Is That HTML5 in Your App?
- Posted April 15th, 2010 at 4:02 pm by Ginny Hung
- Categories: General
From our engineers and developers at Yahoo! Mobile, we will be introducing articles that are more technical, for our readers who are interested in mobile development. Today, Travis Young, a senior product manager from our Yahoo! Mobile Platforms team, will talk about a new technology standard in Internet and mobile application development.
What is HTML5? It’s the hottest Web development topic of the day, and just like earlier Internet memes—DHTML, Flash, AJAX, and Web 2.0—its name is becoming synonymous with innovation and renovation on the Web. HTML5 is not a single technology, but a combination of emerging and intersecting standards that will change the way we develop and interact with Internet applications. Several tenets of the movement are already shaping our product strategies, including:
1) Expanded Vocabulary: There are 27 new elements in HTML5. Tags such as <audio>, <video>, and <canvas> allow developers to serve new and native content types to standardized browsers or applications, while <header>, <nav>, and <menu> allow us to write declarative code that performs similarly across different views.
2) Graphics and Animation: There are two major shifts in graphic and animation support in HTML5. The first includes support for the Canvas and SVG standards, which allow dynamically generated, animated, programmable, and interactive visuals (think Flash, without a plug-in). The second is CSS3, an evolution of the CSS standard that gives developers and designers the ability to efficiently create visual effects, animations, and transitions, and to embed fonts.
3) Local Storage: The HTML5 draft specification allows for two types of storage on devices. Persistent storage basically acts as a super-cookie, allowing for a large cache of key/value pairs to be stored locally. This gives us the ability to store robust information about a site or service directly on the device. Local databases, on the other hand, provide the opportunity to store content, images, and other rich data, speeding up browsing experiences and enabling offline viewing of mail, articles, music, movies, and more.
4) Location: Location capabilities are changing the way we interact via search, social, and e-commerce. With nearly all new cellular devices shipping with GPS functionality, it’s no surprise that apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, Latitude, and Skyhook are seeing lots of action, while search engines and other services are providing users with location-specific results and information . With HTML5, the browser has the ability to access the device’s geographical location if approved by the user. This makes it possible for web pages to serve location aware experiences.
5) Video: The introduction of the <video> element to HTML5 is revolutionary and will have a major impact on video standards. Further, many new devices have cameras, making it likely that user-generated video and video messaging will become as pervasive as texting.
Our Y! Entertainment app for the iPad uses these technologies sparingly, including only a smattering of video, offline storage, and emerging CSS features, yet the user experience is compelling. The Video and News sections of the app run in the embedded browser and are almost completely programmed in the same way a developer codes a webpage, yet the functionality is seamless and the performance is nearly indistinguishable from a native app.
In the future, you’ll see many more products and properties taking advantage of HTML5, both on the Web and in applications. Our platform is heavily engaged in enabling teams to do this quickly and efficiently by sharing our knowledge, experience, and code. We look forward to seeing the teams we’ve been working with roll out HTML5 Web and application versions of the Yahoo! properties the world loves. We think you’ll also be happy to see them.
Senior product manager, Yahoo! Mobile Platforms
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