Do you remember when Steve Jobs refused to incorporate Flash on any of the company’s iOS devices? Claiming that the platform would effectively be dead within a matter of years, well the tech world held their breath. Was this a cynical power move or a genuine look to the future?
Today, there is little doubt that Steve Jobs was right after all, as it is HTML5, and not Adobe’s Flash that dominates the marketplace, transforming the way we access the web. So, what exactly is HTML5, and why has it proved so influential particularly within the mobile gaming world?
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is the latest version of Hypertext Markup Language, the code used for creating pages and applications on the web and it is at the heart of everything you do online, from movies to music and apps. HTML5 works across multiple platforms, from your tablet to your Smart TV, you don’t need any additional plugins or APIs to run it, and because HTML is open source, it doesn’t cost you a dime.
The iGaming market, in particular, spotted the enormous potential of HTML early with gambling websites proving the perfect front to showcase the sublime simplicity and functionality of HTML5. Players can now choose from thousands of seamless, interactive experiences, all at the touch of a button; they can also live-stream blackjack games, take on the house at the roulette table, or decide to play slots online through HTML5. What is more, this platform is much more compatible with modern smartphones compared with the older platforms like Flash, making games to be more accessible and easier to download and play. There is no surprise then that over the years, HTML5 has come to dominate the mobile gaming market.
So, why has HTML5 become so famous for mobile gaming all of a sudden? In a word: compatibility. HTML5 works across all browsers, from Amazon Silk to Firefox, and this ‘one size fits all’ dynamic makes it a favourite with mobile game developers, who only have to design an app once for it to feature across all platforms. And according to conservatives’ estimates, HTML5 is now incorporated in nearly three-quarters of all mobile websites, easily removing competitors like CSS and Flash, and with the clamour for HTML5 developers only getting louder, this trend is not like to slow down any time soon.
However, facts have shown that many industry insiders expect HTML5 to monopolise the mobile gaming market in a little over five years and with Google following hot on the footsteps of Apple, announcing July last year that they will no longer be supporting Flash-based technology in their ads, the writing is on the wall. There’s no surprise then, that shortly after Google went public about leaving Flash behind, Adobe made their announcement, with Flash set to be consigned to the trash heap by 2020.
The End of an Era
As sad as it is for the end of Flash, the much-loved multimedia platform, which was once omnipotent on the web for close to two decades. And as for HTML5, this is just the beginning, and, as a continually evolving, ever-changing medium, we should expect to see something newer, more sophisticated, and more robust versions in the coming years.