Traditionally, Flash has been a favorite among eLearning developers due to its interactivity, high quality of graphics, and support for animated content. However, the rapid growth of HTML5 has raised question marks about the future of Flash in the field of eLearning. It is becoming evident that eLearning enterprises and developers have no choice but to start converting Flash-based courses into HTML5. In this article, we will look at some reasons for why there is no escape from flash to html5 conversion.
1. Increasing usage of smartphones and tablets:
The number of people using smartphones and tablets such as iPads is ever-increasing. A lot of the content, including interactive and video-based training content, is consumed via these devices. Flash, which is not supported by iOS and a majority of Android devices, is at a disadvantage here when compared to HTML5. Flash is only restricted to desktops, which have seen a constant decline in usage over the years. Also, Flash is not compatible with touch screen devices. On the other hand HTML5 allows creating courses for all screen sizes and devices, and thus is able to reach a wide audience. So if any eLearning provider has Flash-based training content, it will lose out on a large audience that is accessing course content via smartphones or iPads.
2. Support across multiple browsers:
If learners want to access a Flash-based course, they cannot do so without downloading a Flash plug-in. However, courses developed in HTML5 can be accessed on any of the leading browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The code of HTML5 can be easily comprehended by leading web browsers without any additional plug-ins. This way, it is easier for learners to access HTML5-based courses as opposed to Flash-based courses.
3. Open structure of HTML5:
Being an open standard, HTML5 provides better customization capabilities for eLearning course professionals. Developers can simply change the code and make any type of changes to the course design, as desired. On the other hand, Flash is a closed technology, which is controlled by a third party (Adobe), and so it is not so easy to customize the look, feel and design of Flash-based courses.
4. Easier multimedia integration:
The videos integrated into an HTML5-based course are easily accessible on all browsers and platforms. On the other hand, the videos developed in Flash face the “black box” issue; or in other words, if the learners don’t have a Flash plug in installed, they would only see a black box on their screens. Therefore with HTML5, it is easier to create multimedia-based courses. HTML5 is also a good choice for creating mobile-friendly, interactive games for learning and development.
5. Offline storage of data:
Most of the learners want anytime access to course content, including when they are offline. HTML5 supports offline storage, which means HTML5-based courses can be accessed even when learners are not connected to the internet. On the other hand, Flash doesn’t support offline storage, and thus can be restrictive for many learners.
6. Processing power and battery usage:
In comparison to HTML5, Flash consumes a lot more processing power, which reduces the speed of content delivery. On platforms like Linux and Mac OS X, HTML5 content runs 58% faster than Flash applications. With the constant decrease in attention spans, users don’t like to wait for too long, and this makes Flash highly unpopular. Also, because, they require more processing power, Flash-based courses consumes more battery than HTML5-based courses.
7. Releasing locked up investment:
Many eLearning companies have several legacy eLearning courses, which have been developed in Flash. By converting Flash-based courses into HTML5, organizations can increase the reach of their legacy eLearning assets.
8. Making courses future-proof:
In the coming years, a lot of wearable devices, such as Google Glass and Android Wear, are going to hit the market. The courses of the future need to be accessible on all of these devices. HTML5 provides eLearning developers the flexibility to adapt course content to any device, and therefore Flash to HTML conversion can be a good way of future-proofing courses.
As you can see there are many reasons why HTML5 has an edge over Flash in the area of eLearning. That’s why we believe there is no escape from Flash to HTML5 conversion at least in the foreseeable future.