Three Guys and a Podcast

Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis

May 15, 2012 at 9:23am Pacific Time
by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: iCloud, iOS Applications, iPad, iPhone

HTML 5 v iOS 5

As HTML 5 continues to evolve, web developers are liking their new tools more and more. The question is whether the HTML 5 standard will ever be completed and browsers adjusted to tackle this brave new world.

For a moment, suppose HTML 5 is here and all major browsers handle the new transitions, data transfers and all the rest smoothly. What does that mean for the iOS platform? Right now iOS has a substancial lead on any other mobile platform because of its vast library of apps. To repeat a phrase, “There's an app for that.” If you can think of a reason for an app, someone probably has already developed it. This is great for the iOS world, but that often leaves Android, Windows 8 and anyone else out in the cold. Often, there isn't an app for that in their world.

However, if HTML 5 becomes the end-all be-all, we may move back to a world where the web dominates again and apps become a fad of the late Steve Jobs. Fun for a while, but now all those cool things that apps could do can now be done in a browser. The advantage for developers is that they can create once, but deploy everywhere — desktop, tablet, smart phone and the HTML 5 app is smart enough to know how to deliver that best to each device.

If the world turns this way it could be a breath of fresh air that Google and Microsoft have been looking for. Right now they are woefully behind in the usability department but HTML 5 "apps" (which are really apps in the cloud delivered through websites) will work no matter what platform you are using, as long as you are using an HTML 5 compatible browser.

While this is a potential threat to the iOS App Juggernaut, HTML 5 is still an idea that is in development. Native apps will always be faster as their essential elements are on your device, but with LTE around the corner, that may be less and less of an advantage.

It will be interesting to keep tabs on how these two worlds battle it out, or whether they can peacefully co-exist. If I know one thing, Apple usually finds a way to make "open" technology work best for Apple, which is good for us who use Apple devices.

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