Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is flash already dead?

A few months ago i wrote in a blog that i believe Apple can change the landscape in terms of flash. When Apple announced that their iPad will not have flash most critics said this will be a big problem for the ipad.
This was six months ago, and critics have been wrong. Something else happened, many websites did switch to HTML video faster than expected. First of course the xxx websites. Then hulu (which first said they would never. 7 of 10 top 500 companies are now embedding their videos using html 5.
Most of the times these companies have both versions flash and html 5 player because Firefox and IE are not supporting HTML 5 very well.
Video is one thing, but there are much more flash executions than video. Even these parts are going away. Mostly because of the big rise of mobile devices like iPhone and iPad.
The CIO of Starbucks does bring it to the point.
Gillett (CIO Starbucks) said that iDevices from Apple are used more in its stores than any others. How important is that? Well, Gillett wanted to use Flash on the social network, but there wasn’t any way he could because of Steve Jobs’ refusal to support Flash.
It does not matter if we like flash or not, Apple has enough influence to drive companies not to use flash. I personally like it because I have never been a fan of flash and think it is slow needs too much memory, many times poor developed and brings my browsers to crash. As a kind of of a tekkie I prefer plain text, and some images.
Apple is now pushing the envelop further by not anymore shipping flash plugins with their desktops and notebooks.
Androids supposedly do have flash support, however many websites will still not work perfect on a Android if they use flash. The reason is the sites are developed for desktops with mouse. Mobile devices don't have a mouse, they have a touch screen. Things like mouse over are not working.
And of course screen size is smaller, the layout of the page needed to be changed. This helped html 5 tremendous. Companies needed to build mobile versions and therefor they decided not to use flash anymore.
Apple has a page which shows iPad compatible websites, this page did not get updated since a few month. There is no need because more and more websites are compatible.

Amazing that a company which is not market leader can push a new standard forward.

I always did wonder why flash got so big, and after talking with many designers, I understand why. Flash gives designers the ability to be creative at will and bind this creativity into something which can move has sound etc without the need to understand coding or HTML. Many things which are done in flash could have bend done with JavaScript or jquery, Divs and pure HTML.
Hover this would limit the designer because they would need to work with a developer together. But both types are speaking such a different language that this seems for many designers not an alternative.
With flash, a designer can do everything, pretty fast (even no action script or flex knowledge necessary). Just designing moving objects around and export as swf. They then send the swf and a piece of code to the developer to paste the code into the HTM page. Ready and done.
Not using flash means thinking a lot more before designing and be limited by coding knowledge. The project would go twice or three time longer.
Designers will change and woke more on HTML, and this great.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.
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