March 26, 2012

BlackBerry App Development Loses Traction: RIM Pushing HTML5 to Counter

Research in Motion (News Alert) (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry, looks to push HTML5 application development instead of native coding in a somewhat desperate effort to stop coders from going elsewhere, such as iOS and Android (NewsAlert). Slash Gear reports developer interest in BlackBerry 10, its propriety operating system due out later this year, is slumping in the company’s home turf of Canada. Sales were below iPhone’s (NewsAlert) last week.

RIM hopes that promoting HTML5 as a preferred way to code will get developers back on board. A survey by Appcelerator and IDC (NewsAlert) stated the number of developers stating they were “very interested” in developing BlackBerry apps his dropped to 16 percent compared to 38 percent a year ago.

HTML5 seems to be a wise choice for BlackBerry (News Alert), considering its popularity amongst developers. According to PC World, 79 percent of developers plan to use HTML5 in their development of applications this year. It also stated the interest in developing for RIM’s PlayBook has dropped from 28 percent to 11 percent.

Among the 79 percent of developers planning to use HTML5 this year, many will develop so-called hybrid apps. These are native apps that utilize HTML5 in certain parts of the coding.

Laurent Hasson, BlackBerry Web Platform technical director, recently spoke at a London event, saying “Native will always be a couple of steps further [technically], but the web is absolutely competitive for the large majority of applications. An HTML5 application doesn’t mean you don’t have access to an app store, and it doesn’t mean you don’t have access to native APIs.”

RIM will certainly have to push hard for developer interest, so the company does not fall further behind iPhone, Android and Windows devices.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin


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