Sometimes it takes a while for something really good to catch on. Take for example the critically acclaimed TV show Arrested Development. This show was filled with a great cast, good writing, was smart and was funny. The critics loved it but the American public, hmm not so much. Maybe it was the lack of laugh tracks, or people just didn’t want to have to think about their comedy, regardless the show was dropped from network TV after 3 seasons. Now after a 6 year hiatus, the show is being resurrected by Netflix. So what does Arrested Development have to do with mobility? Well nothing, however, it got me thinking about HTML5 and how 2013 may finally be the year that it truly finds its footing and gets the respect it deserves.
Looking back on the last couple of years, HTML5 was poised to take over everything.
Steve Jobs famously signaled the end of the Flash era in his 2010 memo banning flash from all iOS devices and hailing HTML5 as the next step in technology. There were many naysayers back then, but many saw this as HTML5’s chance on the big stage. It was easy to use, low cost and cross-platform. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the big time right away. Sure there were a number of great apps being developed, but the general developer community’s view…hmm not so much. There were also some famous failures for HTML5 that many pointed to, none more famous than Facebook abandoning HTML5 in early 2012. However, when you look at why Facebook abandoned HTML5, it wasn’t necessarily what many thought as can be surmised from the following post from The HTML5 Center:
When Facebook abandoned HTML5 for its mobile app earlier this year, detractors pointed to CEO Marc Zuckerberg’s statement: “I think the biggest mistake we made as a company is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native” as proof that HTML5 was just hype. Later reports made clear, however, that the problem wasn’t so much that HTML5 could not deliver what Facebook needed, but that its team didn’t have the expertise to accomplish its goals.
While native development is important, it’s the expertise of the developers that really looked to be holding Facebook back. Well, it looks like 2013 is going to see a sea change in that expertise and developer’s thinking on the matter. According to a new survey by Kendo UI, “Fifty percent (50%) of those surveyed developed a variety of apps in 2012 using HTML5, and 9 out of 10 plan to use HTML5 in 2013.” This is a huge step forward for HTML5 in 2013 and should lead to a resurgence of this as a key platform for mobile development, especially when you look at the research from Strategy Analytics that forecasts that there will be one billion HTML5-capable devices sold in 2013.
With more and more devices becoming HTML5-capable and 9 out of 10 developers surveyed focusing their efforts on HTML5 development, 2013 may just be the year that HTML5 becomes understood for what it’s always been there for, and, if not, we’ll at least have Arrested Development to fall back on.