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Monday, November 14, 2011

Flash Dead for eLearning

I've been warning about this since January 2010 in Still No Flash, and called it out further as the signs became more serious in May 2010 with Beginning of Long Slow Death of Flash.  My words then:

We are hitting a tipping point where you have to question building anything that uses Flash as the delivery mechanism. 

Screen-Shot-2011-11-09-at-12.17.08-PMIn February of 2011, Mobile Learning and the Continuing Death of Flash, I pointed to the smart moves by Rapid Intake to work around this problem.  And said,

The death of Flash is continuing.

Well, I believe we've seen continuing signs of this with Adobe moving its tools towards HTML 5.  And now, Adobe Admits: Apple Won, Flash For Mobile is Done, HTML5 is the Future.

What does all of this mean?  No More Fence Sitting!

Content Creators => you can no longer build content in Flash as a delivery vehicle.  You must adopt tools that do not rely on Flash as a delivery mechanism or at least delivery solutions to Flash and HTML 5.

Authoring Tool Companies => you must immediately talk to your product roadmap and how you will be able to deliver HTML 5 content.  You must look at how media will be handled going forward.

This may seem like a shock, but we've gone through this transition before as we move from desktop to web-based delivery.  Really Flash was part of that last wave.  It won't be part of the next wave.

Of course, that still leaves some really hard questions about how you design for all the different mobile platforms with widely different screen sizes and their non-standard inputs and widely varying connection speeds.  This is a great opportunity for mobile authoring tools to take a bite out of a much larger market much like the Director to Flash transition did back in the day.

I'll be curious to hear comments on this.