In researching my article "How BrowserCAD Works" for next week's upFront.eZine, I found that the dream of accessing CAD models "anywhere" is still a dream, because the necessary technologies (HTML5 and WebGL) are supported spottily. While modern browsers are getting close to supporting all of HTML5 (itself a still-developing standard), the primary problem lies with WebGL -- on the desktop and especially on portable devices.
I tried getting sunglass.io to work on an Android tablet. I choose sunglass.io, because its front page displays a rotating 3D model using WebGL. And if the browser does not support WebGL, the page says so in bold red text! See figure below.
Chrome browser in Android not supporting WebGL.
I had read that Firefox and Opera Mobile work; the other browsers not. Here's what I found.
Android Browser = No.
Google Chrome = No.
Firefox = Yes.
Opera Mini = No.
Opera Mobile =Yes. See figure below.
Opera Mobile browser supporting WebGL on Android 4.0 tablet.
BlackBerry Playbook Tablet OS 2 = YES (The Playbook browser seems to have excellent compatibility, including good Flash support).
Posted by: Tony | Jun 07, 2012 at 10:52 AM
I read recently that RIM may well be the leader in HTML5 support. I think they use it for writing apps for their tablet.
Posted by: Ralph Grabowski | Jun 07, 2012 at 10:56 AM
IIRC, the current solution is HTML5, but also a NDK (native development kit) is in the works for using the underlying software (QNX + Qt + other libraries).
Posted by: Tony | Jun 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
lol @ "COLLABORATION ON 3D CONTENT HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER" overwritten with "SOMETHING IS WRONG"!
Posted by: Steve Johnson | Jun 07, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Safari on OSX > only if the user specifically enables WebGL support. Just a simple menu option in the "Develop" menu, but that menu has to be enabled in the Preferences/Options.
Then it works fine.
Mobile Safari on iPhone > not at the moment. Apparently, it is enabled for iAd developers, so the technology seems to be mostly ready.
Posted by: Stefan Boeykens | Jun 07, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Over on http://atnan.com/blog/2011/11/03/enabling-and-using-webgl-on-ios/, we read:
"WebGL will not be publicly available in iOS 5. It will only be available to iAd developers."
- Chris Marrin, WebKit Engineer Public WebGL Mailing List
Posted by: Ralph Grabowski | Jun 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM