For anyone who has a Flash based website or Flash animation within their website that doesn’t work on todays plethora of devices, this technique will make your life very easy.
Google have created a service which can convert Flash SWF files into HTML 5 code. See some examples here.
The service is called SWIFFY and supports:
embedded fonts, timeline animation, (dynamic) text, movie clips, buttons and scripting using ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0.
All modern browsers including IE 9+, Chrome 22.0, Safari 6, Mobile Safari -iOS 5, Android Browser 4.0.3, Firefox 15.0 and Opera 12 – support most ActionScript 2.0 and 3.0 features, and buttons, embedded fonts, images, masks, shapes, static and dynamic text and tweening are supported by all of the aforementioned browsers.
The great thing about swiffy is Google are future proofing it by utilising such standards as SVG and EcmaScript 5.
So this really means two things, Flash lives! – again (not that it really died as such, just began to fade under the spectre of HTML 5/CSS3/Canvass), so now there is no excuse to not be showcasing Flash content on iPads etc. Also, Flash has always been King when it comes to creating controlled and dynamic, creative animation. Coding these just hasn’t come close, with the loss of the graphic interface. Really great news for designers who loved the flexibility and versatility of Flash but felt duty-bound to drop it from their arsenal of useful tools as the pressure to serve useable content to major devices took hold.
At present the files do show a small amount of bloat, as is to be expected when turning a compiled animation process into a code driven one but, as most Flash animations were produced through a need of simple engaging graphics, this may be of small concern for most web designers.
This is still set as a beta version by Google, but they’re adding – and have added – some nice features, including the ability to add Swiffy as a plugin to Flash now – this gives the web designer the ability to export Flash movies to the swiffy format, directly from within Flash, which is a real boon. Most importantly – in fine Google tradition – its FREE!
Google have created a page which allows you to test your content out. Simply upload your SWF file (up to 1mb) and click the upload and convert button.
Give it a try – you have nothing to lose. In fact you’ll lose more by not trying – don’t consign Flash to the dustbin just yet.
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