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As building websites for mobile devices is becoming an important area I have a question that has some sub questions regarding this new field and the main question is:

Will web development for mobile devices grow in the next few years?

The sub questions are:

  • Will there be standalone mobile web applications? meaning that a web application that is designed and developed to browse from mobile only?

  • What about the advertisements and how can companies and freelancers get money from their mobile web applications?

Cheers.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Yannis Rizos Jul 30 '13 at 5:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5 Answers

Will web development for mobile devices grow in the next few years?

In my opinion - definitely. My personal bet is that we start seeing ever more diverse form factors and interface types, though. I think Blackberries, Smart Phones, and pads are just the beginning of mobile options, and I think as touch screen technology becomes better understood the UI will just keep getting better... but possibly more demanding on web apps.

Will there be standalone mobile web applications? meaning that a web application that is designed and developed to browse from mobile only?

I would bet money that it's out there already.

I wonder, though - how much longer the world of the standalone web app will continue. Already, my favorite mobile and regular applications are a mix of many embedded pieces... I expect that trend to continue. I can see a situation where the same "app" has significantly different features from non-mobile to mobile. At what point does one say that that's a different app?

What about the advertisements and how can companies and freelancers get money from their mobile web applications?

Seems like the opportunities are already endless: - embedded ads in the content - pay for application - pay for additional features (or, in the case of games - extra game driven assets) - even when the "feature" is no-ads - pay for service - regular retail profit pricing - charge a service/transaction fee

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There already are standalone mobile web apps. The Financial Times (http://apps.ft.com/) built one in order to get around Apple's (now defunct) policy of requiring that companies who create apps with subscription services, such as magazines and newspapers, charge the same amount in the App Store as they do on the normal web. Since the FT didn't want to give Apple their 30%, and couldn't raise their prices to make up for it, they just made a mobile site that basically provides the same functionality as an app.

As for the money, I don't see any reason why mobile web apps couldn't use the exact same opportunities that any normal apps or web pages use now. The FT uses a subscription, but you could just as easily embed ads or whatnot.

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IMHO, there is a huge scope for mobile web development. Native apps have their own set of advantages, but there are a few drawbacks too. Consider following points:

  • Easy to develop. If you are already into web development, developing for mobile apps, wouldn't be too different from that. For native apps, you need to learn more languages, and have to be platform specific, which brings us to the next point...

  • Platform independent. Develop it once, and most platforms would be able to use it. There would be issues with browser support for sure, but that can be tackled pretty easily in most cases.

  • Easy deployment and updates. Web mobile apps would be developed and hosted on you own managed servers, and can be updated as frequently as you like. However, for native apps, there would be a third party review involved and the time to market would be high as well.

I agree, you cant develop a web app for each requirement and there are a lot of cases when you would have to go native. Native apps have a distinct advantage of being able to use the native APIs offered by the platform and direct interaction with the hardware, but with the advent of HTML5 along with frameworks like PhoneGap and Sencha Touch even that divide is being bridged to a huge extent.

For all of the above points, I'd say that this domain would sure flourish in the coming years and one can make money with the web apps as easily as they would with native ones.

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Not sure why I would build a purely phone only site. If I have a phone card on my laptop, am I mobile?

Mobile screen sizes are getting bigger, so ad display should improve. There may be better ways to integrate ads with the phone service itself. Click here if you want a text/email with more info. Once you can get porn on your mobile device, there will be advertising. A lot of free video forces you to watch a commercial first.

The mobile device may integrate with other apps built into kiosks, vending machines, or anthying else with a video display.

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Will web development for mobile devices grow in the next few years?

No doubt about it. Mobile web market is growing exponentially right now.

Will there be standalone mobile web applications? meaning that a web application that is designed and developed to browse from mobile only?

Yes, there already are such applications. Especially that on mobile devices you have APIs for geolocation (GPS and compass) which is great for all kinds of LBS applications, you have APIs for accelerometers, which is great for gaming. All of that bound to HTML5 w/ JS.

What about the advertisements and how can companies and freelancers get money from their mobile web applications?

That's a though one. As far as I know, mobile advertisement is not sustainable model of income. Popular alternative models are freemium or in-app micro-payments.

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