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Flexible content becoming increasingly possible

Rich media is in, and developing the same app three times isn't.

When new tech tools first emerge, there is often an awkward breaking-in period. The concept of developing different versions of applications for PCs, iOS and Android may soon be filed away as one of these eras, with the endpoint in sight as rich content becomes accessible across multiple platforms. The proliferation of both iOS and Android devices has forced developers' hands. Neither one of the operating systems is fading from the scene, and thus the choice is between finding a middle path and continuing to design double applications for the foreseeable future. Equipped with HTML5, companies can take the former approach.

The flexible Web
The search for a language to display multimedia across devices kicked off with the release of the Apple iPhone. That same announcement also killed Flash's chances to be this lingua franca, as ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs decreed the Adobe technology wouldn't be used on his new smartphone line. Thus, we have HTML5. SocialTimes contributor Kimberlee Morrison recently pointed to an infographic displaying some of the more pertinent reasons developers are finding to make the move from Flash to HTML5 on both the mobile and desktop platforms. Morrison highlighted the importance of the switch by noting nearly a third of top websites have committed to using HTML5.

The infographic source highlighted the multimedia muscle of HTML5 as one of the most important elements of its design. This means that creating a Web app or page with this language is easier than it would be with a technology such as Flash that requires plugins to work. HTML5's use of simple code tags to denote sounds and videos brings them in line with images. As the Web has become much more saturated with rich content in recent years, this evening of the field seems reasonable and well-earned. Companies want to craft materials that use audio and video, and consumers have come to expect this functionality.

The power of HTML5 also resides in the data sites with the technology can collect. Morrison's chosen infographic singled out the location features of HTML5 content. Pages and apps designed with the language can adjust the experience based on where the viewer is located. Custom experiences are one of the top Web trends at the moment, and being able to harness them using the native language of content instead of a plugin or add-on may shave development time or allow creators to add more in-depth and exciting features to the items they publish.

Flash fades
The rise of HTML5 comes at the expense of Flash, as companies using the former will not need to employ the latter as a multimedia language anymore. Social Barrel was among those to report that Google has given up on displaying banner ads that use Flash. Now, the tech giant is automatically switching each unit to HTML5, ensuring they will be viewable by a large swath of the consumer base. The source referred to VentureBeat's Emil Protalinski for the Google reasoning behind the switch. The company noted the rise of mobile browsing has shown there is a huge audience of consumers out there browsing the web on non-Flash devices. Advertisers will want access to these potential clients.

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