20 HTML5 Mobile Application Development Tips

Josh Oakhurst

  • Reading Time  Min Read
  • Publish Date July 2, 2012

Have you decided that you’re going to build a cross-platform HTML5 mobile application instead of going the native route? In this video from our recent Tech Talk, [Hunter Loftis] (, shares some HTML5 mobile app development tips, tricks, and gotchas. The presentation is interactive so grab your phone and view some examples.


In addition to real-world case studies from our shop, and a sweet, follow-along-demo, below are the 20 HTML development rules covered in the presentation that will improve your mobile applications and factor in many of the diverse smartphone and tablet hardware challenges.

HTML5 Mobile App Development Tips

  1. Aim low

  2. Ignore standards and useability

  3. Debug on real devices; not software, not your iPhone

  4. Ignore feature detection

  5. Assume you’re offline

  6. Store data locally

  7. Forget jQuery

  8. Write touch events yourself

  9. Avoid frameworks

  10. Use alert()

  11. Learn microlibraries

  12. Use specific forms

  13. Link to maps and phone numbers (easy)

  14. Limit your DOM updates

  15. Never animate with JavaScript (use CSS3 instead)

  16. Keep it async

  17. Embrace GeoLocation

  18. Protect your state

  19. Make your app turn itself off

  20. …and a few more (peep the video)

One of my favorite points in the 30 minute video is where Hunter casually discusses your user’s “suspension of disbelief” (a great re-appropriation from fictional narratives). Our free Tech Talks are held one Friday per month, and we hope you’ll soon join us.

Web Optimized, HTML5, Hybrid, or Native App?

Still not sure what flavor of mobile application development is right for you? Hunter has covered that in a previous video as well.

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