Browser App Approach: Can It Be an Answer to the Challenges in Cross-Platform App Development?

Minh Q. Huynh, Prashant Ghimire
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 16  •  2017  •  pp. 047-068
Aim/Purpose: As smartphones proliferate, many different platforms begin to emerge. The challenge to developers as well as IS educators and students is how to learn the skills to design and develop apps to run on cross-platforms.

Background: For developers, the purpose of this paper is to describe an alternative to the complex native app development. For IS educators and students, the paper provides a feasible way to learn and develop fully functional mobile apps without technical burdens.

Methodology: The methods used in the development of browser-based apps is prototyping. Our proposed approach is browser-based, supports cross-platforms, uses open-source standards, and takes advantage of “write-once-and-run-anywhere” (WORA) concept.

Contribution: The paper illustrates the application of the browser-based approach to create a series of browser apps without high learning curve.

Findings: The results show the potentials for using browser app approach to teach as well as to create new apps.

Recommendations for Practitioners : Our proposed browser app development approach and example would be useful to mobile app developers/IS educators and non-technical students because the source code as well as documentations in this project are available for downloading.

Future Research: For further work, we discuss the use of hybrid development framework to enhance browser apps.
browser-based apps, mobile app usage, app development, cross-platform web app, store-retrieve-display app, WORA, hybrid development framework
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