To Flash or to Not Flash
Interactive design using Flash; is this the end?
Macromedia Flash, established in 1994, impacted the world of interactive media when it was first introduced. Browsers supported this, and websites were being built using fancy intro screens and clever mouse hovers – a great feature as the online industry began to take shape. .
Over the years, thousands of web sites used Flash, and some sites were created purely using the technology. Then, Apple produced mobile devices, such as iPads and iPhones, that didn’t support Flash. Neither did Google’s Android platform.
When this occurred, website owners had to invest more time and money on dual sites – a mobile-only version or a redesigned site that could work on all platforms. Not being able to view a site built with Flash on a mobile device has been what’s led to the declining demand for Flash technology.
The Flash era is slowly coming to an end online as more tech companies decide to look for alternative solutions that would make their products more secure and allow content to load faster.
Mozilla's project Shumway, is going to break off Flash player support once and for all. No rush on changing your exclusive Flash site tomorrow, but you will need to start planning on changing this soon. Mozilla, makers of the Firefox web browser, is still in the early stages, but this is going to lead to Flash becoming obsolete soon enough.
The once huge, cool plugin that all companies demanded, now is being turned away from IT because this is not the way to develop a new website anymore.
Flash is used by animators and those working in other computer-driven industries outside of those who build websites, so the end of Flash is purely related to its existence online.
So what you can do? Start thinking about HTML5.
This has been known as the latest Flash killer. HTML5 can do everything Flash can but better.
It is still a bit slow on loading but this format is forward-thinking. While HTML5 is being introduced in the IT world, it is slowly taking over and does not seem to be going away anytime soon.
Back in 2010, Steve Jobs saw HTML5 as the future and doomed Flash as no longer needed. And if Steve Jobs said it, then it must be true as his words are golden!
Some sarcasm, but he did seem to always be ahead of the world when it came to knowing what we need in technology, so maybe this is what we need to look at when we build new sites.
HTML5 provides a lot of support to mobile devices and websites – even Search Engine Optimization, which Flash could never provide.
Is this the correct platform to use, or will this slowly die out in a decade as Flash has recently?
HTML is a great alternative to using Flash in websites, and we should utilize this upcoming functionality.
But there is no guarantee that something better will come down the road as technology is always changing.