Why we chose HTML5 for airrand
When we went down the path of building out our idea for a location smart to-do list, we mapped out all the things the service needed and weighed that against the abilities of HTML versus a native smartphone solution. We already knew that a native app could offer us all the abilities that we would need today, as well as tomorrow. So we did some field testing of mobile web applications using HTML5 to see what was possible and its user experience. Some apps we tried were untappd, fitbit, basecamp, to facebook’s mobile web versus their native app; we realized quickly that not only was this our quickest option to offer on all mobile operating systems, but the experience could be feature rich as well.
One major perk is that one site serves all the needs for our customers from any device – you can access airrand.com from your laptop, your tablet, to your phone and the site will adjust to fit the constraints of the screen. The hidden benefit was one source to edit changes that would be represented over all devices. We didn’t have to worry about features being offset with the iPhone version going thru approval process while the Android version had already been out for two weeks. And we had free reign to make tweaks and changes on the fly as we saw fit without having to wait for app approval, which was critical in push out features fast and often.
One of the draw backs to being web based, however, is app recognition in being related to an app store. I’ve heard on more than one occasion, “I searched for your app in the Android Market and couldn’t find it.”. We hope this trend will change as mobile browsers offer more functionality for developers to leverage HTML and customers starts to look to the internet to either find the app, or be directed to it’s appropriate device store.
At some point down the road we may outgrow the abilities of HTML5, but at our current state we were happily able to quickly release our product for almost every smartphone that is available. So if you’d like to use airrand, all you need to do is point your desktop or mobile browser to airrand.com