Steve Jobs says you can’t view Flash on your iPhone because they have a moral/technological objection to the utility. Adobe conspiracy theorists say that Apple want to protect the viability of their AppStore. Luckily, the rest of us mobile website developers caught in the middle can simply step out of the debate now, with the introduction of HTML5. The new mark-up language is the bouncer who has effectively said, “Get a room, Jobs and Adobe! We don’t want to hear it!”
Whats Different About HTML5
This new version of the mark-up language which web development teams use to create your sites has media integration … which means that animations, interactive tools and movies can now be scripted into your website without using third party programs like Flash or Silverlight. These third party programs had issues of their own, and didn’t always work as well with different browsers and mobile devices (notably the iPhone and iPad).
How Do We Love Thee, HTML5?
Let us count the ways! HTML5 is a naturally better choice on the web, and even more so if you want to free your website from the shackles of the desktop computer and infiltrate the 2,000,000+ touchscreens of Australia. It’s most lovable characteristics include:
Ability to display rich media on ALL mobile devices: Any websites designed using Flash in the past could only be read by Apple mobile devices with certain plug-ins. This was not the most stable or user-friendly solution – HTML5 makes it much easier.
Offline opportunities: Some of the features of HTML5 expand the offline information storage capacity past what cookies or a cache could do. This means that blips in the wireless signal won’t necessarily kick your users off your website, and many features will be available without any signal.
Finding yourself: Apps which integrate geo-location work much more intuitively with HTML5.
However, HTML5 is not a robot. It is human. Oh, wait…
Perhaps I should say that HTML5 has failings along with its wonderful qualities! There is little backwards compatibility with the platform, so users with older browsers may miss out completely.
Flash: “What about Me?”
It seems set that HTML5 is the future of mobile website design. But what is the future of Flash? At Lava, we haven’t ditched Flash. In no way is Flash a tool of the past – although it will probably start to be used in more niche situations. Especially for desktop-based websites, you’ll still see the superhuman reflexes, super-speed and manipulation of the laws of physics that Flash is known for!