Could this finally be the year that HTML5 development takes off? AT&T (NYSE: T) plans to give those thinking about plunging ahead with a mobile browser strategy a few reasons to create apps for phones on its network.
The carrier announced the details of a new initiative that will allow mobile app developers to write HTML5 apps that can access some features of the phone that are unique to AT&T’s network, such as picture text-messaging and location services. AT&T will then distribute those apps on an app store that will be accessible to iPhone and Android users and will let those users pay for apps or in-app purchases by putting the charge on their monthly wireless bill.
“The two things that are the biggest challenges for HTML5 to reach its full potential are distribution and monetization,” said AT&T’s David Christopher, chief marketing officer, at AT&T’s Developer Summit, according to IDG News Service. We’ve been over the inherent promises and challenges of HTML5 mobile development: apps that can truly work across platforms are extremely intriguing, but only when they work well.
By giving access to device-level features and an established billing network, AT&T might be able to entice a few mobile developers to list their apps with the carrier, which hasn’t been top-of-mind for developers in a world dominated by Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.