HTML5 is the much awaited major revision of the current HTML specification, which is not officially released yet. This new version is going to have a number of innovations added to it that is really going to change the face of the world wide web. New tags and attributes will be added and useless tags removed, more on this can be found on the official site at http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/.
Now, the inconvenience that comes with the use of HTML5 features is that not all web browsers support all of them. To find out what’s compatible in what browser and what’s not, jump to http://caniuse.com to find out.
Some of the best features in HTML5 are:
- Easy validation of forms.
- Geo-localisation from browser. This is awesome, especially when you want to locate yourself on a map from your mobile phone’s browser.
- Offline storage. Ok, this is awesome too. Basically, a number of web pages and data can be stored to be accessed offline.
- Drag-and-drop for moving objects within a webpage.
- And many more.
What makes HTML5 even more powerful is the use of frameworks such as PhoneGap that can use a web app and generate a native app for mobile phones, such as IPhones, Android phones, Blackberrys, etc. PhoneGap even allows the web app to access and use features of the phone such as the camera for taking pictures, contacts from the phone memory, etc.
I think any mobile developers should play a bit with HTML5 too, instead of focusing on specific native apps. It’s hard to develop applications for each specific mobile platform, but a web application built in HTML5 will run on all the mobiles’ browsers. That said, HTML5 can not also replace everything a native app can do.