Building a “Wrapper” Application in iOS and HTML5 CSS3

Paul Beaumont, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Track: iOS; Audience: Beginner

At RMIT University built our mobile student application in HTML5 CSS3 but we wrapped it in an iOS application. This talk will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the approach. This talk will be of interest to anyone who trying to decide on a strategy around Native iOS verses HTML5, or who has already embarked on building a HTML5 application.


Our Approach

  • Mobile Strategy – target of 95% of students
  • Agile in a non agile environment
  • Design
  • User engagement

Our Architecture

  • Data layer
  • Service layer – REST
  • Web UI – JQuery Mobile
  • iOS

Features of the Application:
Without going into a full feature description, we will call out some of the key features of the application, focusing on the integration of location – we incorporated “way finding” at a low level.

  • Announcements
  • Timetables
  • Maps Integration
  • Security


  • Investigated a number
  • Used JQuery mobile
  • Looked at iOS frameworks such as Titanium
  • Went native for the wrapper

Native features:

  • Very limited
  • Connectivity testing
  • Splash screen
  • Place holder for the future – ie Push notification

What worked well:

  • Re-use
  • Skills
  • Maintenance
  • Security

What we would do differently:

  • Design constantly
  • Handling external links
  • Look and feel (you can’t quite get it right)
  • More localization of data
  • Perhaps a fully native application!

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