Just yesterday, we published an article on how two very different companies were both tackling the same problem in very different ways. The companies were Google and Vdopia, the problem is that Apple iOS doesn’t support Flash, and both of their solutions amounted to the same thing: stop using Flash. Today, yet another company has released a solution that side-steps Adobe.
What’s the story?
From a certain perspective, what we’ve got here is a battle between proprietary and open technologies. Flash has been a big dog for a long time, but not everyone is happy using it because it is owned by Adobe. Adobe went some way towards fixing bugs and performance problems with Flash 10.1 last year, but it by no means ended the war. Apple simply refuses to support Flash, and is encouraging everyone to use open HTML 5 technologies instead. And Apple isn’t alone – while Opera supports Flash, it would rather everyone use HTML 5 instead. And seeing as Opera is still the biggest mobile browser around, what it thinks is important in this instance.
And it seems that others agree. Google and Vdopia (a mobile video advertiser) both released solutions to this problem yesterday that effectively amounted to “use HTML 5 instead of Flash”
What happened today?
Sam Abadir, appMobi CTO says “we saw what GoogleLabs created with SWIFFY and thought it would be an interesting experiment to hook it up to our cloud-based app build services, providing a very streamlined way to get Flash assets onto the iOS platform. In our initial testing, we found some counter-intuitive quirks, for example SWIFFY’s HTML5 output does not work on Android devices. So for now, we’re not offering Android builds on this experiment, but as soon as SWIFFY is ready for Android, we’ll make it available.”
appFlash is available free on the appMobi web site at http://www.appmobi.com/appFlash
What we think?
Ok, so one of the things that keeps coming up is that people already know how to use Flash. They like it, it’s easy. It’s a lot easier than learning how to code for iOS. So there’s an attitude out there that making Flash translation services will just mean that people continue coding in Flash, and then translate it into whatever system they’re interested in running their creative/application on.
I don’t really believe that.
All three of the services launched in the last day were geared towards converting Flash into HTML 5. How long will people continue going through a middle man? If Flash isn’t actually necessary, how long will it stay afloat. The big problem with HTML 5 is that it isn’t completely ready yet – there are still problems with it as a platform. Even appMobi admits that, as it had to release a product recently to try and fix the horrible rendering speed issues HTML 5 has – and the appFlash system only works for iOS at the moment. Android devs will just have to wait.
But these are all teething problems. Even without being truly ready yet, HTML5 is still attracting a huge amount of support and developers. For me, it’s like a tide that’s just coming in. It’s implacable, but we’re not submerged yet. Even so, our ankles are wet now and I think people are taking a look around at what the future of mobile development is really going to be.