HTML5 has been looming on the mobile horizon for a number of years now, tantalising the industry with rich mobile ads and the promise of a universal app store liberated from the fragmentation of the smartphone OS market. In this post we’ll be rounding-up the top companies working with HTML5 in mobile, including HTML5 mobile developers, ad companies and app stores. We’ll also be rounding-up some of our favourite HTML5 tools and frameworks. You can download the guide below from slideshare or scribd for your ipad or to view online. Don’t forget to get in touch if you think there are other mobile HTML5 companies that should be in our list.
But before all that, lets take a look at what HTML5 offers, and the rather divisive arguments surrounding its future.
HTML5 key facts
- By 2013 there will be 1 billion HTML5 mobile browsers in the market (IDC)
- By 2015 over 80% of all mobile apps are predicted to be based in-part on HTML5 (IDC)
- 79% of app developers surveyed said they will use HTML5 in apps launched in 2012 (IDC)
- The Financial Times HTML5 app is now more popular than its native iOS app, with over 2 million unique users
- Over 55 telcos worldwide have joined the Wireless Application Community, dedicated to promoting HTML5 apps.
- More than 50% of developers are moving from Flash to HTML5 (Evans Data)
- Yamaha increased traffic by 300% with its HTML5 apps
- However,vastly more API’s are available to native apps – 1,500, compared to HTML5’s 20 (Zipline Games)
- HTML5 has still yet to be formally standardised by the W3C and won’t be until 2014.
The ‘Pro-HTML5’ corner
The ‘Holy Grail’
For its strongest advocates, HTML5 represents something of a holy grail for mobile developers, giving them a way to write an application once, and deploy it everywhere. Because HTML5 applications will essentially live in the mobile web-browser, developers no longer have to worry about porting their apps to different operating systems such as Android and iOS, and then rolling out different updates, saving time and money.
Circumventing app stores also allows developers, especially smaller ones, to circumvent much of the administrative issues and costs associated with releasing apps and games on closed platforms such as Facebook, iOS and Xbox Live. No more giving a 30% cut of the revenue to Apple.
Open app store
When it comes to the end user the benefits of HTML5 apps are pretty obvious. Browser-based apps could facilitate the biggest app store ever, or an abundance of smaller stores, where iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone users all have access to the same pool of apps. Users can also benefit from a more seamless experience between desktop and mobile apps, allowing them for instance to continue playing a videogame from one platform to the other.
For advertisers, the proliferation of HTML5 apps would be a neat antidote to the issue of fragmentation in the mobile market. Advertisers would be able to create a one-size-fits all campaign that can run across all platforms. In theory it would also be possible to run a successful desktop campaign across mobile, greatly reducing marketing costs. HTML5 could also help solve the problems many advertisers have with tracking mobile campaigns as users can stay in the browser. Beyond that HTML5 offers advertisers a very rich platform to create more engaging, media-heavy, ads for users, across both the mobile and native apps.
The ‘anti-HTML5’ corner
HTML5 apps are perfect for simple, less graphic-intensive, applications. However, smartphone technology is advancing at a tremendous pace, with devices packing more and more processing muscle. High-end smartphones only make sense if there are apps available that take advantage of all that tech. HTML5 apps can’t do that, only native apps can. This point is especially pertinent for the most popular, and most graphic-intensive, type of apps – videogames. HTML5 apps also will have a harder time taking advantage of other smartphone features such as GPS, camera features and NFC features – although there are a number of platforms offering solutions in this area.
Developers may welcome the ability to avoid handing over a cut of their revenue to Apple, but there are questions around the willingness of users to make payments outside of 1st party app stores. Users are probably more likely to trust 1st party stores, and find it more convenient to pay via an iTunes account, rather than whip out there credit card and pay in a browser.
Then there’s the big issue around the reaction of platform holders such as Apple and Google to a possible boom in HTML5 app stores. Both Apple and Google currently support HTML5’s growth for various reasons. But Apple also has a very vested interest in preventing HTML5 mobile apps from becoming too popular, as it would have a big effect on its revenue from app sales. Apple runs a closed eco-system with iOS and it hasn’t been afraid to take unpopular decisions to keep it closed in the past. Can HTML5 apps really take off with heavy opposition from big industry players?
