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HTML 5 – the future of web?

Wednesday evening saw the release of iPhone OS 3.0 Many iPhone users all over the world were marveling at the ability to send MMS and copy & paste! However, amidst those starry-eyed iPhone users, the web development community also cast a wry smile as the latest version of Safari on the iPhone OS 3.0 contains further support for HTML 5.

What is HTML 5?

HTML 5 is the next step in front end HTML development. Having been in draft for a number of years, there have been wide dispute as to whether to start learning and implementing this technology. There have been a number of changes since its predecessor. A significant impact to developers will be the semantic markup of structural elements of a site and forms. These changes have taken into account the blogging trend in sites as well as long overdue date, email form elements and improvements to their interactivity.

Design-wise, HTML 5 introduces some exciting changes. Most notably, browser handling of audio and video. This has a big impact on the world of web development that is currently saturated in bad Flash players! Also, handling of vector graphics means that browsers can now render javascript defined vector graphics for anything from background shadows to animations. There are a number of other features under the hood of HTML 5 that, though not necessarily visually impacting, have a huge effect on the user experience.

Who is using HTML 5?

Google gave HTML 5 a huge worldwide boost last month when they announced their Google Wave project. Google Wave is described as a “new tool for communication and collaboration on the web”, and is an HTML 5 app. As one of the world’s largest and leading web companies, Google has given HTML 5 a significant endorsement. Apple have also been pushing support for HTML 5 both for their Mac and iPhone devices.

The Future of HTML 5?

Perhaps most interesting, is the fact that the mobile device is driving the push for HTML 5. Apple’s iPhone, Google Android and Opera all support HTML 5 and it will be the mobile world that, perhaps, benefit the most, initially, from HTML 5. The elephant in the room is, and has always been, Microsoft. They have indicated their willingness to adopt HTML 5, but have, as yet, not produced anything to indicate that.

At Digerati Studio, we have been experimenting with HTML 5 and are eager to learn how this technology will be adopted and excited by the future potential of apps developed for the mobile and desktop experience.

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