Uptick in mobile traffic: Why developers love HTML5 now more than ever

Anyone who remembers the days when desktops ruled understands the myriad benefits offered by mobile devices. Instead of being chained to a singular machine and wired Internet connection, users now have the freedom to access Web resources from anywhere at anytime - so long as they have their smartphone, laptop or tablet on hand.

People are leveraging mobile platforms more than ever these days, as evident by the most recent comScore report. According to Small Business Trends, the study showed that traffic coming from mobile devices now comprises the majority - 60 percent - of all online traffic. This is quite the increase from last year, when half of all traffic came from smartphones and tablets.

This finding illustrates the growing utilization and importance handheld hardware now serves within users' lives. More often than not, individuals are ditching their desktops for more mobile-friendly devices that allow them to browse, use apps and carry out a whole host of activities from the palm of their hand.

The uptick in mobile traffic is having an effect on nearly every industry, including those that create the apps for the platform. Mobile app developers are now seeing more demands than ever, which is why HTML5 is increasingly helpful in supporting these needs.

How HTML5 is helping developers keep up
In addition to citing a rise in total mobile traffic, the comScore report also found that 51 percent of this traffic is now coming from mobile apps. As users increasingly leverage their smartphones and tablets, more groups are asking developers to create an offering suitable for connecting with individuals via the mobile platform. When it comes to ensuring that these needs are met, program creators are turning to HTML5 for the range of advantages that it offers over other coding languages.

The main reason for this is due to HTML5's cross-platform compatibility. Much has been written about this aspect, and for good reason: HTML5 allows developers to establish a single app that will function over nearly every device and operating system users have on hand. This significantly cuts down on both the price tag and time spent on the project.

"The same HTML5 app will work on different operating systems, whether its iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry; the upshot of this is that the cost of developing the app is much lower than creating native apps for each OS," wrote Business 2 Community contributor Ben Smye. "Some have argued that it takes longer for create an HTML5 app than it does to create a single native app, but this overlooks the fact that in order to have the app on multiple platforms, multiple apps need to be developed while you only have to build it once using HTML5."

Furthermore, HTML5 also allows for remote updates, an important aspect to consider in the current mobile environment. These days, competition is fierce among organizations as if one group's mobile app isn't up to par with users' expectations, they'll simply find one that is. For this reason, developers and the companies that own the apps must be proactive throughout the program's lifecycle, which means they must release updates. These upgrades can come for a variety of reasons - an issue in need of repairs arises, the group wants to offer new content, etc. Whatever the case, app owners must have a way to release the update, which is where HTML5 becomes so helpful. Smye noted that the language provides a way for automatic updates, preventing the need for users to manually upgrade the program.

"It benefits all parties - for the app provider or developer, it means they don't have to provide support for multiple versions of apps," Smye wrote. "For users, it means they don't have to go through the, sometimes cumbersome, process of a manual update."


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