What the hell is html5? Well you know how your iphone takes you to a special app to play youtube videos? Or how you can’t view facebook videos on your iphone? Or why you see a lego block while you’re browsing on the ipad? That’s because all these videos utilize Adobe Flash to play their videos. The catch is Apple mobile devices (including Ipads,Ipods and Iphones) don’t support flash for one reason or another. Which means you’re not going to be able to see those great videos till Apple gets on the Flash bandwagon. There is however….an alternative, and it’s name is HTML5.
You probably remember HTML from the good ol’ days of the internet, when web-links had proper names and each page ended with .html instead of .asp or .php. HTML is the language of the internet, and your web browser, is sort of a HTML interpreter. HTML5 is the ‘latest and greatest’ version of HTML and it is awesome.
Now the question of will HTML5 standardize the web is probably beyond the scope of this article, but just keep in mind, HTML5 is this ridiculously complex standard and as far as I know, no single browser has reach full compatibility with it, simply because the standard itself isn’t finalized.
So what’s the fuss?
There’s only one thing you should be excited about. Everyone knows Apple doesn’t like Flash, and everyone with an iphone knows that they’ve got issues with video. HTML5 ‘can’ fix that. HTML5 can render videos in the browser…no problem. So there it is a really cool way to watch those videos.
What does this have to do with me?
If you’re an iphone user and you’re craving Flash…don’t. It’s never coming and it never will. Youtube has just launched it’s HTML5 interface and it rocks. Check it out at www.youtube.com/html5 , facebook is also working on a html5 version, and that has implications.
By placing a html5 version of facebook online, that can be accessed by any mobile browser, Facebook can bypass apple strict limitations on the appstore. It doesn’t need Apples approval to publish new versions and it can start selling facebook credits online without worrying about Apple.
Soon I predict we’ll start seeing HTML5 version of ebooks online from Amazon, thereby bypassing Apples restrictions on Kindle. Awesome.
Apples app model will still be around, third-party developers stand to benefit from selling their apps on the AppStore because it already provides all the financial infrastructure that small time developers aren’t creating. However, with more and more developers moving towards in-game sales rather than the game sale itself, I’m not sure how long before Apple sees a decline in AppStore sales. Apples model worked remarkably well for them, but now it seems their closed standards may be their downfall.