Android, iOS & Windows Phone go HTML5 friendly

Android, iOS & Windows Phone go HTML5 friendly

Seems that Android, iOS & Windows Phone are pointing a lot to HTML5 development with their latest releases.

Firstly, Google is removing it’s WebView from Android’s core, making it an updatable component; Apple replaced the traditional UIWebView with WKWebView, which seems to be boosting performance, stability and functionality much better; Windows Phone 8.1 finally solved some audio problems and started supporting some WebGL features.

Finally webview apps are just like native ones:

  • can be installed directly from Google Play and from the App Store, but are developed using technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • there are tons of API that interact with the webview that runs and displays all those applications. Developers can embed web content into their apps and access components that regular mobile websites cannot access like camera, GPS, accelerometer, etc.

HTML5 heroes

The webview has always been part of Android’s core and has been updated with a new release of the OS just recently. As Android’s releases are normally slow, this may leave some users with outdated features. Since the release of Android Lollipop though, this new feature called “Updatable WebView” has been (and will be) updated as a regular app from the Google Play.
By its turn, Apple iOS8 is much more HTML5 friendly, replacing the traditional engine UIWebView, with WKWebView. In iOS previous versions webviews were unable to achieve the same level of JavaScript performance as the stock Safari app, because Apple restricted the use of its Nitro JavaScript engine only to Safari. Now, with the WKWebView API, iOS8 will take advantage of the same optimizations offered by Safari web browserBenchmark results show that on iOS8, JavaScript can run 4.5x faster compared to the old webview and now it supports the following HTML5 features:Building the HTML5 vision - GamePix

What about Windows Phone 8.1? Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8.1 adds new media features that expand its support for HTML5 audio and video without any plugin. Audio and video seems to be fully supported, including inline playback of video content and adaptive streaming, based on the latest Web specifications is supported as well. These new features make IE an ideal browser for mobile media applications.

Multiple audio elements can play simultaneously on a single page, making it possible to use HTML5 audio with game and video playback also on a 512MB device. It’s still a mobile browser, after all!
Some web designers might prefer to have video playback going directly to full screen mode. With IE on Windows Phone 8.1, they can use the FullSceen API to provide a real full screen.

All the major mobile OS companies are embracing HTML5: now it’s your turn!

 HTML5 superhero on GamePix

Resources:
MSDN Blog
Infoq News