Friday, 5 February 2010

Does Flash have a future?

I've been thinking about the future of Adobe Flash recently, and whether or not there is one.

This train of thought began when I got my iPhone, and started using it to surf the web (i.e. when I had no other way to get online).

I first realised that Safari on the iPhone doesn't have a Flash player when I tried to view a Flash site. In 50 days of use, this was the first time I'd been stopped by the lack of Flash.

The question is, does this lack of Flash actually matter? And to my surprise, I found myself answering 'No, it doesn't'. I can't think of a single time when the use of Flash has been critical to any of my clients.

I do have clients with Flash components in their site. And from time-to-time, it's been necessary to replace Flash sites with HTML pages for SEO purposes. I don't dispute that Flash is better looking and more capable than DHTML. What I question is whether or not the superior ability of Flash is more important than having Google index a site correctly?

I don't think so, and that's how I advise my clients. In theory, Google can index a Flash site. In reality, it can't index it properly (e.g. can't see individual pages). The plain fact is, I can't really work with a Flash site.

Apple left Flash out of the iPhone, and I've discovered I don't miss it.