HTML5 and mobile — random thoughts   March 4, 2011

March 4, 2011

HTML 5 logoThere’s been quite a bit of buzz around HTML5 and what it means for founders, project architects, and web developers. Relevance of HTML5 has be fueled by (1) rapid browser adoption of the as-yet-to-be-finalized standard and (2) the huge implications of media delivery through the video, audio, and object tags. HTML5 is a good thing, no matter how you slice it.
The revolutionary impact that HTML5 will make will be at the mobile browser level, especially for content delivery.  This goes way beyond having your YouTube videos and movie trailers load and render way faster.  No, this is a new application delivery system that moves us a little closer toward using the web as the OS.  It definitely moves apps off the device and into the cloud.

If you need industry reinforcement of this trend, look no further than Disney’s recent acquisition of Rocket Pack for the usual  20 million.  Rocket Pack is an platform for building and delivering games that is rendered through HTML5.  In fact, in that small arena, they are the massive industry leader.  It’s a real bleeding edge acquisition for a behemoth like Disney, but it’s a big picture move.  [The tech "behind" the tech, so to speak.]

All of a sudden you can play standard def graphic games (comparable to a Wii) directly in your phone’s browser without Flash!  Realtime and networked, no less.  Despite my reliance on sunblock to setp outdoors, I’m no gamer, but, on the tech level … wow.  So for all you biz people that are concerned with applications, there’s an under-exploited (for now) technology in HTML5 called Web Storage.  This will essentially allow instant data manipulation, similar to working with a local database, but over the web.  This is achieved by dynamically caching large chunks of data using a really huge cookie.

This caching serves the double purpose of speeding up your data interactions AND allowing you to use data-intensive apps across spotty mobile networks.  Imagine having a local copy of your entire Salesforce CRM sitting on your phone.  Oh, it’ll be encrypted, of course.  Now when you are at a client’s site just before a meeting searching for an old proposal, it’ll take a few seconds to view, rather than a couple of minutes.  This tech will greatly accelerate sort, indexing, and searching data on low power devices.  I really like the possibilities and I’ll expound more in the future.

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