Is 2012 the year of HTML5?

As the internet moves more towards services and applications, HTML5 provides the framework for truly incredible user experiences – if the browsers support it.

Just this week we visited http://www.html5test.com/ to see how the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE have implemented HTML5. The website evaluates each browser and returns a detailed list of which elements are implemented and which aren’t, then assigns points accordingly. The results are not surprising.

  • Chrome 18 – 413/500
  • Firefox 11 – 354/500
  • IE 9 – 143/500

Everyone knows that IE is trailing the pack, technology speaking. It surprisingly has held onto its market share, with just under 53% of the worldwide desktop browser usage (source: Net Market Share).

Chrome clearly is intent on offering the best browsing experience, supporting a majority of the new HTML5 features. Firefox is second in desktop browser share, but trailing in HTML5 compatibility.

In an article on TheServerSide.com, James Denman comments, “2012 may reveal an emerging RESTful user interface (UI) engine”. This is in part by implementing the new capabilities of HTML5. In fact there are many sites already using HTML5.

HongKiat.com posted “48 Flash Killing Websites”. In the article you’ll find links to some amazing graphic applications that run from merely amusing to downright useful. All the sites listed are using HTML5 and the canvas element. It’s worth checking out the sites – just be sure to use Chrome or Firefox for the best experience.

Another feature that HTML5 supports is a responsive browser. This means the web content and layout automatically adjust according to the browser settings. In theory this eliminates the need for a mobile website that is optimized for a tablet or smartphone. One great example is BostonGlobe.com. If you view the site on a desktop, try resizing the window and watch how it automatically adjusts for the best viewing. If you use your smartphone to view the site, you’ll see the exact same content, just presented in a slightly different order – it isn’t a slimmed down, minimal mobile version. To see more responsive websites check out “48 Flash Killing Websites”“40 Best Responsive WordPress Themes” published by Tripwiremagazine.com.

So now that browser support is coming online, and more developers are moving towards HTML5, perhaps 2012 will mark the end of the old, frustrating browser experience for users. And perhaps we’ll all have to admit that Apple was right all along – we don’t need Flash after all.

What do you think about HTML5 browser and developer adoption?