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LiveArt Blog

It’s a Smartphone Revolution! Are You In?

(Guest post by Nick Rojas)

Mobile computing is taking over the world the way few technologies ever have. Not only is it a safe estimate that more than 95% of the people you see every day have a mobile device on them, but we are about to cross the threshold where there are more smartphones than there are people on Earth.

One of the strongest factors in the growth of smartphones is the power every app gives users. With them, users are able to transform their device into a multitasking wonder with a tap and a swipe to complete. Virtually every company benefits from being on board with this philosophy, translating as much of their service as possible into a mobile app for convenience.

In the following graphic, we’ll provide some numbers that may surprise you about what makes the smartphone such a necessary platform for businesses to develop for, and how you should tailor your app to make sure it gets downloaded and used as frequently as possible. Whether it’s to pay bills, communicate, collaborate, or scan barcodes, many people can’t leave the house without their phone on them, and so it’s more crucial than ever to tap into this hungry, captive audience with your own mobile app.

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Infographic about importance of mobile versions in business Infographic Provided by SmartVirtualPhoneNumber.com

Going With HTML5 Web Applications. The Battle Price For Mobile

HTML5 serves as a #1 buzzword for a long time now and plays well for marketing a new generation apps. Despite being not fully supported by most of the browsers and having small backward compatibility support, it is highly demanded and well sold. The battle for mobile users plays as a great incentive for company stakeholders that spend significant budgets. They do it with the hope to get fast ROI and calm down the angry mob of mobile users that demand a Flash application they used to running on a smartphone.

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Fortunately, HTML5 has shown its drawbacks immediately after first admirations subsided. HTML5 proved to be an expensive development for enterprise-level applications (like Facebook, who switched to native app development), although the internet is full of simple yet glamorous mashups and small utility apps.

When we first started development of HTML5 online product designer application, the QA and tests part of development started to take much more time than it was anticipated. Numerous browsers, platforms, mobile devices, at least 90% of them had to checked against each of LiveArt HTML5 feature. Aside of the touch functionality to work on tablet and smartphone devices, our developers had to continuously verify the look and feel to appear consistently across different resolutions. All of the above took much more resources than required for similar Flash application development.

No doubts, the obvious conclusion everyone will be able to make is that HTML5 development is much more expensive. Add responsive layout here and you will get at least twice as big budget for HTML5 than you would for Flash.

Another challenge is that unlike Flash player updates, which rarely affects much on the existing application, a release of new browser or iOS version may really ruin a day for your HTML5 application or website. While Flash player runs application in a “sandbox”, independent from other elements on your website, the HTML5 application consists of numerous components that work together to let end users feel a Flash-quality application. In Flash application, it’s responsibility of the Flash player to run your application in a correct way. In HTML5 application, it’s browsers responsibility to implement the web standards in a way to make the application work. Standards (like Javascript, CSS and HTML elements) are the ones that differ much in implementation in various browsers and platforms. What may work perfectly in iOS Safari would completely hang up your desktop PC under Firefox, a behavior you will never meet with Flash.

We are not advocating Flash here. As we all know, HTML5 is good because it works on mobile. You want to stay in business, you do the HTML5. It’s expensive, it’s painful in development, but in the end it will pay off in increased audience, become your love mark and keep you in the market.