HTML5 is a web markup language that allows developers to build rich web-based apps that can run on any device via a regular web browser. Imagine the power of HTML4 that currently powers most of the web combined with interactive rich-media multimedia capabilities of Adobe Flash and you have HTML5.
At the moment, native apps specifically written for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems dominate the mobile development field but HTML5 offers many advantages over native apps. Firstly, HTML5 is an open, web-based standard that will run on any device’s web browser. This means that developers aren’t at the mercy of Apple and Google and their closed native app ecosystem and you can freely promote your HTML5 application on the open web.
Secondly, the open web standards of HTML5 allows businesses and developers to control the distribution, monetization and functionality of their mobile applications. While native apps have the advantage of integrated direct payment systems that allows for painless one-click transactions, developers are forced to pay the gatekeepers a large cut of the purchase — both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play marketplaces take a 30% cut.
Currently, native apps allow for a lot more functionality than HTML5 apps. Additionally, HTML5 is an evolving standard that is managed by an open committee-based consortium, the World Wide Web Consortium (WSC), which is the main global standards organization for the web. This means that progress is slow. New HTML5 standards and functionality must be agreed upon and then incorporated into web browsers, something that is difficult today when many users still use Internet Explorer 6 and 7 that offers no HTML5 support.
So, why is HTML5 the next big thing?
“HTML5″ is currently the #1 job trend based on the fastest growing keywords found in online job postings (Source: Indeed.com)
If there was one programming language I’d recommend to learn for the long-term, it is HTML5. While native apps currently have a significant edge in form and functionality, HTML5 has all of the hallmarks of a disruptive technology. It is cheaper to develop with and allows for cross-platform compatibility on all devices. Over time, HTML5 will get better and better and take bigger chunk of the mobile application market.
It will not happen in next year, but in the next 3-5 years HTML5 will become the standard programming language for the web. HTML5 will make content on the web much more interactive. With the power of HTML5, a website will be able to have the same functionality and features as a native app on iOS or Android. It will also allow new forms of monetization that have not been possible before and it will likely revive the online content publishing industry by making it easier for publishers to make it money.
Learning HTML5 will be a lot easier if you already have basic HTML and CSS skills. If you can add HTML5 development to your skills as well, you will be on the cutting edge of web development.