The End of Flash in 2020: Converting From Flash to HTML5

Updated on February 5, 2018
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Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry.

The End of Flash in 2020

The End of Flash in 2020
The End of Flash in 2020 | Source

What's Happening With Adobe Flash? Goodbye Flash!

Adobe made an announcement in 2017 that by 2020, they will no longer support the flash player plug-in. Google and Microsoft have announced that they will disable the plug-in by default in their browsers by early 2020.

Official Statement From Adobe

In the official statement from Adobe, in July 2017, they stated "In collaboration with several of our technology partners - including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats."

Flash Will Be Obsolete By the End of 2020

In April, 2010, Steve Jobs actually predicted this would happen. He did not think it was a good idea to move forward with Adobe Flash because he believed that Flash Player was created for the PC era, but when it comes to mobile devices, Flash fell short for 6 reasons:

  1. Openness
  2. The "Full Web"
  3. Reliability, Security and Performance
  4. Battery Life
  5. Touch
  6. Substandardized Quality of 3rd Party Development Tools

Steve Jobs thought the use of Flash Player would limit the iOS experience. Instead, he pushed for the use of HTML, CSS and Javascript. He also stated that Flash Player caused crashes with MAC's.

What Exactly is Flash?

Flash is a multimedia software platform used to produce animations, desktop applications, and mobile games and applications. Flash graphics and animations are viewed in a browser through use of Flash Player, and AIR and some third-party players are used for viewing desktop and mobile apps.

HTML5
HTML5 | Source

What is HTML5?

HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language is a markup language used by the World Wide Web, and the "5" after HTML just means that it's is the fifth generation of the HTML standard. It's basically just the coding language that allows us to see stuff online.

What if you already have courses, animations, ads, apps and other content published in Flash? Now appears to be the time to start looking at devising a plan to convert courses and other content to HTML5, which will address new modern designs. HTML5 is mobile ready and responsive so content will automatically adjust on different mobile devices with regards to sizing and usability.

HTML Code
HTML Code | Source

What Should You Do With Content Published as Flash?

What should you do if you have content like online courses, apps and other learning assets built in or published in Flash? As of 2020, any flash content (either built in or published as Flash) may no longer work. So instead of waiting until 2020, it's important to start planning now.

Create an Action Plan
Create an Action Plan | Source

Create an Action Plan for Conversion to HTML5

First, and foremost, formulate an action plan. Evaluate content which contains flash units and determine whether if it's time to:

  • Retire the app, course, program or other asset; or,
  • Convert the published content to HTML5; or
  • Rebuild/redesign the app, course or other content.

In some cases, a course or other asset may have to be re-designed or revamped altogether, or you may be able to be leverage a portion of the content for your redesigned content. It really depends what's contained in the published content including how many any animations you have, and how many flash units are contained in your published app, course of other content.

Of course, converting the Flash content only applies to developers who have the source files. If you don't own the source files and have purchased flash content including an app, game, animation or course, for example, you may have to replace your content or program altogether.

Something you'll want to consider is creating a list of all courses and other assets that you have on-hand to evaluate them to determine what you need to do.

  • For courses which need to be converted, create a cross reference list for reference and tracking the conversion process.
  • Note what content tool was used to create the course - typical tools may include Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Adobe Animate, etc.
  • Locate and note the location of all sources files.
  • Determine what course assets are reusable including graphics, animations and other content.
  • If you have a large number of courses to be converted using the same tool, you may want to create a list of standard settings for all developers to refer to during the conversion process. This will streamline the process or at least make it easier for all the folks who are converting the courses.

How Do I Convert My Content From Flash to HTML5?

If you have source files for your content on-hand, check your existing development tools to see if there are publishing options to publish in HTML5. Try publishing as HTML5 and then test thoroughly to determine if the output is successful. Remember to test on both mobile and desktop devices.

If your content does not convert successfully, you may need to revamp portions of your asset, or you may need to replace the entire program.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Devices | Source

What If There's No Option to Convert or Publish to HTML5?

There are tools for converting Adobe Flash to HTML5, including Adobe Edge and Google Web Designer. Third-party tools also exist but check the validity and dependability (read reviews) before you download any free conversion tools.

Need more help? I found these helpful articles:

What Can You Expect When Converting From Flash To HTML5 (references Adobe Animate):

https://theblog.adobe.com/what-to-expect-when-converting-flash-to-html5/

8 Tips To Convert Flash To HTML5 That Will Help Your Business:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/elearningindustry.com/8-tips-convert-flash-to-html5-will-help-business/amp

Publushing Files To HTML5 Using Adobe Captivate:

https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/using/publish-projects-html5-files.html

How Switching From Flash To HTML5 Can Profit Your Business (references Articulate Storyline):

http://blog.learnchamp.com/en/bye-bye-flash-how-a-switch-from-flash-to-html5-can-profit-you

Reminders:

Once everything is converted and uploaded to your server, be sure to re-test your converted content on a variety of devices including desktop computers, tablets, iPads, and other mobile devices. Consider creating a QA (Quality Assurance) checklist for tracking testing progress, including device, browser, errors encountered, successful or unsuccessful outcome, and any other specifics for the app or program. This is especially helpful if you have a team of testers in multiple locations.

There are more and more articles and videos available every day on this topic. I've listed some videos below for more reference and various sources containing articles on the Flash announcement.

Sources: google.com, mashable.com, adobe.com, wikipedia.org
Specific articles discussing the end of flash:
https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/
https://webkit.org/blog/7839/adobe-announces-flash-distribution-and-updates-to-end/
https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/saying-goodbye-flash-chrome/
https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/
https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2017/07/25/firefox-roadmap-flash-end-life/

What do you think about the end of Flash? Please leave a comment below.

What is HTML5? An Excerpt from lynda.com

Steve Jobs Was Right: Adobe Flash is Dead!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Amelia Griggs

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