W3C Issues Best Practices to Create Smarter Mobile Web Applications

http://www.w3.org/ -- 14 December 2010 -- W3C today announced a new standard that will make it easier for developers and content providers to create dynamic mobile Web applications. The Mobile Web Application Best Practices, published as a W3C Recommendation, offers practical advice from many mobile Web stakeholders for the easy development and the deployment of mobile Web applications that work across many platforms.

“I am very excited about this document, which I've already used myself to ensure that the W3C Cheat Sheet, a mobile Web application, works not just on mobile devices, but on all devices,” said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Mobile Web Initiative Lead. “These guidelines include sound advice from real-world Web apps developers, telcos, and browser vendors.”

Mobile Web Applications Have a Bright Future

Application designers value the ability to write code once and have it work in multiple environments. The rapid growth of the market for mobile applications has increased the appeal of using the Web as development platform on these devices as well; that point is made in a white paper from a GIA analyst. Web applications are already replacing native applications in many computers, and we expect a similar trend on mobile devices in the near future since the Web platform addresses the fragmentation issues so familiar to mobile developers. The Web also makes it fast and easy to deploy and update applications without requiring any intervention of the user, and enables seamless integration of cloud-based services. Users, too, recognize the value of Web-based applications.

Clear Guidelines for Full Integration in W3C's Open Web Platform

Mobile Web Application Best Practices flip card excerpt
The Mobile Web Application Best Practices Cards summarize the Guidelines

With the ongoing work in the HTML5, CSS3, SVG, and WAI-ARIA Working Groups, the Web is catching up quickly with the ability to build a superior user interface. This concerted work drives innovations and new usages that only the Web platform enables. W3C is creating an even more powerful platform for developers, including better hardware and sensors integration. The Web Applications, Web Notifications, Web Events, Device APIs and Policy, and Geolocation Working Groups are bringing a wealth of JavaScript APIs that will reduce the gap between Web and native applications in the coming months and years.

Mobile Web Application Best Practices offers guidance on which Web technologies are particularly relevant on mobile devices. The guidelines also indicate how to design Web applications that are responsive to their usage context, while sparing the network and optimizing response time to significantly boost the overall mobile user experience.

Participation by the Mobile Industry

The Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group participants, including key leaders from the mobile industry, are declaring their support for today's set of published mobile Web application guidelines. The group is composed of: AT&T, The Boeing Company, China Unicom, China Electronics Standardization Institute, Deutsche Telekom, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Fundación ONCE, France Telecom, Google, HP, MobileAware, Mobile Web 2.0 Forum, Nokia, Novarra, Openwave Systems, Opera Software, Rochester Institute of Technology, SK Telecom, Telefónica de España, University of Manchester, Vishwak Solutions, Vodafone, Volantis and invited experts.

Support from the MobiWebApp project, part of the European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7/2010-2012), enables W3C to continue to actively develop extensive test suites and online training courses in this area.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 300 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Media Contacts

Contact Americas, Australia
Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447
Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33 6 76 86 33 41