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In the past few years, developers uncovered security flaws in the Flash plugin. Also, some major players – like Apple – considered that the Flash technology was not optimised for mobile devices and decided to not allow it on mobile platforms. As a result, Flash became a technology for desktop computers only and got used less and less. Since YouTube ditched Flash last year for their video player, the transition to HTML5 accelerated. It is now a matter of time before all web browsers stop supporting it.
Internet browsers will probably not block the Flash content straight away. First, they will offer users the option to play the Flash content or not, when they arrive on a site with Flash content. But this extra step of confirmation will deteriorate the experience. Apple has already started this in the very last version of Safari launched in September 2016. While Apple’s latest desktop Safari version only accounts for a low proportion of Internet users, it is safer to think of what to do now and not wait for Google Chrome to do the same.
Up to now, we were creating your digital publications in HTML5 on mobile devices and in Flash on desktop computers. But as we’ve anticipated this evolution for a long time, we’ve build a great HTML5 viewer for desktop computers too and we now believe it is the way to go for every next publications.
As the Flash and HTML5 languages are different, they do not offer exactly the same possibilities and look and feel to digital publications.
In the past, digital publications were looking and behaving on desktop computers slightly differently than on mobile devices, as they were using different technologies (Flash and HTML5). Now, if we create your digital publications in HTML5 on all devices, we can use the same files and same viewer across all platforms. As a matter of fact the experience will be much more consistent.
The page curling/flipping effect is a Flash effect that can’t be replicated in HTML5 without altering the performance. In consequence, it is the sliding effect that is becoming the new standard on the web for modern digital publications. It looks sleeker and once again it is more consistent with the mobile experience.
The use of an HTML5 viewer across all devices makes it easier to develop advanced interactive components. For example product pages with drop-down menus and comparison tables, lightbox pop-ups with videos and scrollable text, enquiry forms, virtual tours, etc.
Getting rid of the hybrid Flash/HTML format simplifies the creation process and embraces the huge and growing potential of the HTML5 technology.
Tabs were a very popular feature of the desktop Flash version. We could create them on the side of the publication, for end-users to easily skip and navigate through the pages. But it was built in Flash and therefore couldn’t be viewed on mobile devices.
Obviously, tabs can’t be created in the HTML5 version, as they are a Flash development. Instead, now we offer to create responsive HTML Contents menus. We place a specific button on the top bar to open a full screen responsive menu. As this menu is responsive and built in HTML, it is optimised for all devices, for all screen sizes and it becomes a truly cross-platform feature.
We can create many types of Contents menus, from a basic list of sections to complex custom menus, suiting all needs, length of publications and budgets.
As you can see on the Patchwork version, the Contents menu can be very advanced. It can even be used for more than listing sections. We could integrate forms, embed videos, place scrollable text and much more!
Tip: For those who really want to display tabs next to the pages, you can design tabs directly on the layout of your pages and create links on them. It is not as responsive and interactive as the new HTML Contents menus, but it is a quick and simple solution to help your readers browse your publication.
All the other features that made your publications a success are possible: embedding videos, opening image pop-ups, playing animations in the pages, integrating enquiry forms, tracking visits in Google Analytics and so on.
We’ve worked hard on the software platform to be able to continue creating the best digital publications on the market and we are really excited by this evolution. The HTML5 language opens a new horizon and will allow us to offer you more customisation, more interactivity and a better consistency across devices. Stay tuned. We’ll update you on new features soon!
If you have any questions, get in touch with your Account Manager or on email@example.com