Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why Flash Won’t Be Going Anywhere

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Flash is also compatible in all browsers—a HUGE advantage over HTML5. Many companies are concerned about reaching their audience, not using the latest web code upgrade.
An advantage CNET points out is that, “Flash video can use a variety of “codecs” for encoding and decoding video as it’s sent from server to viewer. Viewers don’t need to know anything beyond how to click a video’s “play” button, a contrast to Net video’s incompatibility-fraught early days. But with HTML5, though, there are two prevailing codecs right now: H.264, supported by Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, and Ogg Theora, supported by Firefox, Chrome, and, according to plan, Opera. IE, the dominant browser doesn’t support any at HTML5 video at present.”
Companies that rival Apple are also jumping at the bit to make devices to rival the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. Motorola for example, is taking a stab into the tablet industry and creating their own tablet device (with the help of Verizon). Motorola has decided it will “be access to Verizon’s FiOS cable service and support Adobe Flash, a platform of choice for more than 90 percent of web videos,” according to the International Business Times.
With more and more companies wanting to rival Apple in these verticals, it will make Flash more appealing for other companies to embrace. That is the great thing about being on the other side of the debate—other companies will embrace the Flash technology to market against Apple’s products.
It isn’t an issue of who is going to move forward in the debate, but what platform works best for your clients. Right now Flash is more compatible with the many different browsers, but HTML5 will catch up eventually. Flash may also deliver better images and quality video, but HTML5 can do a lot, and doesn’t need expensive software to do so. In the end I think a hybrid of the two will be what web designers will be using. Some clients will be Flash crazy, while others will favor HTML5 in the future.
The point is that Flash, which hasn’t had a real competitor, will eventually have one with HTML5. This just means Adobe is going to have to step up their game to deliver better quality results than HTML5 or it is going to lose clients. People can be on team Adobe or team Apple, but it is going to come down to who can render the best results over multiple platforms at a low cost. End of story. The business model isn’t changing, Adobe is just getting a competitor.
It is far too early for HTML5 to be a viable competitor, but in a few years from now we could be seeing it catch fast. You don’t have to take Steve Job’s rigid stance on the subject, but instead have a more open ended approach. Decide what works best on a case by case situation. Does your client need a fast loading time? Are they implementing too many videos onto the site? Do their visitors use a HTML5 compatible browser? All of these are points you need to consider before using HTML5. In the future browser compatibility will be a non-issue and level the playing ground.

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