I was inspired today to play around with the browsers on my 2 new tablets, and a few minutes ago I checked how well they supported HTML5.
As you can probably guess, almost all the developers working on a browser are keeping an eye on the HTML5 specs. They're adding more and better support with each release, because after all, HTML5 is the future and they want to be ready. But that doesn't appear to be happening with these 2 tablets.
Today I directed the browsers on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet to html5test.com. This is a site that will automatically test any browser when it visits the site and tell you how well it did. The results were not good.
The browser on the Nook Touch scored 177 out of 450. Yes that's low, but it's also the score of the stock web browser on Android v2.3, which suggests that the NT is using the stock browser. Clearly B&N haven't put any work into this browser beyond adding a new skin.
The Silk browser on the KF is brand new, and you'd think it would have decent HTML5 support. Nope. It scored 196 out of 450. That's actually not that bad because it puts the KF a step ahead of a lot of generic Android tablets. It also puts the Kindle Fire a step ahead of the Touchpad, which scored 195 on this test.
Now, when to comes to tablets the one with the best HTML5 support is the iPad (running iOS5).That scored 297 out of a possible 450.
You'll find Opera 11 in a distant second place, and that's good news for us. We can just download it if we need it (directly from the Opera website, in fact).
It seems that a lot of tablet and mobile browsers have lower scores than desktop browser, and I wonder if that trend will continue? Right now there are a number of sites that won't work on all devices because of missing support for Flash or some plugin. What do you think the chance is that HTML5 support will eventually be regarded as the bugaboo of mobile browsing that Flash is today?
I still have devices that lack Flash support, BTW. Most are quite usable in all but that one regard.