To Flash or De-Flash for Mobiles?

The popularity of Adobe Flash is divided between those who favour it and those who do not. As adding interactivity to web pages, it’s use is undeniable and yet, some think the reverse for reasons like poor SEO quality.

 Despite some supporting the role of this technology as indispensable by hinting problems lie with over-ambitious designers and lack of Apple support in portable devices, the opposition differ in their approach, reiterating this point strongly by stating their exasperating experiences with page download time, consequently escaping the presentation.

 True, in this mobile society, where people access the web on-the-go, through mobile or other devices, any software used should be user-friendly and truly accessible. However,  is  de-Flashing warranted to satisfy a motley group of people with a hand device and little patience?

 No. None of the arguments against qualify as soliciting an end to Flash animated presentation in websites,   mobile or otherwise, if only curbing it to an extent.

 Granted that it has its disadvantages; however, when it comes to visually attractive sites with interactive potential, there is really no rivalling Flash. If the objective behind de-Flashing the web is improving user-experience, the approach is skewed at its core because…no user will give up exploring a site that is genuinely creative and interesting. And any user who surfs a Flash site on his mobile is, very frankly, asking for it.

 However, keeping in mind the those “impatient” customers who form a part of the group central to business activities, tackling Flash problems is warranted.

 Enter HTML5…

 Although modern developers firmly believe there is practically no application that can replace Flash, a probable substitute is HTML5, best serving as an alternative to multimedia for Firefox, (yet an alternative only in part).

 Both Flash and HTML5 include audio and video play features within web pages, allows the use of integrated SVG, and vector graphics. A common misconception however is that HTML5 can independently provide interactivity and animation to web pages. On the contrary, it would require CSS3 or JavaScript to animate elements. Additionally:

  • HTML5 provides minimal support for Digital Rights Management. Its also makes it difficult for companies to protect their media.
  • It provides reduced support for variable streaming rates. Thus, if your connection weakens, it will generate lethargic downloads.
  • It provides incompatible codec support. While Chrome supports VP8 and IE9, Safari supports H.264, that will require developers encode while using multiple formats.

 As evident, not all is rosy with HTML5. Still, if de-Flashing for mobile devices be a necessity, one must either opt out of Flash completely, or keep features to a minimum, like a blink on the discount price!

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One Response to “To Flash or De-Flash for Mobiles?”

  1. Eddard Stark says:

    Developers should not stop using Flash in websites. Apple may think that Flash is not good enough for their league of “i” products, but when it comes to mobile support, Flash is still the frontrunner. Most of the mobile operating systems such as Android, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian support Flash. HTML5 may have a bright future, but that “bright future” is far away. The HTML5 support in mobile browsers is awful. Apple is probably the biggest patron of HTML5 technology, but when it comes to HTML5 support, unfortunately their Safari 5.1 browser stands on the 5th place (According to html5test.com report) Do I need to say more?

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