I've been following some recent discussion about mobile virtualization. One article by Alex Williams at ReadWriteWeb caught my attention. I agree that many people carry two smartphones today, one for business and one for personal use. It's true that mobile processors lack virtualization support at the hardware level and manufacturers would have to pre-load this type of functionality. I don't agree that virtualization will drive more downloads of apps onto a single device with dual partitions however. It has more to do with the change in application frameworks rather than optimizing bare metal VMWare hosts in mobile devices. You wouldn't be able to run Android and iOS4 on the same device anyway. You might want RIM Blackberry for business and Windows Mobile 7 or WebOS for personal apps, for example. Developers are getting tired of the multi-platform treadmill for keeping various versions of mobile apps up to date. You create a "rich" web experience app using the latest HTML5 standards first and then wrap native code around it for the downloadable version. More advancement in local cache storage will alleviate the bandwidth demands too. This way your users to get the same look and feel and predictable UI behavior, no matter if it's downloaded from an app store or running in the mobile browser.
Results tagged “html5”
The HTML5 Video wars have settled into two camps. Microsoft and Apple support H.264. This video codec was recently freed by the MPEG LA but only for video free to view by end users ("Internet Broadcast AVC Video"). Google open sourced its VP8 video in May under the WebM open Web media project with a BSD-style, royalty-free license. Mozilla and Opera support WebM. I think H.264 is a short-term solution for Apple given the fact that the MPEG LA can change the fee structure in 2016. There is a possibility in the mean time that a pass-through fee could be imposed for protected video content running over iTV. Apple needs to get moving quickly on the follow-on to H.264 - HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, aka H.265). HEVC aims to reduce bitrate requirements by half through increased computational complexity. Targeted at next generation HDTV systems with progressive scanned frame rates and scalable from QVGA to 1080p, it will fully replace the H.264. Apple also needs to make sure that its processors will be able to handle the future compression (3x or more) while preserving battery life and reducing device heat dissipation. Video standards can't be "free to roam or make a home out of everywhere they've been." It's too costly for content creators to publish to conflicting standards.
Lars Rasmussen and his brother Jens, the creators of Google Maps, trotted out a first look at their latest development, Google Wave, at the I/O developer conference last week. The audience gave them a pass on a few mishaps, but overall the new application was quite impressive. Wave introduces new concepts in communication by thinking of conversations as container objects where you can drag and drop people, threads, links, documents, images and even robots that enable the content to instantly appear on connected clients over the Internet. Wave is written entirely in the Google Web Toolkit (GWT "Gwit"). The developer codes in Java and the tool converts to HTML5 & Ajax automatically. For developers, Wave stores updates to UI state in the local XML of your gadget. Then Google transmits that state over the network where the other instance of your gadget updates in real-time. Google estimates only 5% of the code needs to be adapted for mobile device browsers; most of which involve just a layout change. Wave removes the structure found in email replies by creating a hub of conversation trees where users can chime in at any level, playback what they've missed and leave replies for others to see. There is even support for Twitter using Twave to merge wave posts to and from the popular micro-blogging platform. My main concern is the amount of network traffic generated by hundreds or thousands of users in a real-time, collaborative web application. Another open issue is federated identity; Google requires users to have an account to access any of their applications. OpenSocial gadgets will be supported natively in Wave and I expect to see more consolidation in the social web authentication space this year. No wonder Google was quiet about Twitter acquisition rumors, they've got bigger ideas.
HTML5 is an optimistic standards effort designed to bring all browsers, markup languages and plug-in APIs under one common industry framework. There has been an accelerated effort in technologies designed to make SaaS more robust by making web applications "behave" more like fat desktop applications. Concerns about connectivity, web response time and user experience have tapered the widespread adoption of these applications in the enterprise. Most success has occurred in the consumer/social web space. One promising development is the proliferation storage APIs. This facility creates a small database that is installed on the end user's client machine to enable access to application features normally operated while connected to the Internet. The one year old Google Gears is making some headway. MySpace has integrated Gears into its messaging application. Yahoo has introduced BrowserPlus in an effort to challenge both Google and Adobe Air. The idea is to have a web application accessible from the user's desktop much like a tray application or a native OS-based executable. One Yahoo demo allows users to edit photos on a desktop with Flickr before uploading to the web thereby increasing the speed and performance of such an operation. Most RIA APIs provide three things: a local database ("SQL Light"), a local object caching mechanism for images or web pages and thread pools to allow asynchronous tasks to occur in the background. These are the integral components of the architecture that enables a rich user experience. Go check out Buzzword.com for an Adobe example of a word processor written entirely in Flex. This brings us back to HTML5. Microsoft, Adobe and others (like CURL) are pushing ahead using some of the storage APIs from HTML5 but leaving other parts of the standard on the shelf. Apple has supported the Webkit open source project with Safari and has re-engineered their own site (removed Adobe Flash & PDFs) by using Ajax instead of proprietary alternatives. It will become increasingly difficult to try to adopt some kind of standard; HTML4 was probably the most successful. Innovation is very impatient with the standards process altogether I'm afraid. Being locked in to a proprietary approach may continue to inhibit the adoption in the enterprise. Most IT shops will choose to utilize a best of breed approach for specific RIA implementations in the short term.