Spend a matter of time on any tech blog these days and chances are you’ll see something about Adobe’s baby – Flash. Most of the controversy is centered around technology giant, Apple, and their non-support of the platform on their mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad. In this article, I am going to briefly detail a few of the reasons why I too am moving away from Flash especially for online video, and I may sprinkle in a few of my thoughts on the Apple/Adobe debacle along the way.
Flash is a closed platform
System resources and crashing
Flash is out-dated and it continues to be a resource-hog and often causes browsers to completely crash.
Not mobile or touch-screen friendly
Flash was designed for the desktop world. Many of the effects in Flash (such as roll-overs) require a computer mouse, which would not work properly on a mobile touch-screen device. Not to mention, Adobe has promised a mobile version of Flash on a wide-scale for some time but has yet to deliver and who knows how it will actually perform?? In the meantime, the percentage of people that consume digital content on their mobile phones continues to soar leading developers to look for other options (such as the aforementioned HTML5). The recently released iPad already has video apps from ABC and Netflix with CBS reportedly experimenting with their own solution, and many many others have converted or are in the process of converting their sites to support HTML5 video.
The web should be free
Adobe has repeatedly took issue with Apple, saying that they have no right to call Flash a closed platform when the iPhone OS is proprietary as well, something Apple freely admits. However, one thing that Apple has put their full support behind is a free internet. Apple’s proprietary methods are confined to the iPhone OS platform, they do not extend to the web, something that Adobe cannot claim. Their proprietary plugin is restrictive and seeks to make others dependent in order to view interactive, multimedia content on the internet.
As much as it may sound like I’m taking Apple’s side of things on this matter, I’m really not. As a web designer, I’m more interested in open source, web standards. I’m interested in what’s going to result in the best experience for my clients and by extension- their clients. The web is changing…rapidly, and Flash is stuck in the past. I’ve used Flash for many years for many different purposes, however in the past year or so I’ve started experimenting with other options and I have to say- I like what I see. Something such as an interactive slideshow that would normally be developed in Flash, can now be achieved much more quickly, with better results and without an unnecessary plugin. I’m sure Flash still has a purpose, but it’s not for building slide-shows or image galleries, and definitely not online video. Who knows what the future holds for Flash….and Adobe for that matter, but I for one am putting my energy behind something a little more future-proof. That’s just my $0.02.