Friday, January 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm.

HuffPost CTO Paul Berry on hybrid HTML5-native mobile apps

From my Q&A with Berry — who’s leaving AOL to work on some new ventures — at ReadWriteWeb:

Personally, I think people are making a lot of mistakes in developing everything as native apps completely, when you can have a thin shell as a native wrapper around HTML5 plus responsive web design. And now you solve the problem. This really drove me crazy at HuffPost. We had so much to do, and then all these tablets kept on launching with different screen sizes and different OSes, and everything we did was native because at the time that was the way everyone was doing it.

And now what I think key companies and developers are realizing is that HTML5 and responsive web designs solves for whichever dimension and whichever OS. And you have to get really, really, really good at it before you can pull that off and still have it be a smooth app. But that’s where our focus will be.

These types of hybrid apps obviously won’t work for everyone: games and other resource-heavy apps will still probably be best off as fully native apps for the foreseeable future. But for many content/news apps, it’s probably close enough to be worth the tradeoffs.