Over the years, Adobe Flash have been playing a major role in content creation for eLearning and Rich Media/Internet applications. These Flash contents were mainly delivered for Desktop browser based web applications or desktop stand alone application. Almost all the eLearning and Rich media developers used Flash to create content that are rich in graphics and complex user interaction. That is the reason we can see thousands of Flash games in web and all the popular games available are built using Flash. Flash has all the features that are required to deliver rich media content like audio, video, image, text, animations over internet as streaming content or on any storage device like CD/DVD.
One of the most advantage of developing content in Flash is its portability and adaptability across different OS. We just need to develop one project code base with content and it can be delivered across different platforms like Windows, MAC, Linux and more. This allowed big corporate, educational institutions and gaming companies to develop in Flash at a cost effective manner. Due to all these feature and advantages of Flash, it is estimated that eLearning contents have been delivered in Flash for more than thousands and thousands of hours. Not only eLearning contents, there are thousands of Rich Media & interactive apps and Flash games.
One would wonder, with so many features and capabilities why Flash is taking the back seat in the recent past. The problem for Flash started to happen with the emergence of Mobile era and that too with the Smart Phones & tablets popularity. Flash content and games depends on the Flash Player Plug-in associated with the desktop browsers to render the content. Although, Flash Player is made available in mobile browsers as well. But the content created in Flash used to be heavy with animations, audio and video. This led to performance issues in mobile devices as the mobile configuration will be on a bit lower side compared to Desktop. One of the major setbacks for the Flash Player is that major smart phone giants like Apple stopped supporting it.
Even though Flash Player has issues in handheld devices like Smart phones and tablets. It is still one of the best solution for desktop eLearning and other rich media solutions delivered over web.
HTML5 is the Need of the hour:
With the downfall of Flash player in mobile devices and subsequent announcement from Adobe to discontinue development of Flash for mobile devices and reorient its efforts in developing tools utilizing HTML5.
HTML has grown day by day and it has sustained the capability of playing video and such from HTML5 version onwards. The latest HTML5 version has the full ability to satisfy the greater usability demands of varying screen dimensions of mobile and desktop devices. Here comes the Responsive Web Design where the content is rendered according to the target device.