HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard – the language used to design and present content on websites. Much attention has focused on the ability of HTML5 to display video and audio – without the need for third party plugins like Adobe’s Flash Player or Microsoft’s Silverlight.
As HTML5 is an open standard (though yet to be finalized) it could be seen as a better option than proprietary plugins – and may potentially offer better security too. Adobe have already given up development of Flash for mobile devices and changed to developing tools for HTML5 instead – in time they may pursue the same policy in the desktop market too.
Although HTML5 is still under development, a report last September revealed that 34 of the world’s top 100 websites were already using it. As HTML5 usage becomes more prevalent (and will only increase further this year), it is worth considering how well does your current web browser support HTML5?
Web Browser Support For HTML5
The HTML5test website measures how well your current browser supports HTML5 – scores are given out of a possible total of 475 points although this maximum could change as the HTML5 specification nears ratification: “The score is calculated by testing for the many new features of HTML5. Each feature is worth one or more points. The test also awards bonus points for supporting audio and video codecs”
The results are interesting:
1st. Chrome 17 – 374 and 13 bonus points in my own test and still an outright winner (very similar figures for Chrome 16 but this is out of date)
2nd. Firefox 10 – 332 and 9 bonus points – a creditable second place
3rd. Opera 11.6 – 329 and 9 bonus points – virtually identical to Firefox
4th. Apple Safari 5.1 – 302 and 7 bonus points – only lagging slightly behind
5th. IE9 – 141 and 5 bonus points – very poor result but IE has always been slow to adopt web standards… Microsoft have heavily promoted the HTML5 capabilities of IE9 recently (e.g. with the cut the rope HTML5 game) so it is a shame that IE9 implementation is not much better
To find out your own score just browse to html5test.com and see how well your browser does. The ‘Other Browsers’ tab at the top of the page displays tables so you can compare your browser with others. Note, scores are for a default browser installation – your own results may vary slightly depending on options you have configured and the operating system used.
Other Versions of IE
IE8 – 41 and 0 bonus points – enough said. Another good reason for XP users to switch to a more modern browser (with better security too)
IE10 – 314 and 6 bonus points. Much better results than IE9 but it would still only be fourth compared to current browsers – not great for a future browser that you might expect to blaze a trail in new web technologies.
Tablet and Mobile Phone Tests
Firefox Mobile 10 came second and first respectively, beating iOS 5 in both tests. Apple have been scathing about plugins like Flash and have promoted HTML5 as the best future alternative so I would have expected iOS to be at the forefront of HTML5 compliance on the iPad and iPhone.
Google may have won the day with Chrome in the desktop market but all versions of its Android browser (2.3 through to 4) were a long way off the pace.
No browser gets more than 375 out of 450 but this is probably because the HTML5 standard has not been ratified so the goalposts are always moving. Chrome, Firefox and Opera do well as I would expect. Safari was quite good whilst Microsoft’s flagship IE9 was typically poor, only surpassing the outdated IE8.
The main surprises are that the upcoming IE10 would still only be in 4th place (Microsoft haven’t learned lessons about adherence to web standards) and, in the tablet/smartphone tests, that Google’s Android browser was nowhere near as HTML5 compliant as Chrome – Android 4.0 ICS was the best but only scored 256 points.