Feeds

Flash versus HTML 5

The mobile perspective

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

“The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his notorious Thoughts on Flash. “New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too).”

Adding to the confusion, every non-Apple vendor has jumped on Flash as a key selling point, one thing that iOS looks unlikely ever to support, and the majority of the smartphones and tablets on show at CES earlier this year boast Flash support.

RIM has gone further with its Tablet OS on the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, which uses the Flash-based Adobe AIR for part of its user interface and as a development platform for apps.

Despite this, Jobs is not all wrong. While the absence of Flash on a smartphone web browser can be annoying, so too are Flash-laden pages which load slowly, eat battery life with unnecessary multimedia, and may not look good or be usable on a small screen unless the developer has optimised the page for mobile.

HTML in the browser and native code for applications is ideal. HTML 5 is not done yet, but most mobile browsers are based on WebKit or Opera, both of which support a significant proportion of the emerging standard.

Jobs is partly wrong though, and the technology has moved on since his April 2010 piece. Jobs said he had never seen Flash performing well on a mobile device. In June 2010 Adobe released the first full Flash player for mobile, version 10.1, and while it is still relatively resource-hungry it is more than tolerable on devices running Android 2.2, for example.

Move on to the new generation of devices, and it gets better still. Some are already using NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 package, which is fully hardware-accelerated for Flash. “We have worked directly with the Flash Player source code, to have a fully GPU-accelerated code path for the Flash player,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, NVIDIA Director of Tegra Graphics. This is not just for video, but deep in the hardware. Flash will run just fine.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Trade-offs

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.