There has been a lot of controversy and information about what the increasing presence of HTML5 will represent for web developers and their current way of dealing with web projects. It has also been acknowledged as a very positive improvement for numerous reasons concerning said subject.
From the user’s perspective, though, there is also a lot that can be mentioned about what the implementation of the HTML5 markup will do to the way everyone’s used to interacting with the web. The following facts explain what current users should expect of these changes.
No more plug-ins needed
What has been regarded as the best advantage brought by the implementation of HTML5 is the eradication of video and audio plug-ins with the introduction of markup elements to replace them. This means that, as HTML5 becomes stronger, users will no longer be stopped by inconveniences such as the need to install Quicktime, Flash Player or Silverlight to view this type of content.
Contrary to the popular belief, though, HTML 5 does not totally eliminate the reason of existence for these software packages. It makes them unnecessary for the online content viewing, but there are still other appliances they can be used for. The biggest controversy had been the supposed battle between HTML5 and Flash, but there’s hardly a battle when the reality is just a rearrangement of the roles they play. Flash still has its good points, which sadly won’t reach all of the mobile audience as expected.
Shorter loading times
Since there will no longer be a need for third-party processes to load online graphics (not only video or audio, but images and interactive elements as well), users will be able to view web pages a lot faster than before. This fact will hold greater possibilities for graphics and interactions inside each page, also considering the fact that no plug-ins will stand in the way as was previously mentioned.
Less cross-browser viewing problems (in time…)
HTML5 will bring web standards to a whole new level, making it easier to overcome cross-browser differences, meaning that it won’t matter what the browser of preference is, content will be displayed the same way always.
This is still not entirely true, however, as Internet Explorer (up until version 8) is still incapable of correctly displaying HTML5 elements. Nevertheless, there are currently some existing coding projects looking to overcome this problem, which makes HTML5’s positive future a lot brighter and closer.
An increase on mobile compatibility
Going back to the plug-in situation discussion, being able to stop depending on plug-ins also means being able to reach mobile devices a lot easier. Internet users will easily visualize everything from their mobile devices in the near future (even if the device of their preference turns out to be an Apple device), without worrying about the appearance of disturbing icons like the infamous question mark in a blue cube.
With the help of HTML5, web applications and games that can be now built with its new features will no longer be unavailable on mobile devices, bringing a whole new level of online interaction to the hands of mobile internet users.
To sum up
The mayor goal of building a web site, tool or application is reaching as many users as possible once it’s been completed and released. If all goes well, HTML5 will help us accomplish this in a near future, eliminating barriers that currently keep users from interacting with web content the way they would like to.