What is HTML5 and why should you know about it?

First HTML5 web app goes to development

Most people are aware of HTML - it's what web pages are written in, right? Well, kind of.

HTML does underpin the web environment, and to date has been the language used for developing basic websites. The various versions that have been released over the years have not been of much interest to anyone other than the guys writing the code.

However, HTML5 is a version that all business owners should be aware of, as it has the potential to revolutionise the mobile application environment. The premise behind HTML5 is that it will share standards across all browsers, allowing web sites to work in the same way, irrespective of which browser you are using. However, most significantly, it's able to do things that were only previously possible with a mobile app. Couple these two concepts together, and you have the ability to develop a web application that can work on any device, do pretty incredible things, and is not reliant on app stores or niche programming languages.

As an example, most Apple device users will be used to not being able to view websites that utilise flash content, due to Apple's belief that it wasn't the right product for the future. With HTML5, it's possible for "flash like" applications to be developed without the need for additional software, so Apple device users will at last see the same content as everyone else.

So are mobile apps dead? Not just yet. There will be limitations to what's possible using HTML5 compared to an app written in its native code i.e a fully featured game for the iphone. But for most businesses looking to implement relatively straight forward applications i.e. data capture, HTML5 web apps could be the answer.

So what will you need to use HTML5 web applications? You'll need one of the latest browsers (yes, you'll have to upgrade from Internet Explorer 6). Internet Explorer 10 is imminent, and will be HTML5 compliant, but Firefox, Safari and Chrome's latest versions already support it.

This is an exciting time for mobile application development, and opens up a world of opportunities for companies looking to exploit the advantages of mobile devices. If you've been considering integrating mobile devices into your systems and have so far erred on the side of caution, then HTML5 should give you the confidence to jump into this exciting area of development.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you, then please do call us on 01634 299800.

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