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Google bringing accelerometer support to Chromium


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In a move to bring screen-orientation awareness to mobile Web applications, Google has added accelerometer APIs to the WebKit HTML renderer. The APIs are based on the DeviceOrientation Event Specification, a W3C Web standard draft that describes DOM events for monitoring orientation changes and accelerometer activity.

The WebKit implementation of the DeviceOrientation standard was developed by Google engineer Steve Block, one of the coauthors of the specification. The code landed in WebKit in May, but was only enabled for the Android platform. Google is now preparing to bring the feature to Chromium.

The feature will allow Web application developers to track the device's orientation with JavaScript and programmatically perform certain actions when the orientation changes. Similar features are already implemented in Mozilla's Firefox Web browser. Mozilla's work on the feature preceded the W3C specification, so Firefox has its own, slightly different API. You can see Firefox's accelerometer support in action today in the version of Firefox Mobile that is available for the N900.

Accelerometer API support in Chromium could be useful in the future if Google's upcoming Chrome OS ever comes to tablet devices. The feature is, however, still under active development.

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