YouTube brings HTML5 video to webOS two years too late
If you’re still running webOS 1.4.5 on your Pre, Pixi, or the Plus variants of each, you might have noticed something new in your browsing of the internet over the past several days: playable YouTube videos in the browser. We pulled out our old Sprint Pre and fired it up, and the completely stock webOS 1.4.5 install was indeed able to not only load YouTube videos in the browser, but also play those videos.
Playback was actually surprisingly good, even on the old beaten and abused Pre. Well, it was good so long as you kept YouTube set to 480p or below. Framerates looked to be right around 25-30fps, which is perfectly acceptable for a two-year-old webOS phone. It’s not all perfect, as the video does not respond to rotation, scrolling, or zooming while playing, and you’ve got to deal with tiny desktop-style YouTube controls.
For the record, this is not a part of the Trojan Horse Enyo update, as this phone hasn’t had the Enyo-packing Bing Maps update installed. We’re kicking it old school. So no, they didn’t bring Flash to the entire webOS line-up. We’ve got Flash on our HP Pre3, and it’s not anything approaching this good. So what is it? It’s HTML5, the magical web standard around which much of webOS is built. YouTube's newishg iframe embed code allows YouTube to serve you Flash or HTML5 video depending on the capabilities of the browser, so on the desktop you get Flash, while on a Pre you're given HTML5. Too bad it took over two years for YouTube to finally serve up a usable version to webOS users.
Thanks to all that sent in tips!