big part of current and future IT strategy. 

The new mobile app strategy

The first wave of firms whose apps exploited the explosion of mobile devices pursued a device specific "native" app strategy.  Most firms who have been successful at supporting multiple devices picked a mobile device platform to support for their first app and then worked to create versions for the additional platforms.  Today, there are software firms attempting to sell version control for multiple "native" platforms.  Perhaps, if you already have an inventory of multiple "native" app platforms then a version control solution that allows you to move back to a single code base may be useful.  The new method for achieving a single application code base is to use Web Apps instead of "native" apps.

If you are just beginning to plot your strategy for multiple device support please, take the time to look to the latest version of HTML; HTML5.  HTML5 is designed to support tablets, smartphones, PCs, and other mobile devices.  HTML5 will allow you to have a single application code base.  Two of HTML5's key features are designed to facilitate smooth application operation even when the device is not connected to the Internet (Application Cache and Client Side Storage).  The complete HTML5 feature set allows you to publish web apps that are usable by any device.  Not just usable but effective with the type of screen pop and response time that mobile users have seen via "native" apps. (check out the "HTML5rocks field guide for web applications" to see some examples).
Mobile is the new normal.  You can ease your support of the explosion of mobile devices, and conversely not have to rigidly mandate which devices align with your application delivery strategy, if you utilize a HTML5 centric app dev approach.  Your data may live securely: in the cloud; in a contracted hosting center; or behind your firewalls.  You may choose the data repository and coding language your team is comfortable with.  Then with the web as your delivery vehicle and HTML5 as your delivery method you will be able to maintain a single development image across all of your connected devices.
More than two decades after HTML was introduced, we’re are seeing that this is still proving to be an active standards based toolset (HTML began around 1990 and HTML5 work started in the World Wide Web Consortium - W3C - around 2007).
Here are some more useful links:

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