Web applications on the move: Opening up new opportunities for mobile developers
As a new platform for mobile applications the "Mobile Web" has recently gained importance. However, the Web as an application platform presents a number of limits to the application developer when compared to other application platforms, e.g. limited access to the local functionality of the mobile device. Those limits can be addressed through so-called "hybrid" application platforms which combine the best from the worlds of Web applications and locally installed applications. We believe that such hybrid applications will gain a significant market share in the nearby future. In this chapter we reflect the current state of those hybrid application platforms and analyze their advantages: After deriving general requirements for future mobile application platforms, we discuss the promises and limits of the Mobile Web platform and describe recent activities of public bodies addressing the discussed limits through "hybrid" extensions. Finally, we discuss the FOKUS Mobile Widge t Runtime as a prototype for a hybrid application platform, and propose future research directions in this field.