October 24, 2012

Some HTML5 Apps Get Noticed: News Report

Most HTML 5 apps are not highlighted in the news. True, there was the recent example of one HTML 5 app design firm that got some attention, Particle. The main reason for fame was because it was backed by singer/actor Justin Timberlake and was just acquired by Apple (News Alert). But without celebrity connections, apps remain in the background.

On the other hand, there is another way apps get attention. Someone finds a collection of them that deserve to be highlighted. For instance, InfoWorld’s Peter Wayner named seven HTML5 apps that he found significant for a variety of reasons.

One better known example from his list is Google Docs. Wayner says a big plus about Google Apps is that it’s integrated with Gmail. Most of the application uses basic HTML. Design is accomplished for figures, tables and texts with HTML and mouse-clicks. Google uses Google Web Toolkit, which is Java-based, he adds.

Another example from Wayner is the use of varied HTML5 slide apps instead of PowerPoint. These include Presentation.js, Impress.js, Fathom.js, reveal.js, and CSSS. They use basic HTML to lay out slides in DIVs. The DIVs are twisted or rotated in 3D, Wayner said.

Still, another option is Scribd. It can display documents. It uses Web fonts and canvas, Wayner explained. Web fonts let Scribd display fonts. HTML5 canvas lets Scribd draw letters and other bitmaps.

In addition, another app is Aviary. It is cheaper than Photoshop and still does a lot of what people need done for their photos, Wayner said. Aviary uses HTML5’s canvas.

On the other hand, Zoho (NewsAlert) has 33 apps, which vary from basic productivity to the Zoho CRM app. Zoho’s editing tools use CSS rules, Wayner said.

Another example is HootSuite. It allows for watching all social networks in one central website. HTML5’s local storage key/value database is used to lessen Web traffic. That’s a nice benefit for mobile users, Wayner said.

And the seventh example is Angry Birds. The game can be run on a desktop computer. It uses HTML5 Canvas tag (NewsAlert).

HTML5, which remains under development, is important to the sector. The HTML standard was first created in 1990 and has seen many improvements.

But with all of the options out there, HTML is not the answer for everyone.

For example, Facebook (NewsAlert) admitted it was a mistake to use HTML5 for Facebook’s mobile products because it led to “sluggish and glitch” solutions,” Wayner said. “The browsers just weren’t fast enough to handle all of the data. Native apps are much better at limiting the memory footprint, and that’s often the most important limitation for a programmer working on the mobile platform.”

But remember too that HTML5 has many benefits. Some often-cited ones include: New features are based on HTML, CSS (NewsAlert), DOM, and JavaScript. There is less need for Flash. And markups are used more than scripting.                         

Are you interested in learning more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend DEVCON5, in San Francisco, Calif. from November 27-29.  Stay in touch with everything happening at DevCon5: Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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