Announcing the white paper: the real deal on native + HTML5

It’s a busy week on the blog: today we’re pleased to be announcing the online publication of the white paper.

We’ve written this as a tight, 23-page overview of the mobile development landscape, HTML5 opportunity and how our product fits into it.

With the app market still exploding, and so many routes to entry – different platforms, different languages, different cross-platform frameworks – accessing that $15bn market isn’t as straightforward as it should be. Our platform is all about making it as simple as possible to build native apps and to access that market: and our white paper is an extension of that mission.

You can download and read the paper here.

And whilst I recently wrote a more technically-focused post on how developers can make sense of mobile development platforms, we want the white paper to explain the context of what is happening in the industry to a general audience, and help developers lobby the company-internal case for our platform. We hope it’s particularly helpful within companies facing the need to build for mobile but finding the landscape confusing.

We’ve filled it with facts, but it’s opinionated too: we make the case for as the single best solution out there.

Here’s a quick overview of the main chapters within:

The industry landscape

To start, we address the growth of mobile apps and touch on the need for businesses to build a platform-agnostic presence on mobile and on the web (closing their viral loops).

Considerations for developers

How to go about building for that need isn’t straightforward, and section two addresses some of the considerations developers face in choosing a route through the mobile programming landscape. Which platform, language and app market is worth investing in? How do cross-platform frameworks fit in?

The HTML5 opportunity

Section three unpacks and explains the strengths of HTML5 and cross-platform apps, from how they work to how to best take advantage of community tools and libraries to build the best hybrid apps possible – the best of both worlds.

HTML5 fact and fiction

HTML5 hybrid apps aren’t going to suit graphically-intense applications and games: some kinds of app are going to be better served by native builds (a false dichotomy which refuses to die). At the same time, with HTML5 standards and browser tech improving so rapidly, a lot of lazy prejudice is already outdated: here we survey some of the potential hurdles of working with HTML5, and offer some solutions for dealing with speed and native look and feel, using third-party libraries and other tips and tricks.

The paper also includes a couple of case studies of good cross-platform practise, and a high-level untechnical run-through of how to build your first Forge app, from concept to app store. We hope it encourages you to dive in and give it a go.

Here’s the link again. This will be a living document that we’ll regularly update to reflect the evolution of our platform, and the evolution of the industry. Comments? Feedback? Typos? Let us know.