Google backs new era of HTML5 web apps

Powerful web applications are a key theme at Google's biggest developer conference of the year taking place in San Francisco.

Powerful web applications are a key theme at Google's biggest developer conference of the year taking place in San Francisco.

Nearly one billion people are using browsers rooted in open source technology, which have quintupled their processing power in less than a year, according to Google.

New functionality in the nascent HTML 5 specification, which includes improved local storage and background processing, is also spurring powerful web applications.

"Bet on the web," Vic Gundotra, vice-president of developer products at Google told attendees on the opening day of the conference.

"Its rate of innovation has dramatically accelerated over the past 12 months, giving rise to an open web platform that is more capable and more sophisticated than even a year ago," he said.

Google is using the I/O 2009 conference, attended by around 3,000 developers, to announce new products and initiatives to promote application development on the web.

Google Web Elements gives developers an easy way to incorporate Google products onto a website or blog.

This includes content such as Maps, News and YouTube videos, as well as social comments functionality by Google Friend Connect.

New Java language support in Google App Engine provides developers with tools to build Ajax web applications.

More than 10,000 Java language applications have been deployed on App Engine since a preview of Java support was released to a limited number of developers in April, said Google.

Google has also launched the second phase of the Android Developer Challenge, which rewards developers for building applications for the Android mobile platform.

For Android Developer Challenge 2 (ADC 2), Google will let users of Android-powered phones take part in the judging process through the use of an on-phone judging application.

Awards will be presented to the top applications and up to $250,000 is up for grabs by the overall winner, which will be announced in November.

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