Flash vs. HTML5

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xat has decided to move from Flash to HTML5 and this article is here to explain the reason for the move, and the advantages that HTML5 carries over Flash.

Flash

Flash is a technology that was created by Adobe in the early 2000s to create animations on multimedia platforms. Those animations could be embedded on webpages, which made it a very popular resource at the time. Consequently, xat has been utilising Adobe Flash since its creation. Everything on xat uses Flash: the chat, the smilies, the kisses, etc.

According to Adobe's website, support for Flash will be dropped in the year 2020. They advise any business or website that is currently using Flash to migrate over to a more universal platform, such as HTML5.

HTML5

HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML standard. It has been modified in a way that allows users to add features that were not possible with Flash. Within the next year, xat plans on transitioning solely to using HTML5 for their chatboxes. HTML5 xat is currently in its beta stages. To visit the HTML5 chatboxes, add "?new" after a chat name. For example, "xat.com/xat_test?new."

Flash vs. HTML5

Mobile

HTML5 is supported on almost all modern mobile platforms, meaning that businesses can expand their websites to a new audience. Currently, this is how the xat.com mobile application has been made possible.

Browsing

Current technology such as iPhones or Chromebooks are also unable to utilise Flash. However, HTML5 is supported by almost all modern browsers and modern technology.

Safety

Flash implements a virtual space that allows developers to run software on your computer, without giving them the ability to access your personal files. However, some exploits in Flash have been found that allow malicious users the opportunity to breach outside of this virtual space and steal sensitive information. Some of these exploits have been mitigated by using HTML5, however. This is due to the fact that the virtual space that HTML5 uses is dependent on your browser's security as well as your operating system's security, making it much harder for malicious users to steal information.

User Experience

  • It has been noted that when xat is used with HTML5 as opposed to Flash, there is a large reduce in the amount of lag that a user may experience.
  • While copying text in Flash, you were only able to copy one word at a time. With HTML5, you may copy entire messages at once.
  • HTML5 xat chats allow you to view how many unread messages have popped up in another tab while you've been away.