Adaptive Bitrate support in HTML5 cited as factor in the switch from Flash
YouTube began testing simultaneous support for both Flash and HTML5 video delivery back in 2010, but Flash has continued to be the default in most cases unless users opted into an HTML5 only beta -- until now. YouTube announced today on their developer blog it will now default to utilizing the HTML5 video tag on certain web browsers.
Classic programs re-created in HTML5 for web play
In unrelated developments, two recent "recreations" of former Mac and Nintendo classics have made their way into "web app" versions, bringing back familiar software for those of a certain age, providing a "living" demonstration of "old-school" programs and games and at the same time offering a showcase for the growing flexibility of web technologies. The year-old "CloudPaint," a tribute to the Macintosh's original graphics program MacPaint, has recently been updated with five levels of "undo" -- and another site offers a fully-playable HTML5 version of Super Mario. Both are available for use free of charge.
Google refines Drive apps with new icons, smaller toolbars
Google has updated its Google Drive online apps with a refreshed user interface. Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, Slides, and Forms now include a colorful icon that returns users to Drive itself, while the toolbar section at the top has been made smaller, allowing more of the screen to be taken up by the files being worked on, and seemingly brings it closer in visual style to installable office suites.
Firefox, older 32-bit browsers may avoid worst effects
On the heels of more problems with browser plug-ins such as Java and Flash, a newly-discovered flaw in HTML5 -- used throughout the web and a fundamental part of all modern browsers -- can be used maliciously to fill hard drives to capacity with junk data. The exploit can be demonstrated on a website set up to document the flaw, called Filldisk. All browsers are susceptible to it -- though Mozilla's Firefox features a hard cap of 5MB of such data and thus mitigates the effect, while some older 32-bit browsers may crash rather than fill up the drive.
One of first phones with Firefox OS
Mozilla was one of the first companies to hold a Mobile World Congress press conference, where the developer focused on its Firefox OS for mobile devices. Electronista had a chance to try out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, one of the first production devices to embrace the platform. The handset is clearly an entry-level smartphone, seated in a market suited for the fledgling OS.
Popular Linux distro moves to smartphones
As was hinted yesterday, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced today the pending release of a new, touch-enabled version of Ubuntu targeted at smartphones. Ubuntu for phones brings its own gesture-driven interface to the smartphone sector, with personalized graphics, integrated search, and support for native and HTML5 apps. Shuttleworth showed off the new operating system in a virtual keynote on YouTube, one in which he sought to position Ubuntu as a way of unifying the user experience across the numerous form factors that define modern computing.
Package mix of new, updated, renamed tools
Minimalist style with mostly free apps so far
The first mobile units running Mozilla's forthcoming Firefox OS aren't scheduled to debut until early next year, but images of the app marketplace for the mobile OS have leaked to the Internet. Engadget has acquired shots of the Firefox Marketplace, which is still in development; images that show a largely minimalist design that seems to show more focus on categorization and quick app discovery than do Apple or Google's app marketplace offerings. For now, the Marketplace appears to be largely populated by free apps, but that may change depending on how successful Mozilla and its partners are in gaining market share once their devices launch.
Edge gets name change, Muse adds contact forms
Adobe has announced updates to two of its lesser-known programs, both of which are aimed at web designers. Adobe Muse, its HTML5-based WYSIWYG website creation program, now features built-in support for contact forms among other changes. Meanwhile, the web animation program Edge has been changed to Edge Animate and updated to Preview 7.
First step towards in-browser Skype video without plug-ins
Microsoft has officially announced its proposal to bring realtime communication in browsers, without relying on plug-ins. The W3C WebRTC working group received the "Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web" (CU-RTC-Web) proposal from the software giant, as the first step toward establishing a standard that would be essential to creating a browser-based version of Skype.
Firefox OS said to run similar apps faster than Android
Telefónica has been showing off a prototype phone running Mozilla's recently revealed Firefox OS for smartphones. The Spanish telecom gave TechWeekEurope UK a peek at the prototype device, saying that it's well positioned to make an impact in the mobile sector among developing markets.
