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HTML5 is the latest version of the classic web site programming language. What is important about it is that it allows developers to create mobile web sites that have many of the same qualities as mobile apps and is a huge step forward in enhancing the mobile web experience.
Mobile apps, of course, currently provide a much richer experience than a typical mobile web site. The reason an app can do this is they sit on a smartphone (or tablet) and make full use of the features and function of these devices. Until HTML5, a mobile web site couldn’t do that.
HTML5 cannot do a lot of things that a mobile app can but is still a very positive step in the right direction.
One of the features HTML5 can provide is GPS. The store locator is one of the most popular aspects of an m-commerce site. By allowing you to provide your consumer GPS technology, it makes it so much easier for them to find nearby stores. Another big feature that HTML5 offers is its ability to enable mobile web sites to play video without the use of Flash. Since Apple doesn’t allow Flash that means that the millions of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users have to go without. HTML5 will be a huge key to getting video content to these consumers.
What is interesting about HTML5 is that it begs the all important question of “Do I need an app and a site? Or-given HTML5’s capabilities-isn’t having a mobile site enough?” Apps of course can play a very important role. But undoubtedly m-commerce sites will always be the most popular avenue for mobile shoppers. With HTML5, they now can be almost as sleek as an app.
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