Mobile Browser Support for HTML5 Grows

Carl Weinschenk

It’s significant when an important player in a sector does something for the first time, because the decision makers must think there is a good reason for pushing the envelope. Consequently, the basic question that must be asked is: Why are they doing it?

In this case, the news at one level, as reported at Datamation and elsewhere, is that Mozilla has joined a $25 million series C funding round for Everything.me. According to its site, Everything.me is an HTML5-based platform that customizes apps to fit users’ needs.

The deeper level of the news is the fact that this is the first direct investment in a company that Mozilla has made. That is significant as it readies the FirefoxOS mobile platform. The FirefoxOS, originally called Boot to Gecko, has the backing of some of the big names in telecom, including Sprint, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom. Investing in Everything.me clearly shows what Mozilla thinks of HTML5.

In another move that demonstrates Mozilla’s acceptance of the new markup language, the organization said last week that Firefox for Android now supports H.264 video through HTML5, according to Ostatic.

The importance of HTML5 increasingly is obvious and it is gaining momentum: IT Business Edge blogger Mike Vizard posted earlier this month on research by Kendo UI that found that 63 percent of 4,000 developers asked are writing for HTML5 today and 94 will be by the end of the year. Here is the splash page at Kendo UI on the research.

It hasn’t come easy, however. At VB, Ben Savage, the founder of mobile game developer Spaceport.io, ran through five reasons that take up of HTLM5 was slower than expected in 2012: cross-platform HTML5 development has been slowed by form factor issues, lack of acceptance by Google Play and the App Store, lack of full support by big browsers such as Chrome and Safari, fragmentation and HTML5’s fragility.

The road seems to run inexorably toward HTML5. The backing of it by Mozilla, and the fact that it put its money where its mouth is, is significant, especially if Savage’s idea that the big browser firms haven’t shown enough support indeed was an obstacle to acceptance.



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