Sprint, Telefonica, ZTE, Alcatel on board for HTML5 phones
In a post today on The Mozilla Blog, Mozilla confirmed that next year will see the launch of a number of phones powered by its Firefox operating system. The new operating system, built on Mozilla's "Boot to Gecko project," will run HTML5 apps and is aimed at furthering the development of that standard while providing a low-cost operating system for smartphones aimed at developing markets. The browser maker has teamed with a number of telecoms, including Sprint, Smart, and Telefica, as well as device manufacturers Alcatel and ZTE.
Google picks more former webOS team members
Google is said to have hired the core employees of the webOS Enyo HTML 5 development project team. According to The Verge, the team members were hired individually by Google, but will regroup as a team when they start work with the search giant. Enyo is an HTML5-based application framework for webOS and plays an integral part in HP’s plans to open-source the mobile OS. HP has since issued as statement saying that the staff departures will not impact its planned late 2012 release schedule for Open webOS.
Flickr Uploadr goes HTML5 for web images
Flickr revamped the web version of its Uploadr tool on Wednesday. The new version has switched to HTML5 with a more natural drag-and-drop interface to load photos. Making the switch now lets Flickr show thumbnails, like the native desktop and mobile apps, as well as reorder images, tag friends, and otherwise handle most tasks that would have needed to wait until afterwards.
Adobe CS6 ships within 30 days
Adobe began the week early with official launch details of Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud. The collection of professional tools are available for pre-order as of Monday and should ship within 30 days.
Job advert from Microsoft tells of Skype for web
Microsoft appears to be considering a new version of Skype for web browsers, based on a job advert posted online. The Microsoft Careers website shows listings for developers based in London and Prague to help create a project named as “Skype for Browsers” based on HTML5.
Also adds star ratings and Chrome enhancement
Google has updated its Google Play (formerly Android Market) Music subsection with some new, "experimental" controls that include a toggle for using HTML5 rather than Flash for desktops, along with the replacement of the "thumbs up/down" rating system with a five-star rating, the iTunes standard. For Chrome users, the service can now provide desktop notifications. The changes mark the continuation of efforts to improve the service, which officially launched in November.
Firefox nightlies to support WebRTC for video chat
Mozilla is gearing up to allow a plugin-free approach to video chat in upcoming versions of Firefox. A demo at the IETF 83 conference caught by TechCrunch showed off the implementation of WebRTC, an HTML5 component that will allow two-way voice, video, and file swaps. As shown, it would sign in with Mozilla's Social API.
Google Chrome 18 reaches stable level
Google on Wednesday posted the finished version of Chrome 18. The stable version now brings hardware graphics speedups to HTML5's Canvas for 2D and is potentially much faster for certain websites. Acceleration works on both Macs and Windows PCs, but not Linux so far.
Deezer starts letting subscribers download music
Paris-based streaming music service Deezer has just announced the launch of an offline listening mode, letting users download their music through their browser. Thus far, only Chrome is supported, though work on other browsers is underway. Unlike competitor Spotify's caching mode, a desktop app isn't needed as it's using HTML5's built-in support for offline web apps.
Jolicloud Me now open to some users
Jolicloud acted on its pivot into a cloud service with the formal start of a semi-public beta of Jolicloud Me. The invitation-only option gives users a common place for their media and has unique options for finding content, such as where it's located. Users can organize content from disparate sources into individual collections.
Updates look and feel of browser-based app
Google has redesigned the mobile web version of its Google+ social networking service. The latest release provides a crisper, less cluttered look to its browser-based offering. The company claims that the new interface is much closer to the native apps running on Android, iOS, and Blackberry 7 devices.
Google Plus may unify games on mobile and web
Google+ group product manager Punit Soni gave a presentation at the Game Developers Conference on Tuesday that promised a completely unified game platform from his company. He expected "by next year" to see Android, Chrome Web Store, Chrome Native Client, and Google+ games to all be unified. He didn't explain how this would happen, VentureBeat said, although it's implied that Google+ would emphasize HTML5 games on mobile, not just the desktop, and wouldn't be locked into Android alone.
Tools aim to ease workflow for web designers
Adobe has released two new tools for web developers and designers, a new version of it's HTML5 animation tool Adobe Edge and an all-new tool for quickly previewing web designs on desktop, notebook and mobile devices called Adobe Shadow. The company will be showcasing these and other tools for HTML5 web development and mobile solutions at SXSW Interactive and all-day training camps being held this weekend in Austin, Texas.
