June 26, 2015

HTML5 Powers Creativity

Technology has changed a lot since 1982, and Autodesk (News Alert) has been at the forefront of software development since that time. It has played an integral role in the innovation and development in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software and today, one can easily say it has the broadest portfolio of 3D software—just ask the Academy, as the last 19 Oscar winners for Best Visual Effects were all using Autodesk software.

Recently, Autodesk, Inc. Senior Director Jim Quanci took some time to speak with HTML5 Report about the year that was, and what may be to come in software development.

For you, what has changed in your mobile software development in the last year?

Responsive design and the ubiquity of 4G and powerful smartphones is changing the balance of mobile apps versus websites.  For the most power hungry, frequently used solutions, mobile apps is still the answer – but an increasing number of solutions are being delivered through responsive “interactive” web sites – dramatically reducing development and maintenance cost and delivering enhancements “now”.

Which is changing faster, the power of the phones or the framework of the phone's software?

Too hard… it’s both!  Autodesk in particular delivers graphics intensive solutions.  We have the software frameworks now supporting serious 3D graphics through WebGL (with WebGL 2 “coming”) and the mobile browsers pursuing tighter/faster integration with the hardware (like for using your mobile for VR).  At the same time the GPU capabilities and increasing memory of mobile devices is making mobile devices viable platforms for increasingly sophisticated use of 3D – games and sales experiences.

We have lots of HTML5 games being made, but the app store still dominates. Will this always be the way?

Apps are “peaking” right now.  In a few years it will be clear this was the “peak” – and the start of a “downhill slide” for apps.  Of the million plus apps, very few are used frequently and/or over a long period of time.  With the increasing power of mobile devices and web browsers, most of these apps will migrate to browsers+websites.  How many apps does the world really need?  A few tens of thousands maybe?  The rest should be retired and reinvented as responsive interactive websites.  Music made this transition over the last 5 years – from people buying apps to subscriptions+streaming from Pandora, Spotify, Apple (News Alert) Music, etc.  Same is going to happen with apps over the next few years.  Why own an app that needs to be updated, migrated across devices, organized on your devices, etc.?  The same problem folks had with Music.  Google (News Alert) the service you want, go to the service (website), log-in (most times log-in being automatic) and do what you need to do – no app required.  That said, apps work now because monetization is straightforward/easy.  It does take more work/expertise to build monetization into a browser experience.

For enterprise developers taking advantage of mobility; what are downsides of app vs browser distribution?

It’s over.  A great responsive interactive website is the right answer for mostly all Enterprise developers.  Lowest cost to build and maintain over maximum number of devices.  Only a few social and entertainment “experiences” deserve to be delivered as native apps.

What are you looking forward to/hoping to learn at the upcoming DevCon5 conference in New York?

How to most effectively and easily build great engaging, immersive, interactive, responsive websites. And how to best monetize this next generation of browser based experiences.

While it is clear Autodesk, as currently comprised, is ready for “primtime” the sky is the limit moving forward.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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