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Remove Flash from Your Mobile Website

If you’ve spent much time surfing the web on an iPhone or iPad, you probably already know that Flash doesn’t work on either device.

Sorry, but you cannot use Flash if you want your site to display well on an iPhone or iPad (although at this time, some apps are in the works that may allow you to view certain Flash files in the future).

Fortunately, you can use CSS 3 to create beautiful, Flash-like effects, such as the planets orbiting the sun in the CSS 3 demo site shown. The app-like site is called Our Solar System, and it was created by the talented Alex Giron.

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As an iPhone/iPad designer, you should be on the lookout for the following four common ways that Flash is used on websites. Consider replacing the following uses of Flash with CSS 3 and JavaScript to ensure that your site is optimized for these devices:

  • Whole-site Flash implementations: The web is home to hundreds of thousands of Flash sites, many of which are being redesigned continually. Flash is ideal for web design. It scales well, and you can integrate animation and video in Flash files.

    Many restaurant owners, artists, and others were seduced into designing graphically complex, interactive features. Unfortunately, if you’ve designed your restaurant site in Flash, customers who want to find your address on the way to eat there or who want to review your menu on their iPhones or iPads are out of luck.

  • Advertising banners: Advertisers fell all over themselves to design and insert Flash banners, for many of the same reasons that game developers and other site owners built all-Flash sites: It’s a quick way to add animated characters who dance and sing to grab your attention on the screen.

    Flash also lets you add interactivity so that those characters can react to the movement of a cursor. The ad world is now in the midst of a major shift; in place of Flash, most designers are creating what they call rich media (usually, a combination of JavaScript, CSS 3, and HTML5).

  • Limited interactive features: Some site designers have used Flash to add flair to a site, such as a little game or an animated image in their web pages. Although similar effects can be achieved using CSS 3 and JavaScript, many wish Adobe and Apple could work things out so that Flash would work on the iPhone and iPad.

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