Some of you may have read or heard today that Adobe has abandoned Flash and is backing html 5. And many of you might be saying, “so, what the heck does that mean???” Read my brief (and mildly entertaining) history below.
What this means to all of us is that if we are using Flash on our websites, we should stop. There are many reasons not to use flash. Here are a few:
- It doesn’t work on iPhones (and we know that audience is growing)
- It doesn’t work on iPads (and that audience is growing – feel free to send me an iPad if you have an extra)
- When it works on other mobiles devices, it scales down – meaning things designed for a computer screen get REALLY small and unreadable on a mobile screen.
- It is bad for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – search engines cannot see the content and index it. That means you won’t show up on search results.
- It is slow on mobile devices and slow connections.
- It requires a plug-in (additional download) to work on web browsers, like Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox.
Here is a brief history: Adobe is a huge software company (famous for Reader, Acrobat, Photoshop, etc) that produces an animation software used for websites called Flash. That was how most moving things were put on a website for a long time – designers made Flash files. Then came the iPhone and iPad. Apple said to Adobe, “Flash stinks! It takes up too much computing power and we don’t want to support it.” Okay – so they didn’t really use those exact words… but, you get the picture. The reason Apple could say that is that there are other options. HTML 5, for example, (HTML 5 is the latest update of the code most web designers use to design websites) was beginning to be adopted around the world and it has better solutions for many things – including movement.
So, now after iPads and iPhones have reached ubiquity, Adobe finally said, “Fine. We quit. We will back HTML 5 – but, we aren’t happy about it.” (Also not a direct quote.)
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