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Google helps developers deliver Flash content to HTML5 with Swiffy

Mel Martin

With minimal fanfare, Google has released Swiffy. It lets developers convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 so they are usable on Mobile Safari and other platforms that do not support Flash.

For Adobe, the company that created Flash and aimed to have it to be the major animation and video standard on the web, this means that designers and animators can continue to use the well-known (and expensive) Flash authoring environment while addressing the growing number of HTML5 clients.

The utility won't convert Flash videos, but seems to work quite well on web animations. You can see some examples from Google here and here. If you're viewing the demos from Safari with the Flash Player plug-in on a Mac, you'll see both windows, the original Flash version, and the translation. If you view on Mobile Safari, you'll only see the translation on the right.

If you'd like to test it all yourself, Google will let you upload an SWF file and you'll get an instant conversion.

Steve Jobs has famously resisted Flash on iOS products, saying it crashes and is a battery hog. It's not clear exactly where Google is positioning itself here, as the company's Android mobile OS does support Flash, but relatively few devices have enabled it (and even fewer in a way that customers like). Google has posted an FAQ on Swiffy with more details.

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