Mobile website design and the app backlash
Predicting trends in technology, or just about anything else, is always fun. Sometimes predictions can be wildly off the mark, but often there are clear trends that give some certainty to prediction.
One such trend is the growing use of HTML5 to build effective web apps that will make many native apps redundant.
Native apps will remain popular, but as many developers move to HTML5, the changing mobile environment makes the app model less convenient for users. With native apps, if you have multiple mobile devices, you need to download the app for each device and update them as required. Often apps aren’t provided for all platforms (for instance I can read New Yorker on an IOS app, but not on my android Nexus 7, or if I want to watch ABC iView on the Nexus, I have to use a hack for it to play flash) so the goal of seamless use of multiple mobile devices seems to move further away in the native app model as devices proliferate. And for a while, it seemed cool to have an app for this brand or that brand, but do we really need an app for every brand or store that we buy from online?
On the other hand, HTML5 has the potential to not only replace flash for video but to also provide app functionality in a web browser. As mobile use grows, mobile website design will become the primary need for many businesses, and mobile design, functionality and usability will be key considerations in most web projects. Websites developed using this model will be device agnostic and reach the widest possible audience, and updates will be released from the server side, not by releasing new version of a native app.
Certainly, here at SiteSuite we have invested a considerable amount of time over the last 12 months researching, developing and testing effective mobile responsive coding frameworks that integrate with SiteSuite CMS, and more and more of our new websites are built using a responsive framework for mobile use.
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