The Financial Times’ app has been one of the most successful commercial applications of HTML5
The best HTML5 companies
So you’ve heard the case for and against HTML5, now take a look at the companies, tools and frameworks that can help you take advantage of it.
Top Mobile HTML5 App Developers
Assanka – Mobile and web app developer that specialises in HTML5. Responsible for the hugely successful Financial Times HTML5 app. Based in London, UK.
Golden Gekko – Award-winning mobile app developer that develops across all platforms including HTML5. Based in London, UK with offices in New York.
Pixel Lab – Award-winning mobile game developer that focuses exclusively on HTML5. Responsible for porting the hit game Cut The Rope to HTML5. Based in
Perception Systems – IT solutions provider that also specialises in HTML5 mobile game and app development. Based in Gujarat, India.
Brain Swap – Boutique HTML5 mobile app developers with clients including Skype and Audivoom. Based in San Franscisco, with offices in New York.
Plexical – iOS, Android and HTML5 developer that has developed a number of multiplatform apps, such as Ultra Motor and Eutaxia Mobile. Based in Sweden.
Meta Design Solutions – App developer based in India that offers HTML5 mobile app development.
Next Root – App developer that specialises in cross platform HTML5 web apps and websites. Based in Timisoara, Romania.
HTML5 experts Pixel Lab explain how they ported the hit iOS game Cut The Rope to HTML5
Top HTML5 app stores
OpenAppMkt – App market that distributes web-apps built in HTML5. Unlike the traditional 70/30 split, developers keep 80% of app sale revenue.
WAC – HTML5 app store run by the Wireless Application Community, a consortium of telcos and other companies who aim to promote HTML5 on mobile.
Zeewee – App store that focuses exclusively on HTML5 apps. Claims to have over 1 million app downloads since launch.
iTsmy – HMTL5 gaming platform for smartphones, tablets and browsers. Offers iTsmy’s own game catalogue along with third party games.
Sencha details its latest HTML5 layout tool Sencha Architect 2, which allows users to create HTML5 apps via a drag and drop UI
Top HTML5 Tools/Frameworks
Sencha – HTML5 framework developer that aims to create an end-to-end solution for designing, developing and deploying HTML5 web apps.
Netbiscuits – Cloud platform for developing and deploying HTML5 mobile web apps. Clients include PayPal, Sears and IDG.
Appmobi – Award-winning company that provides development tools and services for HTML5 mobile platform, including in-app payments, analytics, live app updates and push messaging.
Appcloud – HTML5 web app hosting platform from Brightcove. Provides developers with device specific APIs, real time analytics and cloud content services.
Mobile Conduit – HTML5 web app development platform from Conduit that aims to streamline and simplify HTML5 app creation, while keeping the end product unique and dynamic.
PhoneGap – HTML5 app platform ‘wrapper’ that lets developers build a web app and turn it into a native app to get access to APIs and app stores. Was acquired last year by Adobe.
jQuery Mobile – Unified HTML5 user interface system based on the jQuery UI foundation.
KonyOne – App platform from Kony that provides single application definition for native apps and HTML5 apps.
WeaverApps – HTML5 mobile web app development platform that also provides custom HTML5 apps and app marketing.
appMobi shows off massively multiplayer HTML5 game Boomtown, which runs off appMobi’s cloud service, allowing for cross platform multiplayer
Top HTML5 mobile advertising companies
Mobile 5 – Mobile marketing and advertising agency that specialises in developing rich media HTML5 ads for mobile. Based in London, UK.
Celtra – HTML5 ad creation platform that enables rich media ads across mobile apps and the mobile web.
MobDis – Mobile advertising platform that allows advertisers to create rich HTML5 mobile ads and video ads.
TapIt! – Mobile ad network that offers HTML5 ad creation and has been a strong proponent of HTML5 mobile ads.
Sprout – Mobile ad company specialising in rich HTML5 ads. Was recently bought by global mobile ad network InMobi. Based in San Francisco.
That’s it but don’t forget to contact us if there are other mobile HTML5 companies you know of that should make the list.