Apple still uncontested in mobile HTML5 benchmarks
Apple still has an unambiguous lead over Google in HTML5 performance on the mobile web, app development tool maker Spaceport.io found in a head-on benchmark test. iOS devices were typically about three times faster than their Android equivalents. Even Android 4.0's flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, was still about 42 percent slower than the iPhone 4S despite newly optimized HTML5 code and a theoretically faster 1.2GHz clock speed.
Project finally nearing completion
HTML5 may get pseudo DRM with proposal
Google, Microsoft, and Netflix have put forward a proposal that could add a level of copy protection to HTML5 audio and video. Encrypted Media Extensions would let apps on the web and elsewhere use keys to control who has access to a given media stream. It would allow any format that would work in HTML5 as long as the format itself can support some kind of key or bit.
Mozilla Marketplace to use HTML5, custom API apps
Mozilla revealed on Wednesday that it will begin accepting web app submissions at MWC next week. The web apps will be based on HTML5 and some Mozilla-proposed APIs, and work in both the company's Firefox browser as well as platforms that support HTML5. Mozilla promises to give developers easy development, direct user feedback, and allow for flexible billing
Adobe to focus on speed first for Flash
Adobe on Wednesday published a roadmap (PDF) giving a peek at the long-term future of Flash. Having dropped the mobile version, it's now focusing on games and video on the desktop and now agrees that HTML5 and other web standards are more suited for animation. Accordingly, the imminent 11.2 update would improve hardware graphics acceleration, multi-core video processing, and support for right clicks when using mice.
Parts could find their way into competing browsers
Last July, Mozilla acknowledged that it was planning to build a mobile operating system. Today, the non-profit development organization that created the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email system provided an initial view of what that foundation, named
Boot2Gecko (BTG), will look like. Mozilla is promising to demo it at the upcoming Mobile World Congress later this month.
Windows 8 on ARM to require HTML5 for advanced web
Microsoft's Windows leader Steven Sinofsky picked an interview this week to reveal that Windows 8 on ARM wouldn't support plugins. He explained to AllThingsD that Internet Explorer on these chips, even in the regular desktop, wouldn't run Flash or any similar browser add-ins. Mobile devices were moving away from Flash as a whole, he said.
Facebook shows Apple influence in IPO filing
The SEC filing behind Facebook's long-expected IPO has seen company founder Mark Zuckerberg take an Apple cue in his pay. The CEO earlier this month requested that, as of the start of 2013, his base pay be cut from as much as $500,000 in 2011 to just $1, much like Apple co-creator Steve Jobs. Zuckerberg is known to have taken advice from Jobs and considered his success an aspirational goal.
As expected, doesn't support flash
Mozilla has released the latest mobile version of its browser for Android devices. Firefox 10 is now available for download (free, Android Market). As expected, the new version offers enhanced HTML5 support, but doesn't support Flash.
Seamless viewing expanded to iOS devices
SoundCloud has dropped Flash in favor of HTML5. The cloud-based social sound sharing service has added a widget which lets subscribers across multiple platforms leverage the app. Previously, while most Android users were fine, iPad and iPhone users were at a loss when they came across a song or sound sample using Adobe's plugin.
Intel makes key deal for RealNetworks video
Intel and RealNetworks made a crucial deal for video technology on Thursday. The semiconductor firm has paid $120 million to get a "significant" 190 of RealNetworks' patents. In exchange, Intel has agreed to team with RealNetworks to co-develop the latter's signature video codecs and will take on seven codec developers from its partner in the process.
Audiobooks takes Netflix, Spotify cues
Audiobooks.com is hoping to shake up the e-book field by trying a business model similar to Netflix or Spotify just for its namesake audiobooks. A $25 flat rate gives access to the full catalog of 11,000 audiobooks, many of which are from major publishers. Like with other such services, continued access depends on a sustained plan, but it's potentially more economic for those who read two or more books every month.
We player does end run around pulled apps
Rogue music service Grooveshark is attempting to do an end-run around apps that have been pulled from both the iOS App Store and the Android Market by posting a "web app" version of the player in pure HTML5, which should work with most smartphones and tablets as well as most web browsers. In a blog post, the company says it is trying to "reach as many mobile music listeners as we can" but already faces lawsuits from all of the major labels, who accuse the company of illegally misusing rights to the music.
