July 14, 2011

Migration to HTML5 Will Drastically Change the Mobile Experience for Consumers: DevCon5 Speaker

HTML5 is one of the hottest topics of conversation in the tech world today. This revolutionary and disruptive technology can deliver rich, interactive content across any platform or device, and has the potential to flip the app economy on its head.

TMC and Crossfire Media are bringing together some of the top thought leaders in this space to discuss the capabilities, limitations and future of the technology, as well as how to best implement and execute HTML5.

Before heading out to the DevCon5 Conference this July 27-28, 2011 in New York, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (NewsAlert) sat down with Terry Ribb, co-founder and CMO of Relevens, a consulting firm that helps internal teams plan mobile 3.0 strategies, design 3.0 apps, and develop 3.0 platforms. Ribb will be speaking at the “Innovation 3.0, Mobile Apps” session at the conference.

Ribb believes that the gradual adoption of HTML5 will forever change the mobile Web and the application ecosystem. Among other things, HTML5 will eliminate today’s app distribution problem that prevents users from accessing multimedia content that isn’t compatible with their mobile device or operating system, Ribb told Tehrani.

The language’s ability to turn websites into fully-functioning Web apps will give users immediate and continuous access to rich, multimedia content, he says. The mass migration to HTML5 will eliminate the need to rely on companies like Apple and Google, which take up to 30 percent all revenues generated from applications.

Web powers Facebook, Microsoft and Pandora (NewsAlert) have already begun embracing HTML5, and Ribb sees this trend continuing. He and Tehrani also touched on the opportunities that the technology will present to mobile brands as well as the impact that it will have on mobile adoption rates.

Ribb wrapped up the talk by given a quick preview of his speech, which will cover a recent survey of mobile innovators and their design leaps. 

Check out the complete interview below.

  • How Will HTML5 Change the Mobile Web?

For Mobile Consumers, HTML5 browsers will dramatically expand their access to apps.    Instead of downloading specialized application software onto a mobile phone or tablet, consumers will use their browser to access any application operating on the worldwide web.

  • What impact will HTML5 have on Ventures or Brands that are launching Mobile Apps? 

With HTML5, Mobile Brands can eliminate a key challenge to growth: app distribution.

Consider the consumer’s experience: After seeing an article, ad, or social recommendation for a new mobile app, I am ready to purchase.   I use my Android (NewsAlert) Phone to access the Android Market.   I search on the app’s name, but the app does not appear in the search results. Why? The market only presents apps that are compatible with my phone’s software version. So even if a Mobile Brand invests to market its app, I can’t access the app if my phone is slightly out-of-date.   

The worst part: If an app doesn’t appear within an app store’s search results, consumers think the app is no longer available. They think that searching an app store is the same as searching the web.   They have no idea that the search problem lies within their own phone.   So they don’t realize they can upgrade their phone’s software and try again.   The customer is lost. 

With HTML5, Mobile Brands will design web sites that are fully-functioning “web apps.” Consumers will use a browser to access those web apps. No phone-app required. Distribution problem solved. The consumer has immediate and continuous access.

  • What impact will HTML5 have on companies selling digital goods within Mobile Apps?

For a Mobile Brand, an HTML5 web app can access the company’s existing e-commerce platform. This eliminates a key challenge to profit: mobile platform fees.

Example: I download a Brand’s app from iTunes. I love it and make several in-app purchases. In-app purchases may include bonus game levels, tour guide maps, or auto-renewing subscriptions.   When I click to purchase, an iTunes dialogue box appears. I am asked to enter my iTunes password and approve the purchase. iTunes handles the financial transaction. The Mobile Brand receives their percent of the revenue.

Here’s the problem:   The Mobile Brand pays the mobile platform owner (such as Google or Apple (News Alert)) from 5 percent to 30 percent of their in-app purchase revenue.   A large company, such as a game developer, may already have a sophististicated e-commerce system. Why pay for multiple e-commerce infrastructures — your own and those belonging to Google and Apple? 

With HTML5, Mobile Brands can design web sites that are fully-functioning web apps. These web apps can access the company’s existing e-commerce infrastructure.   No second or third platform required.    

  • What new opportunities will HTML5 present for Mobile Brands?

With a direct connection to mobile customers, Brands have an opportunity to deliver a new generation of direct-to-consumer services

Any Brand can become a Mobile Brand (from entertainment and retail, to consumer products and services). The difference? A Mobile Brand has decided how it will support its customers’ mobile lives.   

Mobile Brands have rethought how they will help their mobile customers search, stream, shop and share—on-demand and over time. They have created a new generation of apps that use rich media, customer interaction, and location-based services to engage and serve customers on the go.   

We just completed a two-month survey of Mobile Innovators and their design leaps. We are presenting our findings at the DevCon5 conference in New York.  

  • HTML5 allows the easier creation of rich multimedia content.  How does this change the way designers create pages and will each page need its own story board? 

When serving Mobile Customers, it’s not enough to simply downsize movies, stores, or social networks—and push to a mobile phone.

Using the HTML5 Canvas, Mobile Brands can design a Rich Media Experience to serve mobile customers. So the Brand’s immersive experience offered in a physical location—a movie release, live event, classroom course, health advice, or even personal shopping assistance—can be extended to the mobile customer. 

With HTML5, we think storyboards are critical. As a Brand’s most loyal fan, why should I hyperlink, struggling to find may own route to the content, products, and services I need? As a mobile customer, I want to spend now. If a page has its own story board, it can dynamically evolve to serve my immediate need. 

  • Will Mobile adoption and use of these devices change as a result of the transition to HTML5?     

Yes. HTML5 browsers can give Mobile Customers immediate access to any application on the web—without downloading a smartphone app. Even if a Brand has great iPhone or Android apps, an HTML5 web app can ensure that every customer has access. 

  • Given the fact Facebook (NewsAlert), Microsoft and the gaming industry are embracing HTML5, is there any doubt it will be embraced by all?   

I don’t think there will be any problem embracing HTLM5. The real question is this: Will today’s companies stop developing phone-based apps? 

Although our own development team is committed to developing in HTML5, we continue to learn and use the newest tools and platforms offered by Apple and others. We love the innovative mindset of the people at Apple: they are committed to innovating in ways we can’t imagine.   

Standard-setting bodies never create the leading edge; they standardize best practices. We believe Apple will continue to create the leading edge. And this type of competition will inspire and accelerate the HTML5 effort.   Competition won’t let us get complacent.

  • What will delegates learn from you at HTML5 conference DevCon5 this July 27-28, 2011 in New York?

I will be speaking on “Innovation 3.0: Mobile Apps.”     

The delegates will get a detailed review of the design leaps made by today’s top mobile innovators. And they will receive a checklist of design patterns and practices that can give them a starting point for their own Mobile innovation initiatives. 

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


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