How can HTML5 survive and thrive in native app land? #AppsWorld

According to Ali Sarrafi, product evangelist and community manager at Swedish open-source tools company MoSync, HTML5 can survive and thrive in native app territory.

“One reason for web developers to want to go into the mobile app ecosystem in the first place is that there’s no straightforward way for a mobile website to be discovered and to make money on it from users. Therefore, the suggested path is to create a so-called hybrid app (mixing web technology with native mobile code) which can be offered for download in an app store.

“If you’re a web developer creating mobile apps for the first time, you are however typically faced with some new challenges,” he said.

“If you want to develop a hybrid app that works on the widest range possible of devices and platforms, you normally need to use multiple native SDKs to produce the final application package. You have to develop your code, build it again and again, transfer it to the device, and see if it works or not.

“This process is cumbersome and hard for web developers to get used to,” he said, adding: “They’re used to editing something, pressing reload and seeing the results instantly in the web browser”.

MoSync has come up with a solution for this, taking the same experience web developers are used to into mobile app development, allowing them to benefit from the ‘dynamic’ nature of HTML5 and JavaScript.

Sarrafi has overseen a sea-change at MoSync, with around 80% of the developers there being native when he started, some of whom openly disliked JavaScript.

“But that experience gave me a lot of insight into the native mindset”, he added, mentioning “This is the reason why MoSync has developed its tools in such a way that it helps developers easily mix and match HTML5 and native code, and be able to finalise their app for distribution on multiple platforms using one single code base.”

HTML5 has been in the news recently, especially when Mark Zuckerberg admitted HTML5 was a “mistake” for Facebook despite saying that long term he was “really excited about it”.

But according to Sarrafi: “It is sometimes easy to blame the technology when something is not working. If you use the technology in the wrong way, it won’t work for you. I would say it’s not about what technology is wrong and which one is right to use. You just have to use it in the right way. So when developing an app, you have to consider the functionality and assign the correct task to the correct technology.”

MoSync is a Gold Sponsor at Apps World on 2-3 October, with Sarrafi speaking in the HTML5 track. Find out more information about the event and how you can register here.

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