Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th May 2010 22:42 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Discussions of Apple's strict control over the app store often do not mention that you can deploy cross platform apps using web applications. HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS should allow you to create compelling, applications without having to distribute through Apple. "I am convinced that the HTML5 app route is the best one for a fat slice of the non-game iPhone apps currently out there, especially those that are simple and face stiff competition. Increased interoperability will help them more than a relative lack of eye candy will hinder them. The problem is convincing clients of that."
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RE[2]: Not a viable alternative
by Nycran on Wed 5th May 2010 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a viable alternative"
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

"1. HTML5 offers zero code protection. Just view the source to take someone else's work."

For many developers this is not a problem. Open Source anyone? In some cases (as is the case with an app that I'm developing), data is synchronized with a remote server which means copying the local javascript only gives you so much anyway.

"2. Requires Javascript which is hated by many programmers."

Also loved by many, and is the language of the web. Javascript is more powerful and robust than you probably realize.

"3. No rich SDK, just working with a text file."

HTML5 is a pretty rich SDK if you ask me. Perhaps you meant IDE? If so, it's a web app - you can use any IDE that you'd normally use for web development. =

"4. Payment problems. What are you selling here? Access to an HTML5 game? "

No, you probably wont be developing a game in HTML5 - that was stated in the article. For forms based apps or data collection apps however, it's powerful enough. And yes, you could have a login, make calls to API's on web servers, whatever you like. There's plenty to "sell" if that's your goal.

"It didn't surprise me at all to see that the guy who wrote this doesn't actually program for a living. He views iPhone revenue as a temporary gold rush when it reality it has become a sustainable gaming platform much like the DS or PSP. Calling the payment argument "non-sense" without providing an alternative is not going to win over iphone developers who are currently getting paid."

I think there's plenty of scope for selling and profiting from HTML5 web apps. Take a look at PhoneGap if you haven't already. http://www.phonegap.com/ This packages a HTML5 web app in native wrappers which allows devs to upload straight into the app store if they want to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Also loved by many, and is the language of the web. Javascript is more powerful and robust than you probably realize.

Most would rather use Java or some variant of C.


HTML5 is a pretty rich SDK if you ask me. Perhaps you meant IDE?


HTML5 only provides an API and the entire thing is in draft. I don't consider that to be a rich SDK.


No, you probably wont be developing a game in HTML5 - that was stated in the article.


The same model that he dismisses in the follow-up post is also used for many business apps. Someone paying a few bucks for a financial calculator does not want to see an ad or mess with logins as an alternative. They want to pay a few bucks and get the damn app. People buy those $50 iTunes cards and go shopping at the app store. It's a very convenient system.

But I'm glad we agree that HTML5 is not a viable alternative for iphone game developers. Thus HTML5 is not a viable alternative for most iphone developers since the majority of the sales are from games.


For forms based apps or data collection apps however, it's powerful enough.

Yea but we already have that functionality within existing frameworks. Form based apps can already be handled with ruby on rails or asp ajax.


I think there's plenty of scope for selling and profiting from HTML5 web apps.

I think there is potential for selling web apps to mobile devices but for most mobile software the app store is a better model. This would be true even if HTML5 didn't exist. Web apps can be scaled down for mobile devices without using HTML5.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Nycran Member since:
2006-02-06

["Yea but we already have that functionality within existing frameworks. Form based apps can already be handled with ruby on rails or asp ajax."]

Nope. If you write a forms based app using a standard server based setup then TCP/IP latency creates a significant usability issue. I experienced this first hand with an app I wrote using that model. If you have a flaky 3G connection, you go through a tunnel, etc, bang, you've lost the ability to use the app and the user goes away frustrated. HTML5 does away with that by allowing the developer to store data in a local SQLite database, and caching the full application locally (including images, js files, css files, etc). When you start a HTML5 application (which you can do by tapping an icon on the iPhone apps screen, just like any other app), it has no need to make a single TCP/IP request. Instead of making the user wait, the app starts and the user starts being productive immediately. The same holds true as you navigate from form to form, add new records, edit records, etc. All in all a superior experience.

And, look at phonegap! You can upload your apps into the app store, charge for it, make profit, etc, like any other app. Just sayin'.

Reply Parent Score: 2

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

No, you probably wont be developing a game in HTML5


EA have just done it with Lord of Ultima (http://www.lordofultima.com) using the same type of in-game purchasing model as the likes of Evony (Flash based) and some of the iPhone games. I think this model for charging people is going to become more popular, and there are a number of good frameworks available already for producing web games, so it's certainly doable.

Edit: LoU isn't specifically HTML5, but you get the idea...

Edited 2010-05-05 03:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's only doable for certain types of games and I think it's a better model for desktops.

Lord of Ultima is technically impressive in that it doesn't use Flash but it's still only a board game.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Mr.Manatane Member since:
2010-03-19

"1. HTML5 offers zero code protection. Just view the source to take someone else's work."

For many developers this is not a problem. Open Source anyone? In some cases (as is the case with an app that I'm developing), data is synchronized with a remote server which means copying the local javascript only gives you so much anyway.

And ? Because it's not a problem for a minority of people doesn't mean it's not a problem for others.

Out of that, I don't see a lot of people making money with small open source software, sorry ...

Reply Parent Score: 1