The most popular and comprehensive Open Source ECM platform
The 2012 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies chart shows HTML5 as nearing it’s peak of hype and it is marked as becoming a mature technology over the next 5-10 years. Many businesses and developers not wanting to be left behind the technology have jumped aboard the HTML5 bandwagon. Unfortunately, their timing may be a bit early.
The problem is that while most people believe that long term HTML5 will be the de facto technology for browsers, the fact is that today’s HTML5 environment, particularly on mobile devices, is just not there yet. HTML5 as a formal standard is still years away. Currently bits and pieces of it are available across different browsers. Gartner expects that sometime in 2014 that HTML5 will reach the stage of ‘recommendation status‘ by the world wide web consortium (W3C).
In September, Mark Zuckerberg said that “The biggest mistake Facebook made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native… We burned two years. That’s really painful. Probably we will look back saying that is one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistake that we made. But we’re coming out of that now… It’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile Web is a big thing for us… We just never were able to get the quality we wanted [from the HTML5 apps we were building]…”
Renée James, Intel senior vice president, said that “We all agree it’s [HTML5] been very over-hyped… We believe its a real solution for where users want to go, and we believe users will demand we go there as an industry.” James also said that their numbers show that 40 percent of app developers are using HTML5 now and another 40 percent say that they’re planning on using HTML5 in the near future too.
But how happy have those developers been with HTML5? A recent survey by Appcelerator and IDC finds that mobile developers who have tried HTML5 aren’t pushing many ‘Like’ buttons when it comes to the technology. The report found that a majority of developers give HTML5 low scores. Developers are dissatisfied with experience, performance, monetization, fragmentation, distribution control, timeliness of updates, and security.
Facebook is not the only business that has had to do an about face on their HTML5 strategy. Philipp Moeser, co-founder of German Social Gaming company Wooga, said that “The mobile app market is a billion dollar business that HTML5 could significantly disrupt. It has the potential to be a complete game changer, but the technology is not there yet.”
Particularly because of poor performance, developers are opting instead to primarily build their apps using native technology rather than HTML5. Many developers are trying to hedge their bets by creating hybrid mobile apps that use some amount of HTML5 along with high-performing native technology. It’s likely that most developers will go the route of pure native or hybrid HTML5 apps over the next few years until HTML5 becomes more mature.