Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flash v HTML5

Whether you are aware of it or not, a battle is looming on the horizon. Shots have been fired from both sides, but no full-scale battles have been waged, yet. Allies are mobilized along the battle lines, waiting on who will be the victor. So, who does this war involve? Some rouge country bent on invading another? Neighbors upset at each other over barking dogs? Google vs Bing? No, dear readers, no. This relatively quiet battle is that of Flash versus HTML5. To the victor will go the video capabilities of the web.

But will there be an obvious winner of this battle? At first, at least, they will have to share the market, with each of them doing separate things well. HTML5 will run on smart phones, while Flash either does not or slows the phone down considerably. Flash will take the video content to full screen, while HTML5 does not. Flash uses a standard format for its videos, whereas HTML5 does not—which is a pro for some and a con for others. Flash requires the user download a player, HTML5 will not demand that, being simply the standard for structuring the web.

The interesting point to watch in all this is how Flash steps up to the competition. HTML5 is still in development, and therefore is not "done" with all that it can do. How Flash responds, what it beefs up and how it innovates, will determine how well it can keep its current market share. And as always, that means better things for we the users, programmers and designers!