The Financial Times of London announced back in May that they will discontinue their iPhone & iPad mobile apps. What’s behind the reason for this strategy is the new HTML 5 technology. Though it’s been slow to be adopted thus far, many companies & publishers are re-examining their mobile marketing strategy to include every device, every where possible. Currently, we have device specific apps for each iPad, iPhone, Android phone, tablet, & now Windows phone. What about Blackberry & feature phone users then? Unless you have a decent mobile website, you’re leaving money & subscribers on the table. The cost for developing all these different mobile apps is also part of the equation. Some companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars just to develop their apps. Many do not recoup their costs or break even.
Enter HTML5! (aahhhh!!! the crowd goes wild) It’s a new Web Standard that’s still being finalized at the moment. But don’t take it lightly because it’s very likely that you will need to jump on the bandwagon to reach all devices in the next few years. With HTML5, you can build once & syndicate across all devices simultaneously. Plus, you can have a Web Browser App that gets updated without the need for the user to download it. It can be saved on your mobile phone home screen just like an app. It’s not just multiple device capability that’s got web developers raving about it, it’s the advances in technology that it provides.
HTML5 will enable a multimedia rich experience for audio, video, vector graphics, & canvas elements. These options will make it easier to integrate such elements without having to rely on proprietary plugins & API’s such as Adobe’s Flash. Given the problems many of us have had with Flash over the years, I think that alone is cause for celebration. It’s also able to run on low powered devices as well as smartphones. Hallelujah! (a web designer shouted)
Apparently, TechnologyReview.com has also announced they will be killing their mobile apps as well. Regardless of what you might think of the debate: mobile apps vs mobile websites, it’s clear that HTML needs a massive update from the 90’s. HTML5 will accomplish that, & then some.