Google API and HTML5 combo praised

Google says the combination is particularly useful for developing mobile apps

Via a developer partner, Google on Thursday is promoting HTML5 and Google APIs as offering a "new era of mobile apps." The posting on the Google Code Blog, from nextstop co-founder Adrian Graham, emphasizes the technology combination.

"When building nextstop's HTML5 mobile app, we were able to leverage a powerful combination of HTML5 and Google APIs to build a mobile Web experience that we believe rivals what we could have built natively," Graham said. nextstop anticipates more people will jump on the HTML5 bandwagon as a cross-platform way to build powerful mobile applications, Graham said.

[ As reported by InfoWorld last week, Forrester Research believes HTML5 is a long way from killing off plug-ins like Flash and Silverlight. ]

Google is allotting the blog space to Graham as part of its "Who's @ Google I/O" series of posts pertaining to developers who will be speaking at the Google I/O conference next month in San Francisco.

Technology from the HTML5 specification has been touted as a potential replacement for proprietary rich Internet technologies such as Adobe Flash. Apple Computer has been particularly bullish on HTML5, emphasizing its use on iPhone OS-based systems and rejecting any notion of Flash.

nextstop is described on its own Web site as a community effort to build a catalog of things to do, places to go, and experiences to try around the world. Graham emphasizes HTML5 features for Web development. While HTML5 video features have gotten a lot of attention, Graham said, nextstop has found other features of the specification most useful for Web development. These include prefetching using LocalStorage, geolocation, and application cache capabilities.

"As excited as we are about HTML5, things get even more interesting when you combine these technologies with Google APIs," said Graham. He listed Google Maps API V3, Google Analytics, and Google Local Search API, noting, for example, that Google Maps API V3 has been rewritten to support modern mobile Web browsers.

"We were able to build a map interface into our mobile app that is nearly as full-featured as our main site, including support for dynamic updates when the user pans and gestures like pinch to zoom on the iPhone. Coupled with the geolocation support in HTML5, we can easily show users where they are in relation to the recommendations on the map," Graham said.

"A year ago, this would have required writing a fair amount of native code. Today it can be done in the browser and works on both Android 2 and iPhone 3 devices," he said.

Google itself has both pushed HTML5 and made accommodations for Flash.

This article, "Google API and HTML5 combo praised," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at

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