The denizens of this mobile-first world are hungry for applications, and this includes the enterprise. Bring your own device (BYOD), a growing remote workforce that wants to work from anywhere, and a general shift toward mobile computing for work-related matters is creating the need for applications that work just as well on smartphones and tablets as they would on a desktop.
Nicholas Harlow is Director of Product Management at Sencha, a company that is currently on the front lines of application development for enterprises. He took a moment to answer a few questions about the roles that browser-based apps powered by HTML5 and mobile apps will play going forward, both for consumers and the enterprise—a subject that should generate some enthralling discourse at the upcoming DevCon5 HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference.
For now, this is what Harlow had to say:
For you, what has changed in your mobile software development in the last year?
Our customers are realizing that they can be more productive with fewer resources by relying on Web technology for their application strategy across both mobile and desktop.
Which is changing faster, the power of the phones or the framework of the phone's software?
The power of phones and tablets continues to improve. OS vendors have introduced new and improved APIs, but our customers’ users seem to adopt new hardware faster than app developers consume or integrate new APIs.
We have lots of HTML5 games being made, but the app store still dominates. Will this always be the way?
The App Store is the primary gateway to having a meaningful presence on mobile devices. There are app management and deployment solutions that loosen the dependence of HTML5 developers on the app store, but nothing that completely replaces the App Store in the mobile ecosystem.
For Enterprise developers taking advantage of mobility; what are downsides of app vs browser distribution?
Browser distribution precludes the inclusion of native device APIs. Consumer browsers provide few capabilities with respect to local data security, so these are a poor choice for security-sensitive applications. App distribution suffers from the problem of convincing users to install yet another app on their device and requires frequent updates to the app store to ensure compatibility with the numerous OS updates released each year for each platform.
What are you looking forward to/hoping to learn at the upcoming DevCon5 conference in New York?
I’m looking forward to meeting and discussing application development and mobility issues with my peers in the industry, as well as seeing many of the latest technologies and trends in action.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi