Why we stop supporting Adobe Flash
Starting 1 November 2018, we stopped supporting Adobe Flash in FlippingBook Publisher. It means that it is no longer possible to create or change Flash publications in the latest versions of the software, only HTML5 ones.
Why we made this decision
At FlippingBook, we always strive to deliver the best to our users. It goes for the quality of the software, the end publications you can create, and the quality of the support.
We started getting requests to move to HTML5 back in 2013. At that time, the first signs appeared that Adobe Flash wouldn’t be there forever, but the format still had a long way to go before HTML5 could outbeat it in power and flexibility. HTML5 could not provide the same quality and beauty of page flip animations that Flash did, and we didn’t want to drop the quality benchmark we’d set, because our users valued it. So Flash remained our technology of choice.
In 2016, big companies, including Apple, Google, and Mozilla, began to actively push Flash out of operation by hindering the use of the Flash plugin in their browsers. The Flash usage levels were dropping dramatically - and fast (as of July 2017, only 17% of Google Chrome users visited websites with Flash).
Picture courtesy of Chromium.org
The numbers continue to decline. If you and your viewers work in the latest Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, or Safari, there’s almost a 100% chance that you cannot use or see Flash.
Adobe has officially confirmed that Flash technology support is ending for good in 2020.
Back in 2016, before our Flash users started to have major issues with their publications, we took another look at HTML5 and found a way to implement it into the publications while maintaining the quality standards. And in December 2016, a new version of FlippingBook Publisher came out that allowed creating pure HTML5 publications.
Sure, the new format was different from Flash and lacked some features, but for the next 15 months we worked to improve and enhance it. Many features were reintroduced, brand new ones added, and dozens of improvements are in store. The latest HTML5 publication looks nothing like its earlier version, and, compared to Flash, it’s much faster, sleeker, and more powerful.
Meanwhile, we’ve kept supporting Flash to provide users with the time to move to HTML5 without hassle. And according to our data, 85% of FlippingBook Publisher users have already moved to HTML5.
This leaves us with a huge chunk of the software that has been frozen, cannot be improved (as Adobe will stop supporting it), and that fewer and fewer people use. The need to support Flash slows down the software performance and hinders the development of new features tremendously.
So, sadly, we came to a point where we have to stop supporting Flash to provide a modern, powerful, and useful tool we’ve always wanted FlippingBook Publisher to be.
So, what’s next?
After version 2.10.8, it is longer be possible to create or update Flash publications in the later versions of FlippingBook Publisher.
What if you aren’t ready to move to HTML5?
Throughout 2017, we spoke with many of you, discussing the ups and downs of HTML5, and tried to understand why switching to HTML5 may be difficult or even unacceptable for some users. As a result, we noticed several major concerns that we would like to address here.
1) “I have tried HTML5 when it was introduced and didn’t like its look.”
When we first introduced HTML5, we had to sacrifice a few visual features, i.e. vector texts and page thickness. But we’ve put in a lot of work to improve the quality since then:
- vector texts were reintroduced in November 2017,
- major update to image quality has been introduced in 2018,
- page thickness will be brought back in Autumn 2019.
Plus, many visual improvements are being added into HTML5 publications, such as notes, GIF-animations, popup gallery, and page flip on mobile devices.
2) “I have too many publications to convert them from Flash to HTML5 manually.”
We do understand that reconverting more than a dozen publications can be tedious. That’s why starting ver. 2.8.16 (30th March 2017), FlippingBook Publisher has a built-in Flash to HTML5 Converter. You can select as many publications as you need, and they will be converted to HTML5 automatically. Here’s a tutorial.
3) “HTML5 publications lack the features I need.”
Here is an update on the most requested features that are still missing in HTML5 publications:
- Select text should be available in Autumn 2019,
- E-commerce should be available in the future, though it will be a light version.
Offline publications, Background sounds, and slideshow have already been reintroduced.
When we released HTML5, we held a webinar about HTML5 and Flash, where we explained why to use HTML5 and what the differences between HTM5 and Flash publications are. Since then we have introduced new features to HTML5 publication. Still, you might find this video recording useful.
We hope this article answers the questions you may have on moving to HTML5, but if it doesn’t, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss the details with you.
And no matter what your concerns are, we’d like to ask you one question: is Flash really worth it, when 80% of your viewers don’t see the publications you create?
Frequently asked questions
What do I do with the existing Flash publications?
We suggest that you take a look at your Flash publications and choose the ones you would like to keep current and timely. These can be easily re-converted to HTML5 using our built-in Flash to HTML5 converter. It’s available in FlippingBook Publisher starting ver. 2.8.16 of March 30, 2017. All you need to do is open your Flash project in FlippingBook Publisher, and the software will offer to re-convert it into HTML5, but here are specific instructions just in case.
What happens to the existing Flash publications on my server/FlippingBook Cloud?
They continue to work as usual, unless you need to update them. Please, note though, that if they are intended for public display, 80% of users don’t see the full interactive versions of your publications.
What if I need to keep creating Flash publications?
We suggest using the latest version of FlippingBook Publisher released before November 2018 (2.10.8). This version should work just fine, and if you need to create new Flash publications or update the existing ones without re-converting them to HTML5, you will be able to do it. However, please, keep in mind that if you intend to use Flash publications externally, your potential audience might be very limited, as 80% of Internet users don’t have access to Flash.
We would be happy to answer your questions and provide assistance in moving from Flash to HTML5. Please, feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help. We’re available 24/5 with limited availability on weekends.