In the age of smart phones, tablets, and electronic media, it has never been easier to check email, post a Facebook status update, Tweet, watch YouTube videos, and play interactive games. On Apple’s mobile devices, however, it is not possible to view sites built in Adobe’s Flash format or the elements of sites that incorporate Flash.
Issues with Flash
Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch have revolutionized the way users interact with the Internet and the world. However, Apple has opted out of incorporating Adobe Flash into its mobile devices for a number of reasons. In April 2010, Apple CEO published a letter entitled “Thoughts on Flash” outlining several reasons why he does not permit Flash on iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
Full Web Access
One of Adobe’s main arguments for Apple’s adoption of Flash onto its mobile devices is the fact that “75% of video on the web is in Flash” and Apple’s devices can’t view them. Fortunately for Apple device users, these videos are available in the modern H.264 format which is completely accessible on iPhones, iPods, and iPads.
Security and Performance
Jobs states that he knows “first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash,” and, although they are working with Adobe to fix this issue, it still persists. Clearly, he does not want to risk the security of his mobile devices or compromise their performance.
To play video without quickly draining the battery, mobile devices decode video in the hardware rather than software. Adobe has added support for this decoding format, but runs an older generation decoder not used in mobile devices.
3rd Party Apps
In his letter, Jobs states that the use of a 3rd party to create apps for Apple’s mobile devices is a painful experience he’d rather not repeat. Allowing a 3rd party to come between the platform and developer simply creates more problems than achievements, and Flash is “a cross platform development tool” not designed to help developers create the best apps for Apple’s products.
To address these issues, Adobe began work on a new method to output Flash in a different format.
Introduction of Wallaby
As reported by CNN Tech, Adobe has created Wallaby in an effort to produce the best user experience possible with fewer “blank holes on Web pages.” Wallaby is an experimental drag-and-drop tool that allows developers to convert Flash files into HTML5 for mobile devices. With Wallaby, Apple mobile device users could see Flash content that was formerly unavailable.
Wallaby’s conversion of Flash to HTML5 allows “developers to build mobile web pages that are much more interactive and multi-media rich.” It also has the potential for mobile apps to be built that can work offline uninterrupted by the lack of an Internet signal.
Potential for SEO
As HTML5 enables web designers to create an interactive web experience for people without the use of third party applications like Flash, it’s important to understand how this impacts SEO. With HTML5, the search engines can more readily index interactive media as they crawl websites. By making your site more efficient to crawl, you could notice an increased ranking in the SERPs as search engines are better able to determine what your site is about.
Additionally, using HTML5 to code your site means that all of the features on your site will be accessible on mobile devices; this is potentially a huge benefit as more and more people turn to smart phones and tablets to access the Internet.
As you search for an SEO firm to optimize your company’s website, it’s important to choose a company on the cutting edge of technology that utilizes the latest coding practices. A good SEO company can not only help your site be more accessible to the people looking for your products/services, but help you provide a great user experience once people find your site.