Is it surprising that developers say they love the latest version of HMTL5? That’s what seems to be happening. According to a survey from Sencha, a provider of open source Web application frameworks, enthusiasm is only growing for HTML5 while support wanes for the classic Microsoft Windows platform.
The company polled more than 2,100 business applications developers during December and January. Among its findings:
- More than 60 percent of developers have converted to HTML5 and hybrid development for their key projects. Less than 10 percent are still using pre-HTML5 Web technologies.
- More than 70 percent of HTML5/hybrid developers are using HTML5 more this year than last, and 75 percent intend to use it more in 2015.
- 19 percent of native mobile developers expect to use native technologies less in the future.
- The HTML5 features in most common use include CSS3 styling, local storage, animations/transitions, HTML5 video and the canvas drawing API.
- Over 46 percent are using HTML5 technologies delivered via Web browser, but an additional 15 percent are primarily deploying to mobile using hybrid packaging technologies such as Apache Cordova.
- Only 20 percent have switched from Web technologies to native mobile technologies.
- 30 percent have dropped support for classic Windows for desktops and laptops, though it still remains the most supported platform. Interestingly, 23 percent of developers say they support Windows tablets, but only 13 percent test their applications on them.
“The days of developers supporting just Windows desktops or just iPhones with their applications are over,” the report says. Half of developers support both mobile devices and desktops for their main apps. The “typical developer” supports Windows classic, Mac OS, iPhone, iPad and at least one Android phone. Only about a fifth target mobile devices exclusively, and one third focus on desktops.
The top three reasons developers choose HTML5 are the ability to use a single code base to reach their entire audience, the higher productivity of development with Web technologies and the ability to re-use existing Web development skills.
The top reasons for those using mobile technologies are a perception of higher performance, the ability to produce a look and feel that matches the platform, and the ability to secure application data using mobile device managers.
A recent Forrester report, however, found that apps using HTML5 take longer to deliver due to the testing and bug fixing required, and tend to be sluggish on mobile devices.