With the introduction of the Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon will replace its Mobi file format with a new KF8 format that allows developers to use HTML5–a programming language that works across different platforms. According to Amazon, developers can use HTML 5 to make books “that require rich formatting and design such as children’s picture books, comics & graphic novels, technical & engineering books and cookbooks.”
At Mediabistro’s Socialize West conference this week, Moblyng CEO Stewart Putney shared five reasons why developers should consider building HTML5 apps instead of designing apps for the Apple App Store or the Android App Store. His message was simple: “The time for HTML5 is now. App stores are no longer the only game in town.”
eBookNewser has more about the possibilities of Amazon’s format: “the company is trying to populate their rich media content offerings because the Kindle now supports the HTML 5 format. This is a big deal, since historically Amazon has been very closed with formats and the company has required that publishers submit books in their proprietary AZW format.”
Five Reasons to Build an HTML5 Book App
1. “30 percent cut kills many media commerce models” If you are selling eBook apps with a slim profit margin, Apple’s 30 percent cut of all App Store sales can take a big bite out of your profits.
2. “Be careful not to develop too close to core iOS features” Apple can kill your app by adding a new functions when they update iOS.
3. “App discovery remains a large challenge for developers” In both the Apple and Android app stores, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. HTML5 lets you build for browsers, connecting your app to your web footprint.
4. “Limited social discovery” In both Android and Apple stores, it is hard to make it easy for someone to buy your app from a Facebook post or tweet. With an HTML5 app, access is one web-based click away.
5. “Android device fragmentation” If you design for the Android App Store, the app might need different versions or fixes to work on a variety of devices.
If you want to learn more about HTML5 and Kindle Fire apps, Mediabistro’s Publishing App Expo on December 7-8 will explore this new market–helping publishers, authors and readers use these new tools.