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Strobe Releases Platform for Building HTML5 Apps

Developers have a new tool to add to their arsenal, as Strobe Inc. recently released a new platform that enhances the process of building HTML5-based web applications. With the platform, developers can easily manage and create apps for desktops, smartphones, and tablets with maximum efficiency.

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By: wubayou
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September 08, 2011

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Developers have a new tool to add to their arsenal, as Strobe Inc. recently released a new platform that enhances the process of building HTML5-based web applications. With the platform, developers can easily manage and create apps for desktops, smartphones, and tablets with maximum efficiency.

Perhaps Strobe’s most appealing characteristic is the way in which it centralizes the management of the app development process through its interface.  With just one interface, developers have the power to manage both test and production code plus configure app deployment across the web, iOS, Android, and other platforms.  The interface gives developers access to track analytics and implement additional services such as authentication, social add-ons, push notifications, and more.

Strobe’s core founders include Carl Lerche, Yehuda Katz, and Charles Jolley.  Lerche has served as a Ruby on Rails Core Team member, and Katz has held the distinction of being a team member of jQuery, Ruby on Rails, and SproutCore.  Jolley previously served as Apple’s JavaScript Frameworks Manager.  He’s credited with being the creator of SproutCore, an open-source JavaScript framework that is used by the Strobe platform and Apple’s web services.

Since Strobe is currently in its beta testing phase, the platform is without some of its features that will accompany its full release.  One current omission is the tracking analytics feature.  It’s set to be released in the next few weeks with support limited to the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.  Strobe promises that its platform will come equipped with full functionality once it passes the beta phase, however.  The company will write most of the add-ons itself, but will also solicit the help of service providers to do so.  Beyond the authentication and push notification functionalities mentioned earlier, persistence, or data saving, is also said to be part of Strobe’s complete package.  Its strength in the realm of improved app discovery should appeal to developers too.

Access to Strobe’s private beta is available at http://www.strobecorp.com/products-platform/#platform

For more on this topic, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/strobe-launches-game-changing-html5-app-platform/2011/09/01/gIQATaKbuJ_story.html

HTML5’s Appeal to Companies Continues to Gain Momentum

HTML5’s presence as a programming language has soared over the last year and a half.  Industry giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google have all praised HTML5 in one form or another and other companies seem to be following their lead.  If you look at recent moves from Amazon, Box.net, and LinkedIn, HTML5’s bright future appears to be more certainty than speculation.

HTML5 is the latest edition of HTML that offers a comprehensive collection of capabilities and features that strive to give websites behavior similar to common desktop applications.  HTML5’s ability to handle complex interactions, incorporate video, and its compatibility with a variety of modern devices in the form of smartphones, tablets, and more help to give it the upper hand over its ancestors.  Although HTML5 has been in the works since the early 21st century, it wasn’t until former Apple CEO Steve Jobs publicly praised the language that it began to boom in popularity.  Jobs essentially described HTML5 as the web’s future, favoring it over Adobe Flash.  As a result, many companies have now turned to HTML5 to increase efficiency and eliminate problems associated with having to develop for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.

Video search engine MeFeedia recently released a survey that put HTML5’s growing presence on display. According to the survey, approximately 69 percent of web video is now HTML5-compatible.  That’s a large jump from 54 percent in December 2010 and an even huger jump from 10 percent in January 2010.  Faruk Ates, a web consultant who previously worked for Apple, commented on HTML5’s growth, saying, “Developers out there are getting better at supporting all of HTML5's more critical features, which is why we're seeing more publishers building the actual experiences they want using web technologies.“

As for recent signals pointing to further HTML5 success, Amazon’s Cloud Reader app for Kindle users recently embraced the technology, and other apps have done the same, such as those from LinkedIn and Box.net.  Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.net, praised HTML5 for its comprehensive nature and powerful features.  As for his company’s HTML5 adoption, Levie said, “We probably could have supported it a year ago.”

Of course, HTML5’s future is not completely free of any speed bumps, and it will likely experience some growing pains along the way.  HTML5 apps are noted for their limited functionality, especially when put side-by-side with native versions.  The LinkedIn HTML5 app, for instance, offers similar features but has an interface that is not as impressive aesthetically.  Cameras and other areas of mobile devices are sometimes hard to access as well with HTML5.  “Generally, there are certain areas where native is going to do better for you, like media photos and pictures.  It's sometimes a little harder to get at via HTML5,” said LinkedIn’s mobile product head Joff Redfern.  

HTML5 also faces obstacles in terms of distribution and the fact that many consumers are still unaware of the language.  Regardless, with praise from Apple, Microsoft, and others, and companies like Amazon and LinkedIn making the shift, the sky appears to be the limit for HTML5.

For more on this topic, visit http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/30/why-companies-are-flocking-to-html5/?section=magazines_fortune


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