Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Seven inherent features in HTML5 are eliminating the need for Adobe Flash as well as enabling Websites to add capabilities that rival native applications. The fifth generation of the hypertext markup language--HTML5--is adding capabilities once reserved for plug-ins and native applications. Test your browser's HTML5 compatibility by visiting The HTML5 Test site.
Today, more than 109 million mobile users have HTML5-ready browsers, but by 2016, more than 2.1 billion mobile users will be compatible, according to ABI Research. There remain significant details to work out, which could delay the final specification until as late as 2020. However, long before then, HTML5 features will be available that virtually obsolete Flash, as well as enable normal Website developers to create universal applications that run on any platform.
According to ABI Research senior analyst, Mark Beccue, there will be 25 key HTML5 features available to most users over the next three to five years. Smarter Technology recently asked Beccue to pick the seven top features out of those 25 that will be most important to users. Here is his list:
#1-Video Play: The No. 1 reason to use Flash today is to play video, but HTML5 includes a tag for videos that allows it to play with all the start, stop, pause and other features people already expect from YouTube and other Flash-based sites.
#2-Video Record: This feature is not a common today, but will become increasingly important, according to Beccue, because virtually all new mobile devices with Web access also have video cameras.
#3-Audio Play/Record: Today, you need Flash, Quicktime or Java to play or record audio, but with HTML5 it is just another tag.
#4-Apps: HTML5 allows Web pages to directly access the same routines that make browsers work, enabling them to run free standing just like an ordinary application. (Try this feature out by downloading the Financial Times app.)
#5-Rich 2D Graphics: All types of sophisticated two-dimensional graphics will be built-into HTML5, enabling faster operation and nearly instant loading compared with the slow loading time for sites using rich graphics today.
#6-IM: Instant messaging will be built into HTML5 by virtue of Web sockets--which, once opened between two users, will allow instantaneous communications. (Try this out by running this Websocket demo in two windows.)
#7-Real-Time Streams: Websockets will also allow any Web-page designer to easily add real-time data streams--from stock market prices to surf reports--which today requires complicated programming outside the capabilities of most HTML coders.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 12:15 PM