The growth of mobile phone usage worldwide has been astounding to say the least. According to digitalbuzz, “Over 70% of the world’s population now has a mobile phone, that’s over 5 billion mobile subscribers, and in places like the US, it’s 9 in 10 people. Apple has sold almost 60 million iPhones world wide, while Google’s Android OS is growing at 886% year on year and now activating over 160,000 devices a day, across 60 devices in over 40 countries.”
There are hundreds of thousands of apps available for Apple and Android smart phones with another combined 200,000 approximately in development. Wow, does that make your brain hurt or what? Good news is there is now a new a mobile browser to use for that!
On October 31, appMobi located in San Francisco announced immediate availability of its MobiUs product, the world’s first Web app browser, bringing native app functionality to Web apps and websites developed specifically to run apps written in HTML5.
appMobi is the world’s leading HTML5 development ecosystem, offering developers a stack of easy to use tools and services for the development, deployment and monetization of HTML5 apps.
“appMobi’s mission is to provide the missing features that will allow HTML5 to compete and win against proprietary solutions. Specifically, these features include an HTML5 development, debugging, and build system, user authentication, ‘touch to buy’, push notifications, user analytics, and on-device app updates. appMobi has created best-of-breed solutions for each of these issues.”
“appMobi’s XDK (cross platform development kit) allows developers to use HTML5 technology to create fully functional mobile apps that run across different hardware platforms, including Android and iOs.”
Key features of MobiUs include:
- Mobile-optimised Web app caching for instant access to Web apps even when the device isn’t connected
- DirectCanvas for supercharged game speed and performance
- Web-based Push notifications for user engagement
- Built-in eCommerce capability through appMobi’s 1Touch digital wallet technology
- Mobile-optimised tabbed browsing
- Full screen browsing
- Orientation locking
- In-app access to device hardware functionalities such as the accelerometer, GPS, compass, vibration, microphone, camera and more.
Melissa Burns, Executive Vice President Mobility Public Relations, notes, “MobiUs is a revolutionary new mobile browser that for the first time powers Web apps and even websites with the exact same capabilities as native apps from the app stores.”
She continues, “MobiUs works either as a standalone mobile browser, or it can power Web apps and websites with full native app functionality from a person’s favourite mobile browser, such as the Safari browser for iPhone. MobiUs for iOS is available in the Apple App Store as a free app.”
Sam Abadir, Founder, Chairman and CTO, explains, “Until now, Web apps and websites have had limited capabilities, technically incapable of utilising the great features that made smartphones so popular: gravity sensing, accelerometer, GPS, camera, sound and vibration, file system, and more.”
“MobiUs integrates powerful APIs from PhoneGap and appMobi to give Web apps the same performance, look and feel as native apps. HTML5 Offline Caching lets MobiUs run Web apps even when network connectivity is unavailable. Once a Web app is bookmarked in MobiUs, the app is stored on the smartphone, so it loads instantly and can run with or without Internet connectivity, just like a native app.”
Melissa offers, “MobiUs represents the state of the art in mobile browsing technology; with an optimised user experience that leverages new capabilities enabled by the emerging HTML5 standard, plus enhanced capabilities engineered by appMobi.”
“Because gameplay accounts for a large percentage of the time people spend with their smartphones, appMobi has embedded its DirectCanvas HTML5 game acceleration technology within MobiUs. DirectCanvas supercharges the performance of a game’s physics calculation and screen drawing by an astounding 500 per cent, making Web games played via MobiUs as fast and responsive as native app games.”
“MobiUs is huge, with the power to disrupt everything you know about mobile apps, where you get them and how developers and publishers benefit from them,” says Sam Abadir.
He provides, “What has been particularly exciting for us is the early interest in MobiUs from some of our game developer customers. Game developers always push technology to the absolute edge of its limitations in order to make entertaining, thrilling and compelling games, and they are finding the combination of MobiUs and appMobi’s GameDev XDK gives them performance up to and even beyond the speed and capabilities of Adobe Flash.”
Executive Vice President Burns touts the benefits of MobiUs, “If mobile users want to harness the power of MobiUs while continuing to use their favourite browser, they can. To invoke MobiUs, mobile app developers simply add an HTML tag to their Web app hyperlinks which allows their Web apps to run on a user’s device through any mobile browser.”
“Increasingly, smartphone apps utilise push notifications to send messages to users about something new that requires their attention. MobiUs is the first smartphone browser to enable push notifications for HTML5, giving Web apps the power of push notifications not just in the form of familiar text notifications, but with full multimedia messages powered by HTML5 that can include text, animations, audio and video messages.”
“MobiUs also includes appMobi’s breakthrough 1Touch digital wallet technology, allowing developers to include a single click payment process within their Web apps. 1Touch users avoid the privacy and security risks associated with storing personal financial information like credit card numbers and addresses in large, at-risk databases in the cloud, susceptible to massive hacks and security breaches. Instead, 1Touch securely stores encrypted credit card information on the device, only decrypted when purchases are made.”
“The MobiUs browser makes the mobile Web far more immersive by allowing Web developers to access all of the functions that native apps can access, effectively creating the performance of a native app in a mobile website. Viewed in MobiUs, mobile sites are able to make use of device functionalities such as the accelerometer, GPS, compass, vibration, microphone, camera and more.”
CTO Abadir expounds, “With MobiUs on the scene, the ‘walled garden’ is now a public space. There are many good reasons why app publishers might still want to use the walled garden app stores, but for the first time, MobiUs gives them a real choice between distributing by app store or the open Web.”
“The appMobi platform and MobiUs allow any HTML5 developer to create and market mobile apps on the open Web that are indistinguishable from native apps in performance and functionality. MobiUs truly empowers Web apps and opens up the entire World Wide Web as the new app store.”
Burns follows up, “Over the past year appMobi has released a number of tools into the hands of developers, arming them with everything they need to build, deploy, measure and monetise their cross platform mobile apps. Tens of thousands of developers have joined appMobi, leveraging the company’s tools and services to build incredible mobile apps.”
“We are glad they took the time to learn more about MobiUs. Beyond MobiUs, appMobi has an even grander vision for how HTML5 will drive change, and we look forward to the opportunity to keep developers abreast of these changes as they inevitably happen. There is no question that the app landscape a year from now will be dramatically different from what we see today.”
appMobi CEO Dave Kennedy summarizes, “We cannot even begin to imagine the ways that developers will amaze us with the apps they will conceive of and build with our development tools. But one thing is patently clear. HTML5 is the future, and it is going to change everything you and I know about how and where people get their mobile apps. With MobiUs, appMobi has truly leveled the mobile app playing field, and it will never be the same again.”
MobiUs for iOS is available today in the Apple App Store as a free app. MobiUs for Android will be available Q1 2012.
Developers who wish to publish with MobiUs can use the MobiUs SDK and appMobi’s free XDK HTML5 development tool.