Flash and mobile devices have always had a love hate relationship, well one device in particular. Apple famously refused to integrate flash into it’s iOS. This refusal, despite other devices being more than happy to board the flash train, lead to the acceptance of HTML5 components for video streaming and animation.
Flash now seems more than content to stick to the PC leaving the mobile devices to waddle in the HTML5 world. However, more and more metrics show that mobile devices and mobile applications, will play a greater role in the future.
This mobile problem was something that a recent client had. They wanted to update their web application with a set of new components, one of them being mobile compatibility. The old version was Flash based, meaning that the number of mobile customers they could reach was limited. Our solution, as you might have guessed, was to create a mobile web application but based in HTML5 instead of Flash.
But what did Flash do that was so wrong? It really boils down to efficiency. Flash drains battery faster than HTML5, and since the operative world is, “mobile” having a device chewing up power faster is generally considered to be a bad thing. Now, HTML5 does increase the amount of battery used but, compared to its flashy friend, at a much slower rate.
HTML5 is also standardized across all platforms, so you only have to build one application instead of a different one for each platform. Flash was also designed for PC use, which means navigation with a mouse; mobile devices are touch screen based creating compatibility issues.
So what does this mean for your business? Well, if you, like our clients, have a web application that is Flash based you might want to consider creating a HTML5 version for future mobile use. You’ll end up with a software that is more accessible and runs more efficiently. Even if you have a simple flash animation or graphic on your website, you might find yourself unintentionally isolating part of the mobile market.