State of the Web: Flash vs HTML5

State of the Web: Flash vs HTML5


Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 9:00 am

Zachary Pike

Contributors: Zack Pike (Art Director), Ian Muir (Senior Developer) and Cody Barbierri (Social Media Manager)

Flash or HTML5 are at the center of a major debate.  Long-standing Flash, the prominent rich media format for years, has been second-guessed in favor of HTML5, a series of standards that may be most ideal for iOS, Android, and mobile as a whole.  We’ve compared the two approaches, and compiled an infographic outlining the pros and cons of each:

Overall,  neither Flash nor HTML5 can safely be ignored.   Flash is still the most cost effective way to bring rich content to the broadest possible audience,   but trends are moving in HTML5′s favor.  HTML5′s compatibility issues and inconsistent implementation increase deployment costs and exclude a large percentage of desktop traffic.  However,  mobile is the most rapidly growing segment of Internet traffic,  and HTML5 is the way to develop for smartphones and tablets.  (Even Adobe concedes as much; future versions of Flash authoring software will focus on creating HTML5 files for mobile.)  Technology savvy companies will likely need to continue to segment their rich content into separate desktop and mobile experiences,  or deploy both HTML5 and Flash versions of their content.