Ian Hickson

Why you should care about HTML5

May 24, 2010: 12:32 PM ET

With a range of new features, the web language's prominence may come sooner rather than later. But several key companies are reluctant to give it love.

Tech giants like Apple have been quick to plug HTML5 as the web language of the future -- and consequently, a "Flash killer"-- but when it comes to features and how those will affect mainstream users, there's been little in the way of clear explanation.

Authored by Google employee Ian Hickson, HTML5 promises to be the "genes" from which all web sites will eventually spawn. Unlike web specs that came before it though, HTML5 in its full maturity should offer much more than just plug-in-free, buttery-smooth video and audio playback.

Eventually, users of mobile Apple devices won't have to launch dedicated iPad or iPhone apps from say, ABC, just to watch their favorite shows -- they'll watch inside their browsers instead. Other perks? Geolocation, a feature popularized by apps like Foursquare that lets a service ID your location if you want it to; dragging-and-dropping of items from the desktop to the browser (and vice versa); faster web site loading using the computer's graphics chip; and use of in-browser apps offline -- a major boon for casual gamers. More

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