Taking note of Apple's heavy reliance on HTML5 web technologies in its iDevices and other products like iAd, MobileMe, iTunes LP and iTunes Extras, AppleInsider pointed earlier today that the Apple.com website has been upgraded from "HTML 4.01 Transitional" to the latest HTML5 standard.
It's a notable move for Apple wouldn't bother updating the code just for the heck of it unless it's part of a broader strategy focused to push HTML5 as the preferred technological foundation of their gadgets. While the change won't mean much for the regular folks (at least initially), subtle design changes offer a glimpse of things to come. AppleInsider spotted "richer support for mobile features" and two design tweaks indicated below.
Apart from a darker navigation bar (previously gray) on the homepage, the search box that sits in the upper right corner now elegantly shrinks the navigation buttons on the left in order to accommodate your search query.
Mac, iPod and iTunes product section also feature new product sliders that animate product icons in place rather than mimic window scrolling behavior, like the previous iteration of the site.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is behind HTML5, last week unveiled a new HTML5 logo while dropping versioning in order to prevent confusion and simplify the ratification process when discussing new HTML5 features. Apple's Safari browser for Macs, PCs and iDevices adheres to the latest HTML5 specification and is known for perhaps the most robust implementation for modern web technologies in use today.
Safari is based on the WebKit layout engine also utilized by Chrome and the vast majority of mobile browsers out there. WebKit was born when Apple took a little project from the Konqueror browser's KHTML software library and kept perfecting it until - surprisingly - the company decided to release the project on an open-source basis for everyone to use.