New iPad Makes Things Difficult For HTML5 Developers

Apple has been quite supportive of emerging Web standards and has been giving them a central place in its devices and platforms. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in the new iPad in which, according to HTML 5 developers, there is no expanded support for HTML5. Using iOS 5.1, the web performance of this new tablet is at par with iPad 2, it is being said.

Let there be no mistake that the new iPad still is a tablet which utilize HTML5 in the best way, when compared to other contemporary products. But the contention of HTML5 developers is that in iOS 5.1, Apple has barely moved forward from the support it was already extending in iPad 2.

According to Sencha, an HTML 5 tools vendor, it ran a number of HTML5 tests with the new iPad and iOS 5.1. These tests checked for completeness, which indicates how many HTML5 elements are supported and correctness, which refers to how well these elements are supported. The results, as Sencha puts it, are somewhat of a ‘mixed bag.’

Perhaps the kind of disappointment HTML5 developers are facing due to new iPad can be summed in these words of a senior director at Sencha, ‘It’s still the best HTML 5 platform on the market. But we had hoped for a bigger advance than this [in the new iPad]. Instead, we’re treading water and even slid back a bit. That’s a little disappointing from Apple.’

Lack of support for HTML 5 local data storage:
One of the chief problems HTML5 developers are facing with the new iPad is that it somewhat complicates HTML 5 data storage. When the data is stored by HTML 5 locally, the iOS 5.1 no longer regards it as persistent but rather, as temporary. So, all this data can be removed from the system whenever the OS feels like it. This presents a huge problem for the developers. Why did Apple make such a move? ‘This is probably because Apple can’t reliably iCloud backup, or iCloud sync from anything that’s not stored in the native [iOS] CoreData storage’ Bansod, the senior director at Sencha thinks.

Also, probably the case is that because when data is stored locally, it takes up a lot of space since Apple backs it up with its iCloud service. To do away with the whole load of it, Apple dropped the support for local data storage for HTML5 developers.

No new support for more HTML5 features:
Also, no new HTML5 features have been added to iOS 5.1 and HTML5 is more or less the same on both iOS 5.0 and iOS 5.1. CSS support is also missing from iOS 5.1. All these deficiencies significantly affect the speed of web browsing on the new iPad which, in some cases, seemed slower than some contemporary tablets. And in some cases, it was even slower than iPad 2.

Given all these problems and the very genuine contentions of HTML5 developers, one hopes that Apple ships out more extended support for HTML5 in some update for iOS 5.1 in the coming days.

Image courtesy John.

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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