The latest preview build of Internet Explorer 9 is now available for download. The third Platform Preview of IE9, which was unveiled at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, offers some more flavors from the HTML5 platter, including support for the <AUDIO>, <VIDEO> and <CANVAS> tags. The preview build is designed to flaunt IE9's ability to tap into the underlying hardware, something that can provide a major performance boost to in-browser apps and HTML5 video.
Apple launched their own site to show off the cool stuff one can do with HTML5 earlier this month. The only problem was that the demos would only work in Apple's Safari browser. In response, Google is opening its own HTML5 showcase called HTML5Rocks. As far as names go, you can't deny the honesty it shows. Google loved HTML5, and they want you to love it too.
The HTML5Rocks site has nine different tutorials on HTML5, and a feature where you can write your own code to test. The whole affair works well in Chrome, but it also works in Safari. The undertone being a slight jab at Apple's notorious closed nature.
Head on over and check it out. It doesn't have the flashiness of Apple's demos, it's more of a tool to get developers interested in HTML5. MTML5Rocks presents HTML5 features in a more educational way really.We found it quite informative.
Even before Steve Jobs made the bold prediction that new formfactors such as tablets would eventually replace the PC, there’s been ample evidence that the landscape of personal computing is radically changing—and mobility is a driving force. Just look around at all the folks carrying smartphones, the massive growth of the netbook sector, and yes, the phenomenon that is the iPad. Even your most hardcore PC power-user is finding a need for these smaller, more portable computing devices in his or her life. Whether the growing proliferation of these gadgets spells the end of the desktop workhorse PC is arguable, but change is definitely afoot. But hardware is only half of the story. Applications are evolving, as well. They have to. Smaller, slimmer, more lightweight devices necessarily entail more modest resources, e.g., less processing power, less storage. Enter the cloud, aka the Internet.
However, Speed alone is not the only area of improvement. The browser is now armed with key HTML5 technologies, including Appcache, Web Workers and the royalty-free WebM online video format (based on the VP8 codec). The latest version also brings improvements to the UI and search suggestions. “Beyond the speed boost, the latest version of Opera improves on our robust HTML5 support and provides more options for quick and efficient Web search through your preferred search engines. By combining raw speed with intuitive and easy-to-use features, Opera places you among the fastest Internet users on the planet.”
Conservatives and personal computing aficionados are still not convinced that the world is ready to move to cloud-enabled operating systems like Google's Chrome OS. Their skepticism is not simply borne out of their reluctance to accept change, though. Many of their arguments against the possibility of such cloud-based endeavors tasting success in the immediate future are perfectly tenable.
But it would be wrong to think that Google is betting on cloud computing in hope of immediate gains. It is probably concentrating on issues that it can sort out while waiting for others not in its control (including poor broadband penetration globally and privacy concerns) to sort themselves out over time.
For instance, many people have been wondering whether Chrome's early adopters will be able to abandon critical applications and features associated with traditional computing, especially if their web-based replacements simply turn out to be poor imitations. But Google does have a solution: “Chromoting.”
Chromoting is the internal name for Chrome OS's ability to run legacy PC apps from within the browser. The Google engineer who revealed it to the world likened Chromoting to Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection tool.
"We're adding new capabilities all the time. With this functionality (unofficially named 'chromoting'), Chrome OS will not only be [a] great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser,”Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík said in a message.
Just the other day we got word that Google was putting VoIP technology from Gizmo5 to work by creating a Gmail and desktop interface for making VoIP calls with a Google Voice number. Now TechCrunch is reporting the desktop app is indefinitely delayed and may not be released at all. This does not affect the rumored Gmail integration.
The problems stem from an internal disagreement at Google. Many, including founders Larry and Sergey, do not want the company to create desktop software now that they have the Chrome browser to develop HTML5 web apps. This strategy is evidenced by Google's strategy as of late. They've been concentrating on Chrome, Android, and Chrome OS.
The rumor is that the development team has been asked to instead make an HTML5 web app version of the desktop app. Who knows if it will work out, but we'd like to have options for desktop and web-based VoIP solutions.
While Internet Explorer continues to be the most used browser in the world, it is not a product that everyone swears by. Web developers itching to jump onto the HTML5 bandwagon have Internet Explorer standing in their way like an antiquated monolith. The various versions of the browser currently in use - between 50-60 percent of the browser market – are incompatible with the new web standard, except for IE 8 that is partially compatible.
According to a post on the Chromium Blog, Google fixed over 200 bugs in the previous build: “We’ve improved our handling of Internet Explorer’s InPrivate browsing, cache clearing, and cookie blocking. All of the enhancements and features of Google Chrome 5.0 are available in Google Chrome Frame too, including HTML5 audio and video, canvas, geolocation, workers, and databases.” Existing users will automatically have the plug-in updated to the latest version.
Apple on Monday released the final version of Safari 5, and with it a 30 percent performance improvement over the previous version, the Cupertino company claims. But raw performance is only part of the story - Safari 5 comes packed with features, including over a dozen HTML5 elements, such as embedded full-screen Web video, closed captions, Geolocation, and more.
"Safari continues to lead the pack in performance, innovation and standards support," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Safari now runs on over 200 million devices worldwide and its open source WebKit engine runs on over 500 million devices."
Offering a sort of Ad-Block like experience, Apple's latest browser also includes Safari Reader, which "removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles." Just click the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field and the article will apper in a continuous, clutter-free view, Apple says.
See a full list of changes (and download information) here.
In the emerging world of HTML5 video, the H.264 codec has the early lead. But as anticipated, Google threw a new competitor into the mix today at Google I/O. Google's VP8 codec is now available to anyone to use royalty-free. This was announced as part of a larger project called WebM in conjunction with Mozilla and Opera.
Many have been concerned with the patent ownership of H.264, and open source projects like Firefox have been unable to include it. VP8 could be a real alternative here. The other open alternative, Ogg Theora, is seen as having inferior quality to that of H.264 and VP8. There were rumors earlier today that Microsoft would be building support for VP8 into the upcoming Internet Explorer 9. Redmond has clarified they will support the standard, but users will need to install the codec on their systems.
In short order Chrome, Firefox, and Opera will have support for the new codec. Youtube will also be made compatible with VP8. No word on if Safari will join the VP8 club as well. Flash isn't dead yet, but there's another vulture circling it now. Would you prefer VP8 or H.264 be the next generation video standard?
Hulu is constantly updating their Flash-based video player, but one change they don't plan on making is the addition of an HTML5 video option. The company's VP of products Eugene Wei said in a blog post that, "[HTML5] doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs." He lists a number of reasons for this, many of which point to the callous side of the streaming business. Wei notes that the Hulu player must secure content, serve ads, and control bandwidth.
HTML5 video is seen as the next step beyond Flash by many. It would use a tag to describe a video element to the browser, which then decodes the video directly. This necessarily means the video is more accessible to the end user, making it easier to copy. This is one of the reasons Hulu feels HTML5 isn't for them. Add to that the inability of HTML5 as it stands to serve ads within content, and you can see why Hulu is sticking with Flash.
This course of action will keep devices like the iPad from playing Hulu content for the time being. Though, possible mobile apps could get around that. In fact, that would jive nicely with Hulu's rumored pay model. Do you feel like HTML5 is the future, or will issues like this hold it back?