Players of online games often don’t really think about the system that’s in place to allow them to work, instead getting lost in the moment and focussing on the task at hand. Most of the time that’s not a problem, especially as technology has evolved to such an extent that things work exactly as they should do far more often than not. The software providers that make the games have to think about what goes on under the hood, however, and there’s a big change coming that has already seen a shift in the way games are made.
Adobe, the company responsible for creating and maintaining the Flash system, has announced that it will phase its use out completely by the year 2020. One of the big ways in which they will do that is by changing what customers can use the software used to create Flash, known as Flash Professional CC but being renamed as Animate CC, for. The hope is that people will now start to use more secure and modern software that can do essentially the same thing as Flash, such as HTML5. But what are the noteworthy factors of each, especially when it comes to casino gaming?
Differences Between HTML5 and Flash Games
No web browsers are able to render media created in Flash themselves, so instead your device will need to have Flash Player installed on it in order to run a Flash-based website or page. That can obviously be quite tricky in some instances, especially when it comes to mobile devices that can’t have external programs installed on them. HTML5, meanwhile, can be rendered by virtually every browser because HTML is the default system used by most of them.
In the past Adobe have circumnavigated that particular issue by releasing a tool that would allow Flash to be converted to HTML5, but that was an imperfect system that only worked some of the time. Prior to 2008 the only player that could use Flash was the company’s own Adobe Flash Player, with players created after that year still not fully compatible with certain files. Apple, who have never been keen on being restricted to an framework other than their own, doesn’t allow Flash to work on iOS systems, ruling out its use on the likes of iPads and iPhones.
Tools and Features
Flash is a proprietary software and, as such, the only way to create sites and such with it properly in the past has been to use Adobe’s own software. That can be expensive for developers, limiting the number of tools available to develop Flash-based programming.
When it comes to HTML5, on the other hand, it’s an open format system, meaning any company can develop a tool for developers. Consequently the options available for creating and developing a site in HTML5 are significantly more numerous and convenient.
Though Adobe have improved the way that Flash works more and more with every release of the software, older versions of the Flash platform could cause problems for people who didn’t have the latest or greatest computers. MacOS users in particular would find that the CPU usage of Flash-based sites would cause their machines to heat up.
Flash is quicker than regular HTML, but the development of that technology means that HTML5 will be the quicker software in the future.
Digital Restrictions Management
One of the major pluses of HTML5 is that it is an open format system, meaning that both developers and users can take advantage of it without any restrictions being put upon them. The downside of that, however, is that it’s a lot more difficult for companies to protect their digital creations.
Flash, meanwhile, includes Digital Restrictions Management as standard, often called DRM, which protects the likes of videos, songs and ebooks.
Use on Apple Devices
As mentioned before, iOS devices can’t use Flash, though native applications can be created using Flash if the vendors wish to do so. Apple have been pushing HTML5 to developers for some time, however, encouraging developers to use it as an alternative for embedding video or graphics on sites that users might wish to look at when they’re on the go.
Given that Apple mobile devices and tablets are some of the most popular in the world, it was no surprise to see company’s moving more and more of their creations over to HTML5 even before Adobe announced their decision to cease support for Flash.
One of the biggest reasons for the switch from Flash to HTML5 involves security concerns around the use of the former. Time and again Adobe have released updates to their Flash Player in order to plug security holes that were concerning people, but often another hole would upon up elsewhere. HTML5 isn’t flawless when it comes to security, yet many consider it to be significantly more stable than the alternative.
What Does This Mean For Online Casino Players?
In short, nothing. The reality is that if you’re someone who tends to play games on online casinos and have been doing so for some time then you’ll likely have already installed Flash Player in the past and won’t notice any major differences moving forward. Most of what happens goes on ‘under the hood’, meaning that you don’t need to do anything specific to get videos playing or graphics working.
One of the biggest things that may happen as we get closer to the 2020 cut off point for Flash-based technology is that some of your favourite games might disappear from sites. In some cases company’s will create a new version of the game that uses HTML5 technology, but occasionally they may feel that this is not very good value for money and so they’ll just remove the game from circulation.
Arguably the biggest difference will come to the lives of mobile users. At present any casino that uses Flash for its games needs to create a native app for most mobiles and tablets. That’s not necessary with HTML5, however, as it will run on all mobiles at a high speed. As a result, all you’ll need to do is open your browser and select the game you want to play. Don’t expect it to be a completely smooth and flawless transition though; at the time of writing about three-quarters of all videos and graphics online run through Flash.
Flash Is Doomed
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to which of the two technologies is the better one, though the fact that Adobe are phasing Flash out makes it something of a moot conversation. Certainly the older technology has more downsides than the new pretender, with constant crashes plaguing Flash users for years. There’s also the fact that HTML5 will work natively with far more websites and devices than than the alternative.
Most of the biggest websites around, from YouTube to Dailymotion, have already stopped using Flash and made the switch to HTML5. Even so, you shouldn’t be running off to uninstall the Adobe Flash Player just yet. There are still numerous sites and companies sticking with the older technology as they update their software and programmes to make the move over, meaning that plenty of online casinos will require your device to have Flash installed for a little while longer yet.