HTML5, Multi-Touch and the iPad
We just released Version 2 of our Player for iPad Preview. It earned the Version 2 name because with it we introduced local storage. With local storage users can take their iPad anywhere and not have to worry about maintaining a live Internet connection. (Want to join our Preview program? You need to be a customer but if you are, let us know.)
To achieve a build-on-Windows, deploy-on-iPad scenario we chose to leverage HTML5. HTML5 is a universal language used across Web browsers - and independent of operating systems - whose promise, among other things, is to enable touch-based interactions within a browser.
The challenge is that the HTML5 specification is still incomplete, more than one year awayfrom what the W3C calls “recommended”. This means that it is still in flux and differently interpreted by each Web browser provider. From our perspective, it means there is inconsistency between how to build a Player for iPad vs. how to build - for example - a future Player for Android.
To compensate for the inconsistencies, we are taking a hybrid approach in which we leverage the local tablet browser but wrap it with code running outside of the browser. The disadvantage for our users is that they still have to install an app to run IntuiFace experiences. The advantage is that we can build in capability not possible if embedded in a browser - like a file system API and dynamic application cache enabling unfettered offline use. (HTML 5 does not allow anything to be saved locally as this would be considered a security hole.)
So were are taking the best of HTML5 but using our home grown technology - including a patented gesture recognition engine - to bring true multi-touch to the iPad. And the good news is that it works beautifully.
Stay tuned for more reports about our efforts with iPad. I’m guessing we’ll be able to ship late this year / early next year but since this is software, don’t quote me.