In an effort to push HTML5 app development, AT&T has released a new application programming interface (API) platform containing APIs for SMS, MMS, mobile-health, and location, as well as other tools to entice HTML5’s appeal.
As for the reasoning behind the API platform’s launch, AT&T’s chief marketing officer David Christopher used the AT&T Developer Summit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to say that it was done to address fragmentation issues. App developers typically have the tedious task of rewriting native applications for Android devices, BlackBerrys, iPhones, and Windows Phones. By creating HTML5 apps, the process is simplified, as users of different devices can access them via browsers, all while maintaining the look and feel of native apps. Christopher’s stance was strengthened by a statistic provided by Strategy Analytics, which projects 85 percent of smartphones to have HTML5-capable browsers by 2016.
AT&T’s new platform also comes with other appealing features in addition to its set of APIs, including technology that will optimize an app’s performance and functionality based on a specific smartphone’s detected capabilities. Developers can also employ in-app purchases that will appear on a customer’s AT&T bill. Use of the APIs is available for a fee of $99, which covers registration. API hosting takes place on cloud services such as Microsoft’s Azure and Heroku.
To further its dedication to HTML5, AT&T announced plans to open a HTML5 app store later this year. Android and iPhone owners will have the first crack at the store, but the company said other devices would gain access to the store at a later date. The store is expected to carry a layout similar to a magazine, rather than the typical app store design that lists apps in categories.