HTML and CSS Reference
• Hybrid approaches and frameworks, which try to bridge the gap of HTML5 and
• True, bleeding edge, mobile web frameworks, which are trying to conquer the native
Couple a fast and responsive mobile web app with your existing enterprise infrastruc‐
ture, and let the games begin. Web standards are quickly closing the gap on missing
native features, and device makers are catching up on implementing them. As of Android
3.1, for example, you can capture photos and videos due to the Media Capture API
The W3C is a busy place these days, and developers are moving specifications and better
use cases forward. Projects like jQuery are calling on the open source community to
participate in these specifications and to submit their ideas for a better Web.
It only makes sense that mobile developers are leaning in favor of writing once, and
running their app anywhere. Write once, run anywhere , or WORA , received a lot of
fanfare after Sun's JVM started to emerge in the enterprise. With HTML5, WORA ba‐
that a native application can (the device GPS, camera, accelerometer, etc.). This ap‐
proach has given new life to browsers and a language (HTML) that was once only used
to serve up documents—not apps.
To truly achieve that native look and feel, not only does your app need to respond quickly,
but it must also look good. These days, the big secret to getting your native app listed
in an App Store Top 10 list is to have a good-looking design. That's all it takes. If you
have a killer data-driven application using all the latest device bells and whistles, it will
not make it very far without a good clean design.
Overall, the Web has its own look and feel, and everyone knows that. There isn't a default
look that will make all your users happy, however, so the burden is on you and your
design team to create an attractive user experience.
iOS definitely has its own Mobile Web look and feel that mimics its native apps, but
what about Android, Windows Mobile, Kindle, and all the other devices? Even if you
could get your web app to respond like a native application, how do you conquer making
it look like one? Because you are most concerned with only the three or four leading
platforms, you could create three native skins for your target platforms and a default
web look and feel for all the others.
Theresa Neil does a great job of explaining UI patterns for native apps in Mobile Design
trending patterns in mobile design.