W3C Releases Best Practices for Mobile Web Apps

International Web standards body, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released a new standard for developers of mobile Web applications. The document, published as a W3C Recommendation, is titled “The Mobile Web Application Best Practices” and it offers practical advice on everything from relevant engineering practices to tips on creating a better user experiences.

The document is available now in a number of formats including PDF, Web site, mobile site and quick reference, infographic-like images.

Best Practices for Mobile Developers

“I am very excited about this document, which I’ve already used myself to ensure that the W3C Cheat Sheet, a mobile Web application, works not just on mobile devices, but on all devices,” said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Mobile Web Initiative Lead. “These guidelines include sound advice from real-world Web apps developers, telcos, and browser vendors.”

With the proliferation of numerous mobile platforms, the W3C believes that the appeal of using the Web as a development platform will only continue to grow. “Web applications are already replacing native applications in many computers, and we expect a similar trend on mobile devices in the near future since the Web platform addresses the fragmentation issues so familiar to mobile developers,” the organization stated in its press release (available here in other languages). “The Web also makes it fast and easy to deploy and update applications without requiring any intervention of the user, and enables seamless integration of cloud-based services.”

The document examines in detail which Web technologies are relevant on mobile devices, highlights various APIs (application programming interfaces) for use in Web apps, and explains both how to perform the suggestions it offers and what each suggestion means.

Who’s Supporting

The working group behind the new guidelines include AT&T, The Boeing Company, China Unicom, China Electronics Standardization Institute, Deutsche Telekom, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Fundación ONCE, France Telecom, Google, HP, MobileAware, Mobile Web 2.0 Forum, Nokia, Novarra, Openwave Systems, Opera Software, Rochester Institute of Technology, SK Telecom, Telefónica de España, University of Manchester, Vishwak Solutions, Vodafone, Volantis and other invited experts. All have declared support for the best practices the document spells out.

In addition, the group released a set of cards summarizing the documents many points, which are available here (and below) as well as in PDF format.


Other resources for developers include the following:

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