In the H.246’s defence, the format has been working fine so far with the only drawback being that companies who use it need to pay patenting royalty fees to the companies that developed the standard. Keeping this in mind and as a solution to this, Google recently announced the WebM free version at its I/O conference. To individuals and companies alike it is a sigh of relief as the “no fee” tag is a welcome change.
However, this spells bad news for all the Smartphone users as most of the past and current Smartphones will not be able to support this format. As opposed to desktops and laptops, Smartphones will not be able to support this format. With desktops and laptops, the only prerequisite to use WebM will be additional software installed on the system. Smartphones however will have to wait for an up-gradation of the software to actually be able to play videos in this format. Unfortunately for them, the current software is designed to adapt to the H.246. Consumers who would want to still go ahead with using the WebM format without a software acceleration will be in for a rude shock because running the application as such would drain the phone of its battery life. It will also rob the phone of its performance, creating tremendous strain on the phone.
The good news is that the phones that are yet to be launched in the market will now have WebM support. A first among such phones would be from Broadcom as they have already altered their mobile chips to support the WebM format. All future processors will probably support this format as it seems to be catching on pretty well. This however will not help current users of Smartphones.
Google already has plans of adding support for WebM in the next version of the Android OS that is fondly named Gingerbread. This is sure to make consumers happy. Plans to embed WebM into YouTube services are also in the pipeline. With Google using the WebM on such a huge platform, other sites are also bound to follow suit. WebM is probably going to be one of the most popular formats in the market and being a free version it will gain popularity very soon. Although it seems to be a setback for the current Smartphone users WebM is still a noteworthy video codec.