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In a mobile world, HTML5 trumps Flash

Evolving device choice has changed the HTML5 vs. Flash discussion.

The battle to create visually arresting content is a constant preoccupation for companies today. They know the way to capture consumer attention over long periods of time is to present an interesting experience, one that will make viewers loyal to the brand. However, there is the endless question of platform. The age when a PC was the only conduit for strong digital experiences is now over, with smartphone and tablet capabilities getting more impressive by the month. This means it may be time to challenge the orthodoxies behind such materials and consider converting from Flash to HTML5. At many companies, that process may already be underway.

A new era
A recent The Fuse Joplin piece approached the age-old question of Flash or HTML5​, bearing in mind that the market today is not what it was. The answer to which language is best for content tends to shift and change based on what hardware consumers prefer. The source pointed out there are adherents to each option, but that individuals equipped with phones and tablets are better served by HTML5. As this demographic grows, so will the relative value of coding in HTML5. More people accessing the Internet from mobile devices means an increased interest in abandoning Flash.

The Fuse Joplin pointed out one reason why a mobile move means an increase in HTML5 appreciation. The source noted that the resource demands of HTML5 are considerably less than those of Flash. Even if devices have Flash capability, and this is far from certain, performance may simply be better for efficient HTML5 apps. If developers are interested in getting strong content across in a very limited-resource environment, they may end up gravitating naturally to HTML5. Considering that making materials accessible to users who are not equipped with powerful hardware widens a document's reach, this could be a hugely valuable choice.

The relative weak spots for HTML5 are largely tied to its status as an upstart language relative to Flash's long lifespan. The source noted that some older browsers struggle with HTML5, and that the more settled and legacy nature of Flash has given it a big community. However, The Fuse Joplin also pointed out one potential weakness among Flash's entrenched status: Its usefulness in all browsers counts on users having the plugin installed. For a variety of reasons, including but not limited to security and convenience, people today may be resistant to the idea of downloading plugins for their machines. In the end, this could become a very big weakness in Flash's armor and an HTML5 advantage.

A big year
Software Development Times contributor Al Hilwa put a timeline on the rise of HTML5 - namely, the expert suggested that 2015 is a big time for the expansion of the technology. He stated there is now a feeling of certainty that the language has lacked in the past. W3C has named a finished standard for HTML5, so developers can be more sure of interoperability and performance than before. Hilwa also opined that mobile devices have become more advanced in the viewing technology they use to display hybrid applications developed with HTML5 as their basis. This potential for greater performance is a boon to developers of all industries.

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