A word about Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform browser plug-in that delivers breakthrough Web experiences to over 99% of Internet users. You have seen it time and again from fancy splash screens on photographers’ websites to simple crossword puzzles you may not know is running the software.

While the visual impact is great there are two critical Achilles Heels to consider. First, it’s a resource hog. If you tend to have a lot of browser windows open (like me) and many are using flash (even though you may not realize it), they are still using Flash even though you aren’t actively viewing the page. That can slow down your system quite a bit.

The second is more important for photographers marketing through websites. Flash is not supported by iPhone, iPod and iPad mobile devices. This means the fancy intros and any functionality on your site that uses Flash cannot be seen by the exponentially growing users of these devices. Why doesn’t Apple support Flash? The primary reason is the one above about gobbling up too many resources and Apple prefers a faster responding device for their customers. Another is that Flash is a closed platform and available only through and controlled by Adobe. On the other hand, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. All three are powerful alternatives to Flash.

Personally, I like Flash. It’s cool and edgy and has its place. But for marketers like us, perhaps a better way to go is with a more streamlined open platform like Java.

Parts of this post are based on the article “Thoughts On Flash” from Apple. You can read the full article here.

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