Apple is drawing the line in the sand with its pronouncement that HTML5 is mature enough for wide adoption and sites which require plug-ins and add-ons to view content are soon to be gathering dust. However, what is somewhat strange is that you can only view the examples using Apple’s Safari web browser. Other HTML5-compliant browsers such as Google Chrome and even Opera are blocked. If you try to load the examples, Apple pops up a message that you need to download Safari to view the demo.
Considering I was at a SpeakTheWeb conference back in February where Patrick Lauke, part of Opera’s developer relations team, presented exactly all these features of HTML5 (albeit in a much less elegant fashion), why would Apple restrict the display of their gallery in browsers which are already HTML5 compliant?
Apple have been vilified for the restrictions on their App developer kit and their response has been to point developers towards creating webapps. Critics of Apple have said that this is disingenuous as it is in Apple’s best interest that developer create apps for their native devices. However, whilst Apple seem to be promoting a more open Web and one in which the standard is without add-ons yet again Apple is implementing further restrictions on how consumers access web content through the only true method available – browser choice. When you turn full circle and consider that the default browser installed on the iPad is Apple’s Safari, it is obvious that Steve Jobs is making moves to strengthen the adoption of his browser by both consumers and developers and thus his stranglehold on the market share mobile devices. How much this affects the desktop browser share remains to be seen.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple products and am keen to get my hands on an iPad. My only real peeve is that not too long ago, many people, especially Apple users, were up in arms about Microsoft’s anti-trust case with Internet Explorer. Isn’t this turning into exactly the same thing?