Are you still mulling over your choices as to how to target mobile devices when creating banners and animations? You may have more choices than you realize, the question is how to steer clear of dead-ends and bet on tomorrow’s winner today.
HTML 5 is reshaping the web as we know it, and rightly so. But it also gave rise to some fanatical calls for a boycott of Flash as the ultimate in dead-end technology. Not so fast.
Did you buy the Flash-is-dead fable? Well, don’t.
Apple won’t let Flash run on the iOS in order to protect its tight grip on the platform it holds through the Apple Store. It’s not about “performance” at all. Adobe Flash is not only installed on 99% of all computers connected to the Internet but also on a vast majority of “smart” mobile devices and it runs there just fine (some benchmarks actually put Flash video ahead of HTML 5 video).
For Apple, it’s about hard cold ca$h: the 30% cut it gets from sales on the App Store.
Apple’s interest in HTML 5 is a side-effect of an attempt to prevent competing distribution channels from being established on the iOS. But it may not be enough as evidenced by Facebook’s project Spartan:
Why would you need Flash in the first place? Because it can do things other technologies cannot (as of now).
Paying advertisers demand predictability as to how their banners will display. While it is acceptable for a banner to not load at all (e.g. when Flash is missing, it shows in analytics), it is not acceptable for a banner to show partial content because it will “break” the marketing message. With pure AJAX/JS solutions you don’t have this kind guarantee, but you do have it with Flash. This is the main reason why Flash is the platform of choice for paid advertising and not going to disappear anytime soon.
If you want to invest your time in learning, you want to choose a technology which is going to last. Adobe Professional CS 5.5 still very much tops the list.
If you don’t mind surprises/support only iOS and other HTML5-compatible environments, you could go with CSS3 banners (yes, like in CSS3 animations). Plus, <canvas> will be a serious contender in the not-so-distant future. But it all depends on the devices you target and your willingness to never stop testing your banners in newer browsers, which means additional work.
To fix this, Adobe is working on Edge and Wallaby (currently on Labs):
The most likely outcome of these efforts will be some sort of an extension to Adobe Flash Professional. So yes, Flash Professional will continue to be the environment of choice for creating banners and interactive content for every device.
Flash Professional CS5.5 allows you to target iOS and other platforms without being stuck on the iOS Titanic.
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