Once the only third-party apps on smartphones — remember the first iPhone in 2007? — web apps are in the spotlight again. Mozilla is showing how HTML5 apps for Firefox OS can easily run on Android phones.
Samsung announced the first smartphone running its Tizen operating system on Monday. It’s a mid-range handset, and it’s headed to Russia.
Google Chrome(s goog) users on Android should keep their eyes peeled for the newest update, which is rolling out Wednesday. Chrome version 35 has a number of improvements, including an undo tab close button, which we saw in beta last month. Another nifty improvement is the way Chrome for Android handles HTML 5 video, which now support full-screening and subtitles.That’s great, as Google wants YouTube to play in HTML 5 whenever possible. Chrome OS and Chrome browser are also getting a few updates, including the ability to say “OK Google” to take control of a new tab.
Paid web apps gain a new home in Amazon’s Appstore. The company allowed such apps in the store since last August but now developers can set a price and sell their web wares.
If a web app works on Google’s old Chromebooks, it works on the new one just announced, right? Not exactly: Netflix doesn’t, nor does Bastion, a fun browser-based game. Native code in the browser may require web apps to be recompiled for the new chips.
Google is making a concerted effort to enable offline use for its Chrome browser and Chrome OS platform. There’s a new collection of apps in the Chrome Web Store that can already run offline. And offline editing for Google Docs is coming “soon” per the company.
Mobile backend as a service StackMob is announcing a hosted HTML5 solution that will make it easier for developers to build HTML5 and hybrid apps that use HTML5. The move allows the company to become a more full fledged platform as a service.
One of the main reasons to embrace HTML5 for media playback is to make things work on the iPad. But for SoundCloud, HTML5 has also shown much more user engagement than Flash. That’s why the company switched its default widget to HTML5.
Publishers are pushing HTML5 video, despite a lack of real standards around the display and rendering of supported players. thePlatform is addressing that problem with a new offering that enables customers to create one video player that can be delivered through any device or browser.
AT&T is showing some love to HTML5 with a new API platform to enable web apps and an AppCenter app store that will highlight HTML5 apps. The moves help build more momentum behind web apps, which are poised to grow as HTML5 matures.