In a world full of mobile devices, HTML5 is one of the most futureproof technological advancements there is. With its capability to develop consistent and intuitive cross-platform user experiences within web applications and browsers, HTML5 is both the present and the future. As the latest version of Hypertext Markup Language, HTML5 is actually three different types of code rolled into one. The HTML provides the on-page structure, the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) handles the visual presentation and the JavaScript makes things happen.

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HTML5 has revolutionized the way we consume content on mobile devices
Photo by frankobingen, Public Domain

The premise of HTML5 is that any developer can design and execute almost any application they want online and ensure it is responsive to work flawlessly, regardless of whether it is viewed on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or Smart TV. Apple’s now-deceased co-founder, Steve Jobs, sounded the death knell of Adobe Flash due to its drain on device resources. Jobs cited HTML5 as Flash’s sensible replacement, improving browser efficiency, operating without the need for third-party plugins.

Thus far, HTML5 has already had a transformational impact on a string of digital industries. The eLearning sector has been buoyed by HTML5-powered online courses, giving distance learning pupils the chance to access course material on the go via any device. Meanwhile, the iGaming sector has also benefited from HTML5’s ability to create consistent user experiences; with video slots and table games built to operate seamlessly on any device including the latest models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10. Even some mobile poker rooms now allow their players to play within their web browser, without the need to download and install native apps. That flexibility is only afforded thanks to HTML5.

When you think how far various industries have come due to the foundations of HTML5, it begs the question as to what HTML5 is capable of next. Some of the biggest players in the tech industry have already adopted HTML5, such as Netflix. The media giant has acknowledged the benefits of utilizing HTML5 to ensure its on-demand content streaming service can function freely, regardless of the growing fragmentation of mobile devices in terms of models. It is therefore surprising that many more big names aren’t yet following the lead of Netflix.

The reason for the slow take-up of HTML5 in certain tech quarters? The truth of the matter is that native apps are still more capable than the majority of HTML5-powered applications, but the latter is closing the gap fast. In an era where cyber-security is vital to retaining brand reputation and integrity among consumers, HTML5 offers a wealth of security benefits to app developers. The biggest benefit is that HTML5-powered web applications can have fresh security updates and patches applied immediately, offering greater protection from emerging cyber threats for consumers. That’s unlike native apps, which are often left updated by consumers, exposing them to gaping holes in an app’s infrastructure.

We’re not quite at the point of HTML5 displacing native mobile apps, certainly not in 2019 anyway. There is an argument that native apps are never going to be rendered obsolete entirely. A recent interview by Josh Morony of tech expert, Phil Merrell, led to Merrell concluding that native apps will always have a place for certain devices. However, as developers steadily reduce the processing power demands of HTML5-powered web apps, the cons of native apps are fast outweighing the pros.

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