Take hardware. Using a Dell or a Mac, you still interact with web applications in basically the same way, with a mouse or trackpad and a keyboard. Hardware variation rarely impacts basic web-browsing functionality. Now consider the differences between a Blackberry and an iPhone. Or a Samsung and a Nokia. Different screen sizes, different levels of computing power, different pixel densities, different operating systems, and very different means of interacting with each device. EachScape CEO Ludo Collin, whose company has developed mobile applications for clients like NBC and Discovery Networks, says that developing for HTML5 is “ten times more complicated than iOS” since developers need to account for such a mind-numbing degree of variation.
And despite their current ubiquity in the U.S., it should be remembered that smartphones – and thus mobile development platforms in general – are a relatively recent phenomenon, meaning that standards and languages aren’t as mature as those in the desktop world. HTML5 is still “half-baked” in Collin’s opinion and won’t provide the magical, cross-platform performance expected of it for years.