Using Flash on Websites

When I think about fancy graphics being used on websites, I always assume they are using Abobe Flash. Anytime your computer doesn't have the latest Flash update, suddenly every page on the Web becomes inaccessible because you have to upgrade your Flash player. That's why I was really surprised when I found this article on The Online Journalism Review about whether or not web designers should continue using Flash on their websites. I assumed Flash was the standard.

It was interesting to learn from this article that the reason that Flash is beginning to get phased out is because mobile devices don't support Flash. Apparently the IPhone has never been able to run Flash because Adobe and Apple are in a disagreement and if you try to download Flash on a Droid, you just get a message that says in the first half of 2010, Flash will become available for the Droid. I hadn't realized that this was such an issue, but then when trying to browse the web from my phone I discovered how many websites I couldn't use because I didn't have Flash. With the huge expansion of people accessing the Web from their phones, this has to be a concern for web designers that millions of people can't use their sites and are going to go elsewhere for their news.

The author of the OJR article says that he is beginning to shift away from Flash to alternative design methods because he personally doesn't want to lose such a large percent of his readers. I think this is a really interesting issue that is going to move into the spotlight as more people begin to browse the Web on mobile devices and become more annoyed at the handicap they have because they can't look at sites that use Flash. On the other end, Adobe should be getting worried because companies are going to start moving away from Flash if it means allowing the mobile audience to view their sites.

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