HTML5 versus Flash – What’s the Story?
It’s been five long years and counting since HTML5 first hit the computer world and yet the HTML5 vs. Flash debate prevails.
Flash is a multimedia platform first created by Macromedia in 1996 and was then purchased by graphic design monolith Adobe.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) banded together to establish a unified design platform in HTML for the entire internet.. Previous HTML specifications XHTML 2.0 and HTML 4.01 had not received an overhaul since the start of the millenia. With developers clamouring for a more comprehensive coding system HTML 5 was born.
It took until April 2010 however for the debate between the two systems to really start to rage with an interjection from the then-CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. He issued a public letter titled “Thoughts on Flash” where he concluded that “[Adobe] Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content” and that “new open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win.”
Supporters of “Team Flash” would argue that, with over 1 billion users worldwide, Flash is here to stay. Developer Adobe has a number of statistics backing their confidence…
70% of web-based games are built using Flash, with over 100,000 games over a few hundred on HTML5. These 100,000 include 24 of the top 25 Facebook games.
75% of web videos are viewed using Flash (YouTube was solely Flash until adding HTML5 video playback in 2011.)
98% of enterprises rely on the Flash Player and more than 3 million developers use Flash technology
85% of the most-visited websites use Flash in one form or other
Adobe has achieved a 99% market proliferation rate across supporting browsers. It is also well protected with two levels of encryption. Indeed, Adobe is not just a safe pair of hands. Its success in the graphic design software market has given it a proven track record of innovation in the field.
Here is an infographic that gives a more detailed look at the pros and cons of both platforms:
HTML 5 still puts up a good fight. It is fast accruing support in the adoption of its respective features. MOdern browsers are increasingly backing HTML5 and in particular fast-growing markets such as tablets and mobile phones have eschewed Flash for HTML 5.
So, as the internet continues to develop, updating and offering more powerful development tools all the time, it’s certainly an exciting time to be part of the debate! The reality is that across a wide range of spectrums there is still room for both HTML5 and Flash. HTML 5 is certainly on the up and although Flash has suffered some setbacks in new technology take- ups it still has a strong presence across many top business applications. The battle has also mollified somewhat with many Games and other applications’ developers opting to code in such a way as to ensure both HTML5 and Flash compatibility.
The big problem for Flash is the backlash it received from Apple with many of the world’s largest company’s products such as the iPad and iPhone http://www.o2.co.uk/iphone/iphone-5 no longer offering built-in Flash support (although there are add-ons that will allow it to work). Another big player in YouTube http://www.youtube.com/ also serves up only limited Flash support with the video browser preferring HTML5 for new features such as video playback.
So it would seem the user finds himself in the “half time” of this match with the once infallible Flash still holding strong through sheer weight of numbers against the newer and flashier upstart that is HTML5. The debate is far from over.
About The Author: Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and the social media world.