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HTML5 is the fifth revision of the widespread web coding language HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, and the first major revision since HTML4 was released in 1997. HTML5 is still in the development phase (slated for a 2014 final publishing date), but is nonetheless used widely by progressive developers, particularly those who have, for various reasons, abandoned Adobe Flash. Hence why you may have encountered certain devices and broswers advertising their compatibility with both HTML and HTML5; technically, HTML5 hasn't subsumed the previous iteration yet, but it will. 

HTML5 addresses a number of purported issues with HTML4, many of them relating to inconsistencies and errors in coded text accross sites. More importantly, however, it simplifies and expands the possibilities for including media--most notably video--content in HTML pages. In the past, developers were more often than not forced to embed Adobe Flash coding into their HTML sites. HTML5 more or less eliminates that need.

Within the world of smartphones, HTML5 has taken on particular relevance in the context of Apple's rejection of Flash. Apple does not allow Flash on its mobile devices, for a variety of reasons (Flash lacks full compatibility with touchscreens, has exhibited serious security issues, and, most importantly, stands to limit developers by too slowly adopting Apple innovations). Apple, in turn, moved to HTML5, alongside CSS and Javascript, to stand in for Flash compatiblity. 

What difference does it make to users, if a device accepts one platform and not the other? Realistically speaking, the only major disadvantage has to do with gaming; Flash still runs a great deal of mobile and web-based games, and they won't function on Apple's mobile devices. Apple would most likely respond by noting that the App store features more gaming options for mobile devices than are available on any other platform. 


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