December 30, 2013

Are Developers Shifting Away from HTML5?

In the Q4 Mobile Trends Report, compiled by Appcelerator and IDC (News - Alert), the number of developers that noted themselves as “very interested” in building apps on HTML5 had decreased, landing at 59.9 percent. Appcelerator anticipates that percentage to fall even further in the years to come; according to Michael King, Appcelerator’s director of enterprise strategy, “We’re going to see HTML5 relegated to just a small portion of apps.” He expects HTML5 to be reserved for forms, content consumption, and customer acquisition apps, and the bigger platforms – such as mobile banking, CRM and games – to stick to native apps.

The report also mentioned HTML5’s changing relationship with various installments in the tech world. For instance, the recent release of Apple’s (News - Alert) iOS 7 platform didn’t seem to mix well with HTML5 apps. In addition, the report mentioned Facebook’s choice to employ native development rather than HTML5, and said the decision seems to have been the driving force behind the site’s increased mobile access. Indeed, two-thirds of developers reported connecting their apps to Facebook.

A number of percentages cited in the report, however, indicated that developers may not be too concerned with the shift away from HTML5. Certainly 64.1 percent of respondents worldwide said they would be rethinking key aspects of their mobile development. At the same time, 43 percent of respondents in the US said they wouldn’t change their developing practices. Some statistics also pointed to growing wariness of security in app development – 21.5 percent cited themselves as more leery of the public cloud, 20.2 percent were considering more rigorous encryption practices, and 15.2 percent were planning on employing more secure coding. But those numbers were relatively low, indicating that developers are less concerned with HTML5 than the NSA might be.

In terms of mobile development, 34.7 percent of respondents stated that traditional three-tier Web architectures were inadequate for increased mobile demands. Appcelerator recommended mobile-optimized infrastructure that balanced data optimization, payload transformation, synchronization and offline access, and orchestration of various data sources. The new buzzword in mobile development seems to be “scale,” with the report noting that nearly half of respondents said complexities in scaling could get in the way of frequent app releases.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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