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Why HTML 5? Importance of HTML 5 in multi-device and multi-browser environment

Bharadwaj Satbhai Jul 05, 2012

Why HTML5 HTML5 Mobile Development Web development Technology


Multi-browser support has been a recurrent and persistent problem for Web developers. For reaching entire audience it is necessary that web applications offer a top-notch reading experience on various browsers used by computer and mobile devices. Developers are investing time to confirm that all the offered features are supported on all the browsers. A separate development is done to cover the mobile browsers to reach smartphone users browsing contents on devices like iPhone, Android, Windows phone, Blackberry, etc. HTML5 is designed to fix this problem in one grand transition to a massively overhauled version of the web’s most popular language: HTML.

HTML5 is an attempt to define a single markup language that can be written in either HTML or XHTML syntax. HTML5 does not belong to a company or a specific browser. It has been forged by a community of people interested in evolving the web and a consortium of technological leaders that includes Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, IBM, HP, Adobe, and many others. The community and consortium continue to collaborate on universal browser standards to push web capabilities even further. It is a collection of features, technologies, and APIs that brings the power of the desktop and the vibrancy of multimedia experience to the web. It includes detailed processing models to encourage more interoperable implementations; it extends, improves and rationalizes the markup available for documents, and introduces markup and application programming interfaces (APIs) for complex web applications. Many features of HTML5 have been built with the consideration of being able to run on low-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets.

HTML5 in web applications

HTML5 is quickly getting adopted for web application development to suit cross browser compatibility including leading mobile browsers and to improve speed of development. HTML5 includes the <video>, <audio>, and <canvas> elements, as well as the integration of SVG content. Due to these new elements, it will be very easy to integrate multimedia and graphical content to web without using flash and third party plugins. There are also another new elements like <section>, <article>, <header> and <nav> which enrich the semantic value of the document. Following are the few advantages of HTML5 in web development:

  • Mutuality: built in browser support for embed video, audio, drawings, charts, animations
  • Cleaner markup: replace div tags with semantic HTML 5 elements
  • Improved Semantics
  • Elegant forms
  • Consistency
  • Improved Accessibility
  • Offline Application cache
  • Client-side database

HTML5 in hybrid mobile applications

A hybrid mobile application is a native, downloadable app that runs all or some of its user interface in an embedded browser component. It is downloaded from the app store or marketplace, it is stored on the device, and it is launched just like any other app. However, instead of rewriting the app from scratch for each mobile OS, hybrid apps use at least some of their application code in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and reuse it across devices. The native portion of the application uses the operating system API’s to create an embedded HTML rendering engine that serves as a bridge between the browser and the device API’s. HTML5 is used with many of the leading cross platform development tools like PhoneGap and Rhodes. Other major advantages of HTML5 in hybrid mobile application development are described below

  • High code portability & optimization
  • Good access to device specific features
  • Leverage existing skillset
  • App store distribution
  • Better user experience compared to web apps
  • Better cost & time to market compared to native apps



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