There is a lot of talking (and a lot of blogging) about the demise of Flash and the rise of HTML5 in banner ad creation. Along with it has been a lot of coverage on the emergence of new Flash to HTML5 tools for conversion. Google’s Swiffy converting flash is such tool that is already being recognized on the digital landscape when it comes to creating HTML5 banners.

With Flash support already being dropped for mobile browsers, tools like Swiffy are becoming more necessary for converting Flash content to HTML5. However conversion tools are still currently limited because the process is complicated. Swiffy shows promise in making that change happen faster by converting Flash ActionScript to Javascript. But can agencies and designers rely on its performance?

Google’s Swiffy shows promise, but has flaws

Swiffy shows promise in converting Flash content to HTML5 because it converts Flash on the fly right in a browser. The conversion process is extremely quick and results appear in mere seconds. Plus, in addition to graphics and animation Google’s Swiffy also converts Actionscript 2 and 3 into HTML5, too. To do this, Swiffy uses a compact JSON representation of the animation, rendering it with SVG and a bit of HTML5 and CSS3. ActionScript 2.0 is also present in the JSON object, and is interpreted in JavaScript in the browser.

But while the promise is there, Swiffy might not be the savior that agencies and designers can count on. There are several unfortunate drawbacks with Swiffy that make it an unreliable option at the present time:

  • Swiffy often increases the file weight of the final .zip file (which designers need to avoid to optimize banner load times and performance)
  • Swiffy doesn’t support all ActionScript 2 and 3 functionality
  • The Swiffy HTML output cannot be easily edited, unlike the results Adobe’s CreateJS Toolkit
  • Some graphic ghosting might remain when going from one screen to another
  • Swiffy-converted files might be slightly less responsive than their Flash versions
  • Swiffy animations are limited and can be choppy on mobile devices
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These drawbacks could change sooner than later since Swiffy is being updated each and every month, but for now the limitations make it unreliable when it comes to obtaining the best results.

In conclusion

In short, Google’s Swiffy is a great example of how far the web platform has come, especially in the form of aiding HTML5 banner creation. However, it is not recommended as the most reliable option. When it comes to optimal animation—especially on mobile—it simply can’t be counted on.

At Digitaland we excel and HTML5 banner creation and look forward to sharing more tips and tricks to help the ongoing transition easier for agencies, designers and brands. How can we help you?

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