June has been an interesting month for Internet technology. We kicked off with the big IPv6 experiment, which thankfully seems to have been successful. IPv6 is available as standard in most personal computers, servers and recent network equipment. It’s not so prevalent in home routers, and it’s anyone’s guess how much support there is in mobile devices. Around the same time, Apple announced iCloud as somewhere to store your stuff. It would seem that Apple are getting a lot of traction with their technology and service announcements, though there are also some emerging trends to counter this, such as the growing adoption of HTML5 to create applications, as the recent Financial Times application demonstrates (see below). There’s still plenty of confusion regarding the subscription policies for apps on Apple devices, regardless of how they are implemented.
The trend towards HTML5 is behind the kind of chatter we hear surrounding other platform vendors, notably Microsoft who are rumoured to be putting a HTML5 emphasis into Windows Phone 8, putting the future of other MS technologies in doubt (Silverlight, .NET etc.). We also had news of Facebook’s “Project Spartan“, which appears to be an app platform built entirely on HTML5.
Firefox 5 suddenly appeared a few days ago, not long after the debut of Firefox 4. The new rapid release cycle could cause confusion and compatibility issues. So far, FF5 seems to be a little more stable and slightly faster than its predecessor (though you should probably compare it to the speed of the new Opera 11.50). A few FF extensions were not supported, notably the Google toolbar. You can get these disabled extensions back via the Firefox Add-on Compatibilty Reporter, which disables the compatibility checks to let you test for yourself if the add-ons work.
While Mozilla were surprising people with FF5, manufacturers of touchscreen mobile devices were given another surprise when Apple was granted a US patent for the touchscreen technology as used in the iPhone and related products.
In the past few days the Googlers have given us Google+ challenge to Facebook, and the free Swiffy service to convert Flash to HTML5 (apparently with Adobe’s approval).