With all the attention from leading technology companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, chances are you’ve heard of HTML5. It has been heralded as the “future of the internet” by Steve Jobs when Apple infamously eliminated Flash support on iOS devices in favor of HTML5. But all the hype fails to cover the most important question: What exactly is HTML5?
HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language” which is geek-speak for “a set of rules that tell computers how to interpret code to display websites.”(seriously, there are literal sets of rules) HTML5 is the 5th version of these rules, and brings major upgrades to the capabilities of websites.
To oversimplify the explanation, HTML5 is a convergence of several technologies currently used to make websites interactive.
Unlike the iPhone, new versions of HTML don’t come out every year. HTML4 was introduced in 1997, and opened the door for huge advancements in website technology over what was previously possible with HTML3. To illustrate the difference in website building capabilities between versions of HTML, take a look at how LEGO’s website changed from HTML3 to HTML4.
HTML5 should be a similar leap forward over HTML4. HTML5 introduces a bunch of new features, including:
- Web applications that work when you’re not connected to the internet
- Drag and drop file uploads
- Voice Input
Although many features have already been put in place on the internet, HTML5 is still in the development phase and probably won’t be finished for several years. That means that browsers (the window you’re currently using to view the internet) are constantly being upgraded in order to keep up with the new “rules” that are being developed. If your browser becomes outdated, many websites will cease to work on your computer.
For example: the browser that people used to view LEGO’s 1996 website simply wouldn’t be capable of viewing LEGO’s website today. That’s why it’s important to update your browser to the latest version at least once or twice a year.
Click the links below to update your browser for free!