With the rise of HTML5 based mobile operating systems, such as Firefox OS and Sailfish OS, the concept of creating HTML5 apps have gained immense popularity. Developers now are excited to write apps using HTML5 and why shouldn’t they be? HTML5 has the potential to do outstanding things and is being backed by some big players such as Adobe, Google, and Amazon.
Creating a basic HTML5-based app is quite easy but a great HTML5 app, which could make waves in app stores, requires to be built with planning. Therefore, in this article, I’ve highlighted key considerations that a developer must take into account before jumping into HTML5 app development arena. Also, I’ve covered the most popular HTML5 developed apps that are making the most of HTML5. You may also want to explore html5 app development tools for mobile developers.
Things To Consider While Developing An HTML5 App
Below are a few things that you should mull over before you’re going to write an HTML5 app:
Plan Strong User Experience
Whether it’s a website or an app, providing the most pleasurable experience possible to users must be your first priority. Before you’re going to start writing code, consider what users may expect and how they will be interacting with the app. Sketch your app on a paper and plan how you’ll code it. Once you have a plan, you can easily start coding.
Choose Right App Type
What kind of app, packaged or hosted, you’ve chosen to build matters a lot. A packaged app is a single zip file that users can download and install from the app store, while assets of a hosted app are hosted on a web server. Each app type has its pros and cons. Therefore, it becomes crucial to decide which type of app is best for your users and meets your requirements.
Use Templates Whenever Possible
While building your app, consider taking advantage of pre-built templates and code snippets if possible. Most of the programs and frameworks provide a starter project to help you speed up your app development. Use them to reduce overall development cost as well save a huge amount of your precious time.
Ensure Multiple OS Support
Support for different operating systems is another consideration that should be taken into account when building an app. To make sure your app will work well across Android, Blackberry, iOS and so on, you need to create checkpoints to detect environment the app is being used in and use a utility like PhoneGap or any other equivalent Web API.
Consider The Screen Size
There are a number of devices available in the market today, each of which has a different screen size. Chances are more devices will be introduced in the future and therefore, you should not develop an app just for one or two devices. Instead, prepare it to adapt to any screen size. Remember, the more devices an app has support for, the more people will embrace it.
Keep File Sizes Small
As mobile devices have less storage space than desktops, you need to keep files relatively smaller in size and fewer in numbers. This way, users could have quicker experiences with the app in case they don’t have sufficient wireless coverage or their data connection is too slow. So do everything – concatenate, gzip, minify, etc. – whatever you can to speed things up and cut down the amount of data that users have to consume.
Provide Offline Support
Assuming that the user will always have access to the internet is one of the common mistakes that app developers repeatedly do. While packaged apps generally don’t require any internet connection, hosted apps do. Offline support plays a vital role in maintaining the user’s experience while there are some short interruptions in network connectivity. Hence, craft your apps with offline support in mind.
Pay Attention To Language Localization
If you want to encourage user adoption of any app, you must not design it for a specific device. Instead, build it to be universal. Most of the HTML5-based mobile OS (like Firefox OS) have a large non-English user base and therefore, localization of the app becomes paramount. So whether it’s packaged or hosted app, content should be served according to the user’s locale.
Test Before Deployment
No matter how much attractive and well-functioning app you’ve built, if you forget to test it before release; all your efforts could spoil. This is the step where you can find whether or not your app is built in a way that you want your audience to use it. The real acid test of an app is to test it with those people who never tested it before. Test it and know whether everything is okay or there are some improvements needed.
Prefer Free Download
Last but not least, make your app available as a free download. Paid apps are a great way to earn money but forcing potential users to make a purchase makes them inclined to try a free app. You can still make money from a free app using ad networks like RevMob and Playhaven etc. If your app is free, no doubt you’ll get the maximum number of downloads.
For Your Inspiration: 5 Amazing Apps Built With HTML5
Here are some great examples of mobile apps that are made using HTML5:
Our-Tab is an expense management app that is built for people who live in a shared apartment and travel in a group. Built with HTML5, not only this app supports all major OS but also functions well in mobile, tablet and browser. It’s completely free and also has offline support.
GeoCongress is a geo-location based app that can be used to find a representative of a district in the US. This app is built with Sencha Touch framework and can be viewed on Android, iPhone and iPad devices or a WebKit browser such as Chrome or Safari.
Jog With Friends is a simple but powerful app through which you can share your recent jogs with your Facebook friends. This app would prove to be a great starting point for you if you want to build an app that makes use of third-party services such as Facebook.
BuzzUp is a beautifully designed and well-functioning buzzer-round trivia app built with the Ionic framework. Players are allowed to choose from many topics ranging from physics to fashion and everything in between. Currently, this app is available only for Android devices.
Pacifica, a great app to manage stress, anxiety and worry, is also made with the Ionic framework. Available both for iOS and Android, this app provides daily tools to break the ongoing cycle of fear that causes stress and anxiety.
- Updated on June 2019: Removed broken links, updated HTTPS.