The ’90s are full of trends that some people have been desperately clinging to. It was the decade of acid wash jeans, patent leather pumps, and Adobe Flash Player. While some of the former is making a big comeback, it is officially time to lay Flash to rest. Let’s take a moment to mourn its loss, look at what it gave us and discover just why you need to be converting those files to HTML5. 

Is Flash Over?

I’m sorry to have to tell you like this, but yes. Flash used to be the place for: 

  • animating the world wide web
  • streaming videos
  • playing online games

In 2020, Adobe announced that as of the 12th of January, 2021, it would no longer be offering security updates for Flash Player. 2020 had already taken a lot from us. There’s a sense of nostalgia in saying goodbye to this giant of technology. 

When Did Adobe Flash Player Stop Being Flashy? 

In 2009 Flash was installed on 99% of all internet-ready computers. In April 2010, Steve Jobs wrote this rather scathing letter about Adobe Flash Player. In the letter, he outlined why Apple mobile devices do not run Flash. According to Jobs:

  • Flash has one of the worst security records in history.
  • Flash does not perform well on mobile devices.
  • Flash drains battery life. 
  • Flash is not designed for touch screens. It requires the use of a mouse.

That was the beginning of the end. In 2015, Flash plug-ins became automatically disabled on Safari. Chrome followed suit soon after. YouTube also switched from Flash to HTML5 in 2015. 

I felt ready to pop the champagne when the 31st of December, 2020, became the last day a website would ask me to enable Flash for a specific piece of content. 

What does the End of Flash Mean for Your eLearning Courses?

Don’t panic. I’m sorry, I know nothing makes people panic more than being told not to panic. All eLearning courses that contain Flash animations won’t work anymore. I’ll give you five minutes to panic, hyperventilate into a paper bag, and grab a cup of chamomile tea. I’ll wait here. 

You can convert Flash courses to HTML5. That way, you get to keep all the content you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears into. There was likely a considerable amount of money and time involved, too—no need to say last rites to those courses. We’re going to save them. 

Get to Know HTML5 Better

HTML5 is the new web standard for any interactive, multimedia content. It’s here to replace Flash. Sorry, Flash, there’s a new kid on the block. 

HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-Up Language, and since we are in its 5th iteration now, you can wager a bet that it has learned a thing or two on how to run smoothly. It allows for:

  • Browsers to know how to display web pages. What is it meant to look like? Where does that picture go? 
  • It makes it simple to add multimedia content (without Flash player) such as audio and video. 
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Online editing
  • Embedding of videos from third-party websites such as YouTube and Vimeo 
  • Geolocations. For example, this suggests changing the site language when you’re on a French site while browsing from the US. 
  • Full accessibility across computers and mobile devices alike. 


What can HTML5 do for Learning and Development



HTML5 Conversion in 9 Easy Steps

Is this why we’re all gathered here today? I did promise this process wouldn’t be world-ending. Let’s break Flash to HTML5 conversion down into simple steps. 

Conclusion

If you’re still wondering if you have to convert your Flash files to HTML5 compatible courses, let me emphasize that many of them will already have stopped working the way you’d like them to. HTML5 isn’t just the future. HTML5 is the present. 

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