With HTML5 all the rage, Quark has announced that the next generation of its App Studio will enable cloud-based, HTML5-based app development for Apple and Android mobile devices, or for Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The latest App Studio combines technology from Quark’s acquisition of PressRun and its parent company, Mobile IQ earlier this year, with Quark’s existing digital publishing technology, QuarkXPress and InDesign. PressRun is being retired as a brand. The previous App Studio, included with QuarkXPress 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3, will be renamed Quark AVE Publishing, and will continue to support existing App Studio customers.

Smaller File Size

The company said that the hosted App Studio is the only digital publishing solution for creating customized apps with HTML5, QuarkXPress, InDesign and XML.

App Studio-created apps feature searchable and selectable text, can be bookmarked or shared, and the company said the apps are often a quarter of the file size of apps created with other solutions -- potentially saving time for users during downloading. QuarkXPress and InDesign, the company’s flagship products, can be utilized for content creation in the apps.

Shaun Barriball, Vice President of Mobile Products for Quark, said in statement that the intent of App Studio is to “remove the complexity around creating and delivering the best app experiences,” while allowing content creators to employ their favorite design tools and to work within a cloud environment.

App Studio focuses on creating hybrid apps, which occupy the space between native mobile apps and web apps.

Native Apps

Native apps are designed and developed for a specific mobile device platform, so as to optimize performance and access such on-board device capabilities as a camera. Web-based apps are server-based, accessed through a browser, and offer device independence but have a limited ability to utilize the specific capabilities of a device and often provide slower performance.

Hybrid apps, however, use web technologies such as HTML5 and run inside a native container, with a web-to-native layer that provides access to a device’s resources.

A recent report by Forrester noted that native apps offer the highest performance for mobile devices, but that hybrid apps “offer an inexpensive alternative to native apps,” especially for apps where content is frequently modified.