An “official” guide to writing applications for the mobile web?

Dec 22nd, 2010 | Posted by
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Mobile insurer apps have seen a great deal of press and investment in the last year, it’s about time the mobile web saw some attention too.

Every insurer that Celent has spoken to about mobile apps has also invested in the mobile web – that is to say that insurers are working towards ensuring their existing web sites also work with smart phones, tablets and other portable devices. The World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards body behind other internet technologies, has published a best practices document for building applications in the mobile web.

For each of the 32 best practices and the 3 additional advisory notes the document offers advice on what the best practice is and how to achieve it. Also available are a simple set of reference cards for the best practices that may be more useful to developers and of course, there is a mobile friendly version of the material as well. This document then is a must read for e-business and technology leaders in insurers and for the service providers working with them.

In our recent research, we have found that the top insurers all have some sort of mobile app and that these have functionality that stretch across the full life cycle of an customer from a person looking to purchase a car or looking for information about insurance products through quoting, finding agents, buying insurance and all the way to making a claim. Many of the apps make novel use of smart phone features such as location information and the ability to store data. Since these capabilities are coming to the mobile web with the arrival of HTML5, this set of best practices can only grow in significance.

The document has existed as a proposed recommendation for some time with a veritable who’s who of the Internet involved in it’s authorship. The document moved to a full recommendation on the 14th December 2010.

The document can be found here: http://www.w3.org/TR/mwabp/ and the reference card here: http://www.w3.org/2010/09/MWABP/

The cheat sheet site is available here: http://www.w3.org/2009/cheatsheet/#mwbp