HTML5 is to mobile applications what Jackson 5 was to Motown – pretty jazzy. Web applications have been written in HTML or derivatives of HTML for years now, but HTML5 is busting onto the scene as the latest and greatest in development standards.

What’s so great about it?  Its enhancements allow web applications to look, act and behave more like a native application than ever before. Maybe that doesn’t mean much to you, but don’t Blame it on the Brogie: we recently spoke with MobilityCIO‘s Matt Brogie to get the breakdown of why HTML5 matters to CRE professionals.

First, wipe that quizzical look off your face. Here’s an easy explanation of web-based vs. native applications for mobile devices:

A native-application, or onboard application, is an application created for a specific mobile device and then downloaded to that device. It runs on that device whether or not you have internet connectivity.

A web-based application, or browser-based application, is exactly like a web application you would use on your desktop computer. It runs somewhere in the cloud and can be accessed from any internet connected device – iPhone, Android, Blackberry, tablet, you name it.

And now, from the wisdom of Matt Brogie, here are HTML5’s Four Major Mobile Advances for CRE:

1. CSS Styling

HTML5 has better styling than a Beverly Hills salon. HTML5 helps to standardize the user interface across multiple devices. Whether you’re on an iPhone, Android or Blackberry, you can use an HTML5 based application that functions identically across all of those platforms. HTML5 homogenizes the experience across all the devices, creating a unprecedented standard for user interface.

What does this mean for your team? There are fewer training and adoption issues for web-based applications on mobile devices. Now how to get HTML5 for puppies…

2. Onboard Storage

Nice for a flight, nice for a mobile device. HTML5 gives you the ability to have data stored locally on your device through the browser. If you lose your internet or network connection from your phone, the application isn’t just dead in the water.

Up until HTML5, there was no way for a web application to store information locally on the mobile device. Now with HTML5, you can store data locally so when you do have an internet connection, you have access to whatever is on the back end. You can pull information for service calls, for example, and store it locally on your phone or tablet. Thus, if you lose your internet connection, you can still process against that locally stored data and the application lives on!

3. GEO Location Support- “The Machine Knows”

You know that scene from The Office where Michael follows the GPS directions into a lake? Well, in most cases, GPS’s help you keep your head above water. GEO location support gives the web-based application access to location components and other tools on your phone – such as storage or a GPS reader.

Imagine a worker standing 30 feet from a piece of equipment that is three months overdue for its service. With access to GPS, the worker’s phone and application is aware of its surroundings and can beep, text and text-to-speech until its owner is too. Now you can finally know where you stand!

4. Extended Video and Audio Support

No one wants to rely on a third party when they don’t have to, and the same is true for streaming video and audio. Extended video and audio support without third party components is emerging very quickly in the HTML5 standard.

For a property management organization, this means that training videos, for example, can stream down to people’s phones through a basic web application. Send or watch a video of instructions for performing service on a complex piece of equipment without worrying what kind of phone the viewer is using.

In sum, the advances HTML5 gives to web-based applications brings them to a level where the experience is as good as a native application.  When you take all the other benefits of web-based applications and pile it together, it exceeds the need for native applications. Decision Makers take note: because of the advances in HTML, web-based applications will likely overtake native applications, like Jackson 5 and the charts.

Watch Matt Brogie discuss more mobile trends and forecasts in this clip from our recent webinar, Building Operations in Your Pocket:

The Future of Mobile (8:11)

Building Engines is a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Web and Mobile Property Management and Operations Software