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Box.net Readies HTML5 apps for 2012

HTML5, the emerging structured programming language for the World Wide Web is still under development as of June 2011, but Box.net is already on its toes planning for “semi-local” apps on the new browser protocol. These new HTML5 apps are expected to run on various popular mobile operating systems and will harness the new HTML code base which, on its 5th iteration, promises tighter and better support for the latest multimedia technologies.

The Washington based Box.net is keeping its eye to meet the app downloading demands for smartphones and tablets which industry pundits have predicted will see significant growth well beyond its current levels.

Founded in 2005, the content management and file storage firm offers cloud computing database services to individuals and companies. In addition, it has software development services to build apps for popular mobile devices that include Research In Motion Blackberry smartphones and Playbooks, Apple iPhones and iPads as well as Android handsets and Cisco System’s Cius. On a personal level, the firm also offers free 5GB online remote storage.

In an interview at the MobileBeat gathering, Box.net CEO Aaron Levie disclosed that the company is anticipating a surge in app demands and the company is now looking at equipping itself to have a headstart in app development using HTM5.

Levie adds that the emerging Web protocol is anticipated to impart Web applications with some offline capabilities that include local storage. The company plans to write these “semi-local” apps optimized for each platform. Without revealing more details, he reveals the company has plans to run some code locally on the handset.

In addition, Levie said that developing on the HTML5 code base promises to save significant development time. Box.net hopes to release its first HTML5-based app on the BlackBerry OS which the company will be announcing in August. In the meantime, it will still maintain its native apps for the major mobile platforms in its inventory.

Analyst Bob Egan of the Sepharim Group said that the successful mobile app developers will be those that can market apps across different popular platforms. There’s also pressure for company IT departments to make enterprise applications readily usable for any mobile computing device an employee brings to the office. But this has to be cost effectively done with just one app development that can be ported across multiple platforms and not be developed separately for each. HTML5 may not be the perfect solution, but Box.net is braving the future with it.

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