Device APIs allow the Web to be opened up to applications that can compete with traditional apps installed on device hard drives. These browser-based apps are hosted through the Web and are open to end users for remote access from a variety of devices. Device APIs themselves are not accessed remotely, however, but are client-side APIs that allow for the development of Web apps accessed in this way.
This term is generally used in the context of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.This makes sense when you think of the nature of the hardware; there is so much more that can be done with a mobile device when it comes to using its location, gyroscope, camera, contacts and battery status. The W3C is working on a standard that is not yet solidified. Any mobile developer will tell you that the concept is great, but we'll just have to wait and see whether it really pans out.
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