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Will HTML5 Kill the Native App?
By Michelle Fredette
As schools calculate the best way to serve students via mobile apps, cost and performance are part of the equation. Does HTML5 offer a solution or is it just another variable?
The best solution may lie in a compromise. That was the approach taken by the University of South Florida when it needed a cross-platform, cross-device app. Kathleen Long, director of web services at USF, worked with Verivo Software to deliver iUSF, a mobile app that gives students access to course schedules, university directories, news, events listings, and meal-card balances.
The app takes advantage of the native functionality of users’ devices, including GPS for campus maps, as well as offline access to the campus web portal, MyUSF. But, to really meet student needs, the app needed to pull in information about Bull Runner, the campus bus service, so it would all be available in one place.
“USF now uses Verivo’s new browser control to access the Bull Runner page, taking our existing HTML5 content and incorporating it within our cross-platform native mobile app,” explains Long. The iUSF app is available from Apple, Android, and BlackBerry stores.