First, a little background before we compare key points of HTML5 development vs. Flash development.
Adobe Flash first came out in 1996 and was adopted into use in 1998, as a plug-in for animated graphics and quickly became the dominant and default platform for rich Internet applications (RIA).
HTML5 is the 5th version of Hypertext Markup Language, which is the basic standard for web pages containing text, images, and hyperlinks. HTML5 is the current version in development, with adoption fueled by the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, as Flash is not supported on these types of devices.
- Flash development and rendering (browser plug-in) is controlled by a single entity (Adobe) while HTML5 is developed by a consortium (W3C). Display of HTML5 depends on support from the browser, with broad support in place for current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9+ (IE8 has limited support). (Check out the map we did on Lennar.com using HTML5 and how the transitions differ in IE8 vs. another browser.)
- The Adobe Flash development tools are expensive and HTML5 is inexpensive, free in a sense.
- Flash has been around much longer than HTML5, but HTML has a much larger pool of developers with a much less steep learning curve.
- Flash has a larger control interface, making it still popular for high performance applications like video games.
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