Both HTML5 and mobile web are promising technologies. Both have relatively short histories.
In this chapter, most topics we will be covering are relatively basic. This is to help you get
started with mobile development quickly and with minimum effort.
Both mobile and HTML5 are still evolving in nature and there could be many questions in
your mind. We will clear those doubts and set your mind focused on things that matter.
The mobile web is growing fast. We now have mobile Safari which is one of the most used apps
on the iPhone, allowing developers to build high performance web applications and enhancing
users' browsing experience. You do not need a developer account to host and run a mobile
site, you don't need to get approval from any app market to launch a mobile website and you
can make updates any time you like without the hassle of waiting for approval. All these are
benefits of mobile web development, but at the same time, there are challenges such as
inconsistencies among browsers, the lack of certain features compared to native apps, and
security. We can't tackle them all, but we sure can solve some of them. And we will see, when
developing a mobile site, how we can separate the common practices from the best practices.
There are literally thousands of smartphones out there; you don't need every single one of
them to test your application on. In fact, you may need fewer than 10. If that's still out of your
budget, then two devices are good enough. For the rest, you can use simulators/emulators to
do the job. This focuses on six A-grade mobile devices, with focus specifically on iPhone,
Android, and Windows Phone:
- ff Windows Mobile
- ff Blackberry v6.0 and above
- ff Symbian 60
- ff Palm web-OS
There are two browsers that are device-independent that will also be covered.
- Opera Mobile
- Firefox Mobile
Just because other browsers are not in the list does not mean they won't be covered by the
issues and techniques we discuss.