Each of the demos is focused on one aspect or another of the interactive web, but each is powerful in its simplicity. The video player let’s you scale and rotate the video as it plays which, while not terribly useful is a lot of fun. One can imagine a future where with a good server you could upload raw footage to YouTube and do some light weight editing to create your next social video sensation.
The photo gallery allows you to scroll through pictures horizontally or vertically in an attractive curved arrangement. If you’d rather see them in a less 3d arrangement, that’s available with the click of a drop down list. The transition browser shows several possibilities for future enhancements one could add to the photo gallery.
The two most visually impressive demos are the virtual 5th Avenue Apple Cube and and iPhone product explored. Both of these demos show how a designer can use these technologies to create truly immersive experiences without any proprietary plugins. The glass cube is fun to twirl around inside and giving the stack of iPhones a spin is a real treat.
Unfortunately, all is not well in these demos. For starters, the demos only work in Safari not because of any technical limitation, Apple just chose to prevent other browsers from working. If your browser supports user agent spoofing you can check these demos out for yourself in other browsers. This hearkens back to the bad old days where websites only worked in Internet Explorer and other browsers were locked out, even if they could properly display the sites. This is exactly the opposite of what open Web Standards are about and Apple really missed the target in this one.
Compounding the problem is the fact that these demos don’t just use Web Standards but they also use Apple proprietary extensions, sometimes even when there is an approved standard extension that could be used. That utterly defeats the fundamental argument this site was built to make, that Web Standards are preferable to proprietary add ons. At the end of the day it is this major oversight that renders the demos too hypocritical to take seriously. Hopefully this demo site will be revised over time to actually demo Web Standards, we’ll just have to wait and see.
You can find the demos online at http://apple.com/html5.