HTML5 technology is not only the future of the internet, it is the here and now. HTML5 is the latest version of the Hyper Text Markup Language, the programming code that scripts the appearance and operation of web pages. There are three layers to HTML5 – the structure, which HTML provides; the visual aspect of a web page, which is taken care of using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS); and the operational aspect, which is powered by JavaScript.

The now-deceased co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, was proved right when he said that HTML5 would be the death knell for Adobe Flash, which was proving an unnecessary drain on device resources. There are no strings attached to HTML5. The code is not ‘owned’ by anyone and therefore any organisation is free to use it to create state-of-the-art websites and in-browser web applications without the need for third-party browser plugins.

Although many businesses are turning to native apps that users must download onto their devices, advances in HTML5 have enabled app-like functionality and security even when viewed within a web browser. Some of the leading iGaming operators are increasingly offering a choice of native apps and HTML5 browser-based web applications that are responsive and can detect those browsing on mobile devices, tailoring the layout of the content for consumers. Mobile iGaming has taken off in a big way around the world, with many operators offering incentives to draw new mobile iGamers into their platforms. You only have to look at the NetEnt no deposit bonuses page to see the ever-growing list of iGaming brands involved.

HTML5 is also having a transformational impact in 2019 on the eLearning industry. The average eLearner wants to be able to access their course materials on the move and therefore responsive, mobile-friendly eLearning courses go a long way to improve course engagement and results. By utilising HTML5 authoring tools, eLearning platforms are now able to adapt their courses to all screen sizes. The use of smart meta tags has helped to optimise eLearning courses for all mobile devices and screen sizes.

The benefits of maintaining a single codebase

Man using a laptop on a desk

Image: Pixabay

Rapid advancements in the quality and security of HTML5 browser-based web applications has led to calls for other industries to follow the lead of iGaming and eLearning. That’s because its flexibility and scalability can result in faster, cheaper roll-outs of web apps across multiple platforms whilst only having to maintain one codebase. This is particularly crucial when you consider the fragmentation of mobile devices that is causing a major headache for mobile developers of everyday mainstream apps like online banking and social media.

Netflix: An emerging champion of HTML5

HTML5 is not devoid of support from big name players in 2019. Netflix already uses HTML5 for its applications, but why is there still a lack of momentum towards HTML5 web apps in the main? The answer is that native apps are still more capable than most HTML5 applications – but the gap is narrowing. More app developers in 2019 are recognising the safety and security benefits of HTML5, with the ability to push new security updates to web applications immediately to customers whenever they are launched, guarding against ever-evolving security threats online.

We’re certainly moving closer to HTML5 apps overtaking native apps in terms of take-up in 2019, but whether this year will be the moment that HTML5 renders native apps obsolete is highly doubtful. In fact, it’s doubtful whether native apps will disappear at all. Mobile developer, Josh Morony recently interviewed Phil Merrell about HTML5 Vs native apps. Merrell insisted that there will always be a place for native applications, but as processing power for HTML5 web apps steadily declines, the merits of native apps are certainly diminishing by the day.

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Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

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