Last year, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs penned his Thoughts on Flash – deriding the technology as insecure, slow and power hungry – he was not only helping to diminish the Flash market for Apple devices, he was advocating HTML5. Now, Google is helping to further the HTML5 movement with the introduction of Swiffy, a tool that will help developers convert Flash files to HTML5.
“You can upload a SWF file, and Swiffy will produce an HTML5 version which will run in modern browsers with a high level of SVG support such as Chrome and Safari,” wrote Marcel Gordon, Google product manager of Swiffy, in a blog post. “It’s still an early version, so it won’t convert all Flash content, but it already works well on ads and animations.”
Jobs shunned Flash for Apple products, saying:
(N)ew open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.
Flash was only supported by 12 percent of consumer tablets in 2010, primarily because of the iPad. By the end of this year, Frost and Sullivan expects to see Flash supported by almost 38 percent of tablets. Within a few years, it sees Flash being supported on the majority of tablets.
Google is still deciding if Swiffy will be an open-source product. For now it remains in GoogleLabs.