HTML 5, the latest version of HTML is actually an umbrella term that envelopes CSS, JavaScript and HTML. HTML is used for creating web applications and the new version definitely has several features to create better web applications that work well with all kinds of computers. HTML5 has gained significant importance due to its ability to provide users with richer web applications and improved usability in mobile devices.

To summarize the key features that HTML5 with respect to mobile devices:

  • Hybrid web applications – There are several mobile frameworks essentially HTML5 app platforms that allows the developer to author native applications with web technologies and get access to API’s and different app stores. This means that an Android user can download a HTML5 application and access it like a native Android application.
  • Offline web application support – AppCache and Database in HTML5 has made local storage more powerful. The developer can get the web app to cache content on the device that accesses it.
  • Web storage – Web Storage is a web application software method for storing data in a web browser. Web storage supports persistent data storage similar to cookies. HTML5 provides a client side method for saving session information.
  • Background computation power – When performing advanced load-heavy operations in a web browser, both the web page it is run in as well as the web browser UI becomes unresponsive till it’s finished. HTML5’s ‘Web Workers’ spawn processes that work in the background without interrupting the user interface and its response level.
  • Native device features – WAC is working with W3C, is developing libraries that allow the developer to access native camera capabilities. WAC API’s allows the developer to get latitude without worrying about the GPS capabilities of the device. Currently this works only for packaged downloadable apps but it is expected to soon work in mobile browser apps. The geolocation API lets you share your location with trusted web sites. The latitude and longitude are available to JavaScript on the page, which in turn can send it back to the remote web server and do fancy location-aware things like finding local businesses or showing your location on a map.
  • Codec neutral – HTML5 video is an element introduced in the HTML5 draft specification for the purpose of playing videos. The current HTML5 draft specification does not specify which video formats browsers should support in the video tag. User agents are free to support any video formats they feel are appropriate.
  • CSS3 selectors – CSS3 selectors provide new, more powerful ways to select nodes using CSS. This helps when styling complex documents or making CSS that can apply to a document as its structure changes.
  • 2D canvas animation – HTML5 allows 2D drawing, graphics and animations. Cross platform games become possible in mobile browsers.

There are many more features but I have listed some of the features that are being used widely.

~ Ramya