18 Jan Google Chrome to drop native support for H.264 video
And the web-video war rages on…
If you’re looking for a way to avoid using Flash Player to serve up videos your life just got more complicated. Google Chrome will drop support for the already popular H.264 format which happens to be the only format that most current smart phones natively support (iphone, ipad, android etc…). They will instead support the WebM vP8 and Theora codecs.
To be clear you will still be able to view H.264 videos in a flash video player in Chrome, this is specific to native html5 video tag support only. One of the benefits of html5 video is the hopes of cross-device/browser compatibility. We will not be able to count on this anytime soon.
Minutiae: Apple has some sort of vested interest/ownership of the H.264 patent which is open for a supposed limited time (some conspiracy theorists think they will revert later on but no one knows). Google bought the company responsible for the VP8 codec and opened up its patents to the public now and forever (supposedly). Google is also pre-loading Flash Player with the Chrome browser. We’ve got a blockbuster fight lined up here! Bets anyone ($5 minimum)?