After a rocky few years it looks as though Flash may finally be going to the great software dump in the sky. Or is it?
After mobile incompatibility and various other security issues, is it time to start looking for an alternative?
First of all lets weigh up the pros and cons and then take a look at some of the possible alternatives.
History – Much as people think it is coming to an inevitable end, there is no denying the influence Flash has had on the web.
Compatibility – The problem of cross browser and platform compatibility is a lot simpler to overcome than HTML content. Plus, it is easy and clean to imbed a single SWF into a page.
Easy/fun – Flash was and always has been fun to use. Simple to pick up, very hard to put down, It’s an interface most designers are familiar with and is the template for many that followed.
Community – As long as Flash has been a successful platform it has had a strong community, such as game and movie sites like Newgrounds.
Imagination – Flash has always been used for more things than web design. Whether its games, banners or movies, it has always been a great versatile platform to produce for.
Security – It has been well noted over the last few years that Flash has had a lot of issues with security, from malicious software, to millions of pop up sites asking you to download updates from untrusted sites.
Proprietary software – Adobe owns sole rights to Flash unlike HTML which is “open”.
SEO – It is very difficult for the likes of Google to read Flash content. This makes it difficult to promote your website if it has a large amount of Flash content.
Apple – the industrial giants do not support the Flash platform, and in this day and age that is a major drawback.
Community – Much as Flash has a strong community there is a very vocal anti Flash, or “Flashists” if you will, community that have a strong dislike of the platform seeing it as dated and monopolizing the market.
So what are the alternatives?
Google Web Designer – In Beta for what seems like a lifetime, Google’s design platform is nice and clean to use but is a little misleading in name, as its more a banner advert animation program for DoubleClick studio. It also has nowhere near the functionality of other alternatives.
HTML – A lot of people prefer to just use straight up code to give them tighter control than using an interface
Adobe Edge Animate – Adobe’s own HTML animation suite is good, but is already being
Dropped in favour of…
Adobe Animate CC – This is essentially Flash rebranded with additional HTML functionality. The name change a attempt to wipe the slate clean and distance itself from Flash’s current problems. Will be released in early 2016.
HTML5maker – A free online platform suitable for beginners and pros alike.
So what to use? Ultimately it is up to you. Stick with Flash or make the switch to something else?
The decision is yours…