Yesterday Google introduced Swiffy, a web-based app that “converts Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing you to reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads).” It’s great to have another tool like this although Adobe itself offers better ones (if you can afford them).
But I think Swiffy may have only marginal value at this point. Today it only supports “…a subset of SWF 8 and ActionScript 2.0, and the output works in all Webkit browsers such as Chrome and Mobile Safari.” This leads to two main problems as I see it:
- ActionScript 2.0 is a 5-year old technology that was superceded in 2006 by ActionScript 3.0. So many current Flash applications can’t take advantage of Swiffy.
- It seems as if Swiffy is tuned for the Webkit browser which powers many of the desktop and mobile web browsers on the market. However it does leave out Firefox and Internet Explorer which still represent a significant part of the market.
So while I think this is a positive bit of news from Google, I hope that they keep pressing forward and continue to enhance Swiffy to make it a more valuable product.