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Marketing your HTML 5 app

 
David Sachdev
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In the book do you share your thoughts on any pitfalls or workaround in terms of making sure that your HTML5 application gets the proper exposure in order to make its way out the masses in absence of the App Store? I would be curious if you had any thoughts to share on that topic. I think that the Financial Times (ft.com) HTML5 application is wonderful, and it is interesting how they are trying to use other smaller apps in the App Store to make people aware of their new HTML5 only app. They already have an iOS app, and have essentially demoted it in favor of a cross-browser HTML5 solution that includes pod-casts, and allows for offline access.

There are some interesting articles on some issue that they did have, and it is also interesting to take a look at the "help wanted" posting in the app to see what their team structure is like, and what it took to make the app (less then I thought it would have).

Some interesting links on the HTML 5 process for them, and some issues they have had in terms of getting it to work across all mobile platforms:

http://www.tomhume.org/2011/10/appftcom-and-the-co...f-cross-platform-web-apps.html

http://blog.cohen-rose.org/2011/10/over-air-2011-f...ohenRose+%28Adam+Cohen-Rose%29

Interested in your thoughts...and very interested to see how the book turns out.

David
 
Robin Nixon
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In my book I show how to create both Web Apps and standalone apps, so the reader has the choice. I have offered both types myself and have found that standalone apps are far more popular, mainly because I don't have great marketing resources. You need to have the marketing muscle of a huge PR department and the money to extensively promote outside of the iTunes App store or Android market. If you do, like News Corp, you can get great results.

I can report, though, that by rebundling my web content as free apps I have been able to generate hundreds of thousands of downloads across the stores - at no cost at all. In some of them I point to paid versions of the apps with much more content, and I'm making about $5,000 a year and growing from that. But only from iTunes. In the Android market I get lots of downloads of free apps but not many sales of paid apps, for some reason.

Generally I have had no issues of cross-platform problems because I follow my own advice in the book about how to cater for all main browsers and devices.
 
David Sachdev
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Did you face any of the slowness that they mention in terms of CSS:

[From the ft.com team]

Android is by far the poorest web environment when compared with iOS and QNX
mainly due to lack of hardware-accelerated CSS transitions
so FT have a native Android app which has a single native component – the gallery to enable swiping
the rest of the app is HTML/CSS/JS
QNX has a native app too, but only to have a home screen icon and to provide distribution


Robin Nixon wrote:In my book I show how to create both Web Apps and standalone apps, so the reader has the choice. I have offered both types myself and have found that standalone apps are far more popular, mainly because I don't have great marketing resources. You need to have the marketing muscle of a huge PR department and the money to extensively promote outside of the iTunes App store or Android market. If you do, like News Corp, you can get great results.

I can report, though, that by rebundling my web content as free apps I have been able to generate hundreds of thousands of downloads across the stores - at no cost at all. In some of them I point to paid versions of the apps with much more content, and I'm making about $5,000 a year and growing from that. But only from iTunes. In the Android market I get lots of downloads of free apps but not many sales of paid apps, for some reason.

Generally I have had no issues of cross-platform problems because I follow my own advice in the book about how to cater for all main browsers and devices.
 
Robin Nixon
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I test my apps on the simulator and a handful of Android devices I keep for that purpose. If any screen seems sluggish due to over-use of a transition etc I will modify it until I'm happy. On the other hand I wrote some great effects in JavaScript for one app that worked very well on Android and was appallingly slow in iOS. I couldn't see how to optimize it any further for iOS so I shelved it. There was a CSS transition that was similar, however, and that worked well on both and was a reasonable compromize.

So, yes, if you don't write native apps you may have to make some compromises with the end result if your app is quite dynamic.
 
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