Ideas for the Mobility Strategy

Mobility Strategy – Remain Device Independent/Adopt HMTL5

One of the best mobility strategies for the US Federal Government is to adopt a mobile policy that is device independent. By adopting standards like HTML 5, developers can develop once and deploy to multiple devices. This would protect the Government’s technology investments, and would provide the Government with the most flexibility in terms of dealing with new and unforeseen technology advancements. The mobile computing space, is a rapidly changing environment, as evident in today’s mobile marketplace. We are seeing the decline of the Blackberry Device, which was once unthinkable, the rise in popularity for the Google Android platform, and the new emergence of new technologies like APPLE TV, and Google TV. The mobility marketplace is extremely competitive and dynamitic, making it difficult to foresee and predict what device or platform is the next “BIG THING”. So my suggestion, is to adopt Standards like HTML 5 with a “Device Independence” as guiding principal for government mobile policy.


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  1. The Idea titled Develop cross-platform apps in HTML5 and host in the cloud was merged with this Idea
  2. Status Changed from Pending Approval to Active
  3. The Idea titled Require HTML5 vs Native Mobile App Analysis was merged with this Idea
  4. Flag Status Changed from Default to Flagged
  5. Status Changed from Active to Pending Approval
  6. The idea was posted


  1. Comment

    Significantly drive down development and maintenance costs by developing apps on a single platform that can be packaged to run as a faux-native app on all major smart-phone/tablet platforms. Also enables the reuse of mobile apps on the web, driving a unified experience.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      I listened to your webinar - I'm glad that you chose to cover this topic, it's very timely. However, I found the assessments of mobile web vs. native to be relevant based on the state of the technology in 2010. There has been significant progress in the past 6 months. Platforms such as PhoneGap enable access to expanded native hardware and functionality, including GPS, cameras, local storage, and push notification. Frameworks such as Sencha Touch enable a consistent UI experience across platforms. This matrix provides a quick view of what capabilities are available to mobile web apps:

      There are certainly applications that demand the complexity of native mobile solutions, but it's not as nuanced of a decision as it might have been a year ago. The times they are a changin'.

      Comments on this comment

      1. Comment
        Gwynne Kostin
        ( Moderator )

        Thanks for listening to the webinar! I don't think that we disagree that there has been plenty of progress in cross-platform tools. I think that we part on the meaning of nuance. I never believe in silver bullets or other Holy Grails. The smart move is to take a look at requirements and line them up against the capabilities of the options. Good idea to look at these types of dev tools and frameworks, which continue to improve, and see if they make sense.

  2. Comment

    I'm sold on better uses of standards (and making sure they're not outdated by the time they're fielded).

    This would also help ensure there's not an 'app lock in' as in they only buid an app for one platform, or ony build web apps but not mobie versions.

  3. Comment

    HTML 5 and CSS 3 enable rich applications on mobile devices that can look just like the native apps from the app store.

  4. Comment
    John Aguinaldo

    Federal application developers should be required to document an HTML5 vs Native Mobile App analysis before diving in and investing in building a native mobile application.

    If after analysis the investment in developing a Native Mobile App is determined to be the best design, then a Native Mobile App justification document should be compiled to explain why.

    This simple exercise can prevent a significant unnecessary waste of resources by forcing developers to think through the design issues and formally document their design decision.

    There are many legitimate reasons to develop native mobile Apps (however, many recent improvements in HTML5 have narrowed the gap)

    Let's make sure the taxpayer's money isn't being wasted unnecessarily building native mobile apps when a less expensive, more widely deployable HTML5 application could have easily sufficed.

    I'm not one for lots of regulation and oversight, so this is just an idea that I'm not sure how it should best be implemented... This analysis does need to be performed. I don't think it requires draconian oversight though.

    Will developers continue to develop native apps for the wrong reasons? Probably. But at least they now have stated their justification which they can be held accountable for later.