Google takes aim at Flash with Flash to HTML 5 converter

Google’s mobile ad team have been working on ways to solve the problem of displaying Flash adverts to mobile users. While the latest Android versions may support some Flash capability on the device, iPhone and iPad, older Android, and just about every other phone user has to go without, meaning Google misses out on serving its higher-revenue flash ads to those users.

It is unlikely that these mobile platforms will be supporting Flash any time soon, especially the iOS line (they’ve managed so far, at least). So Google’s team built a converter that translates the most common Flash features used in ads to the omnipresent HTML 5 format, meaning that even iOS devices can render the ads to the user.

There are, of course, some features that the tool – called Swiffy – does not support. However it supports graceful degradation, doing its best to make everything look reasonably right. It can handle vector graphics, embedded fonts, and timeline animation as well as masks and simple gaming mechanics. However, don’t be expecting the latest Miniclip game to be compatible.

Adobe have a similar technology - Wallaby - which performs similar conversions. It's designed specifically with iOS targetting in mind, and has been in development for longer. However both Wallaby and Spiffy are side projects not currently designed for widespread or complex applications - that standard of conversion is a way off yet, and would almost totally negate Flash installations.

Google have let Swiffy out into the wild for anyone to try on Google Labs.

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