Microsoft cheers end to IE6 use
Microsoft's hopes that Internet Explorer 6 would die were partly validated after the company's Roger Capriotti noted that the decade-old browser had been reduced to irrelevance in the US. Working from data at NetApplications, he declared IE6 over as it made up just 0.9 percent of all American web traffic. The US was late, having been preceded by parts of Europe and Scandinavia, but was coming at the same time as the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, and others were also dropping below one percent.
Analyst breaks down Facebook mobile surge
A new study of Facebook use by Enders Analysis' Benedict Evans has shown that 300 million Facebook users out of the total 800 million, or about 38 percent, are using the social network through mobile apps at least once a month. The figure is dominated by Android and iOS, which combined are about two thirds of the entire share at 204.8 million. Although 70 percent of BlackBerry owners use the Facebook app, it has half as many monthly users as Android, at 48.3 million.
Release follows Firefox 9 desktop editions
Just days after Firefox 9 arrived for Mac, Windows and Linux, Mozilla has released the equivalent edition for Android devices. The revamped browser brings significant changes to the user interface for tablets, placing each tab as a thumbnail on the left edge of the screen while the open window is still displayed in full on the right.
Video content now available all platforms
On the heels of a study that shows that 80 percent of all web video is now available in HTML5 players for the benefit of mobile users, one of the world's largest news-gathering operations, the BBC, has formally adopted the standard for videos on the regular and mobile versions of its news website, ensuring that videos on the site play on both iOS and Android devices as well as modern browsers across all platforms.
Gmail Scribbles goes to web and earlier
Google updated Gmail on the web to bring to mobile web users some of the features that it introduced in the Gmail iOS app just a few days ago. Those on a modern mobile web browser, such as Android 3.1, iOS 4, the BlackBerry PlayBook, or later versions of each can hand-draw Scribbles, or notes or sketches, to accompany their e-mail. It primarily relies on HTML5 to provide native features and supports colors as well as different brush types.
Adobe posts last real Flash 11 mobile update
Adobe posted its last significant update to Flash 11 on Android (Market). The update is primarily to provide support with Android 4.0 phones like the Galaxy Nexus. Speed-ups and bug fixes are also part of the fix, Adobe said.
Internet Explorer to auto-upgrade soon
Microsoft GM Ryan Gavin told Windows users that the company would start auto-updating Internet Explorer. Beginning with Australia and Brazil in January, anyone using Windows XP or later with automatic updates turned on will go to the most recent version of the browser available for the OS without prompting. More countries would come in line over time.
New e-book format already in hands of publishers
Amazon may be beta testing its new Kindle e-book format with selected publishers. The new format, referred to by Amazon as Kindle Format 8 (KF8), provides support for HTML5-based content. The Digital Reader, which revealed the testing, also reports that a number of graphic novels may already be available in the format and readable by the new Kindle Fire.
IE9 site features pinning and JumpLists
Microsoft has partnered with Internet music service Last.fm to create a website optimized for Internet Explorer 9. The Discover site leverages the browser's inbuilt functionality to provide pinning and JumpList features. Also, by building upon an HTML5 foundation, the companies claim the web-based service will have the look and feel of a native Windows app.
TeleNav goes to web and free model
TeleNav on Wednesday gave a preview of a major rethink of its GPS business. The company has developed an HTML5-based web app that provides turn-by-turn GPS on iPhones, Windows Phone, or any device that supports the modern web standard. Many of the features of native apps will remain, including voice guidance, fully animated maps, points of interest, and automatic redirection.
Twitter overhauls web, TweetDeck, Android, iOS UIs
Twitter on Thursday unveiled a new redesign sweeping across its entire platform. It now has a simpler design that in many cases shows content or conversations directly in the updates themselves, eliminating the need for the pop-out section on the web. A new tab menu is consistent across the web as well as desktop and mobile apps to avoid any jarring differences for those who switch often.
New version promises better UI, faster access
Opera has released a milestone upgrade for the Windows version of its browser. Release 11.60 incorporates several enhancements to the user interface and improves performance (free, Windows). Key among these are a new email client, quicker access to favorite sites, improved Web compatibility, and faster, more secure connectivity.