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Summary:

HTML5 development tool provider appMobi is putting together a Black Friday deal for developers as it open-sources many key HTML5 technologies that it hopes should help spur the building of more mobile web apps that can compete with native apps.

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HTML5 development tool provider appMobi is putting together a Black Friday deal for programmers as it open-sources many key HTML5 technologies that it hopes should help spur on the building of more mobile web apps. AppMobi is trying to help accelerate the market for HTML5 mobile apps and at the same time position itself to be a sort of Heroku or Red Hat for mobile HTML5.

AppMobi will be releasing APIs through GitHub this Friday that will help developers build native-like web apps. They include appMobi’s cross-platform device APIs, which support HTML5 development for both Android and iOS platform; the source code for appMobi’s “mobiUs” browser, which allows HTML5 web apps to perform like  native apps; and DirectCanvas, which helps with enhanced graphic rendering for 2D games. There are also APIs for a physics engine, offline and dynamic caching, a media player, authentication and encryption, augmented reality, bar code and QR scanner, and better display support.

The goal is to help mobile web developers to narrow the gap between web apps and native apps, which still often offer more functionality and performance. The DirectCanvas API, for example, can help game makers build gaming apps that are 5 to 20 times faster than existing mobile web apps. Other APIs can help developers access key hardware functions such as a device’s camera.

The plan all along for appMobi was to open-source its tools. The move will help create not only more HTML5 apps but also more hybrid apps that are built for native app platforms but rely a lot on HTML5. AppMobi will open-source its iOS XCode and Android Eclipse projects for developers who want to extend existing native apps with HTML5 tabs or views. That will allow developers, for example, to add JavaScript components and web services to native apps. But ultimately, appMobi hopes to push the pendulum all the way toward full HTML5 apps that can compete favorably against apps in the Android Market and Apple’s App Store.

“We view the core technology of HTML5 as a tide that floats all boats,” said Sam Abadir, appMobi’s CTO. “We think the world will do better apps with more functionality and a stable HTML5 environment.”

AppMobi hopes to make money through offering a host of back-end services for mobile web apps, things like messaging, in-app purchase and analytics. It hopes to lead the way with developer tools and services and make money off the growth of mobile web apps. AppMobi currently has about 27,000 developers, with thousands of apps deployed and 40,000 projects under development.

Increasingly, there is more movement toward mobile HTML5 development. HTML5 allows developers to build web and native apps on one code base using familiar languages for web developers. Facebook has been encouraging developers to build HTML5 web apps on its Facebook Platform. Abadir said other big players such as manufacturers, carriers and content companies are looking hard at building their own web app stores starting early next year. That should continue to open up the market for web apps, and appMobi is hoping it will be well-positioned to take advantage.

“There will be huge multibillion dollar winners in this HTML5 space, and we hope to be one of them,” Abadir said.

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