The Modern Web: Device APIs

This is an edited excerpt from Chapter 6 of The Modern Web by Peter Gasston. You can download the source files to go with the code examples here

In the previous chapters, I’ve discussed some of the many APIs that have been introduced as part of the HTML5 process, such as microdata and Touch Events. But there is a further range of APIs that, although not part of the spec, are certainly related; and these APIs offer something extremely attractive to developers in the multi-screen world: access to the device itself. In this chapter, we take a look at some device APIs—from the new location and spatial features in portable devices to file and storage optionsacross most modern browsers. Obviously not all APIs are going to be available on every device—knowing the position in three-dimensional (3-D) space of a television is of little practical use—but many APIs are useful across a broad range of user agents.

This is a curated list of those APIs I feel will be most practical, and the introductions to many are, for reasons of space, quite brief; often, the APIs will be much more extensive, and although I’ll note where I think the scope is available for you to learn more, I urge you to discover for yourself the capabilities and possibilities of accessing the device through JavaScript.

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