Circumventing mobile UX expectations

Recently, a buddy of mine pointed me to an interesting tweet:

New tool converts your Apple #iOS apps to #HTML5 http://dld.bz/cejxz #appdev

The article about this new tool, dubbed the ”Intel HTML5 App Porter Tool” suggests that because iOS apps are limited to one platform, HTML5:

represents an opportunity because it’s supported across a wide range of different devices and operating systems, so it enables the same code base to be reused across different app deployments.

While technically this statement is true – HTML5 is ubiquitous and you do end up with a single code base – HTML5 is the lowest common app development denominator and thus produces an underwhelming experience when compared to its native brethren.

Taking a native iOS (or Android) app and recasting it into an HTML5 app is like taking your beautiful Ferrari and trading it for a station wagon. The experience will never be quite the same.

Don’t get caught up in the HTML5 hype-cycle. It’s a great platform for mobile web sites, but if you’re building a mobile app, the UX bar has been set quite high. You cannot yet meet that bar with HTML5.