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Flash Faster Than HTML5, Sometimes

Adobe may have committed itself to making great HTML5 tools, but it still has a fondness for Flash.

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Without missing a beat, Adobe is back promoting the benefits of its Flash platform on mobile devices.

John Nack, principle product manager of Adobe Photoshop, on Saturday published a blog post highlighting tests run by a Flash developer showing that Flash runs faster and more efficiently on mobile devices than HTML5.

HTML5, the evolving standard for modern Web apps, has been heavily promoted by Apple and Google as an open standard, in contrast to Flash, which is partially though not completely open.

Since April, when Apple issued draft iOS developer rules that denied developers the right to use Flash, among other technologies, in the creation of iOS apps, Adobe has been fighting behind the scenes to save Flash, all the while publicly promising to deliver the best HTML5 authoring tools.

Despite Apple CEO Steve Jobs's dismissal of Flash as an unstable, insecure legacy technology, Apple earlier this month decided that it would allow apps created using Flash or other third-party development tools into its App Store after all. Evidently, Adobe, as much as it's committed to HTML5, still has an interest in buoying the prospects of Flash as a mobile development technology.

Lest anyone wonder whether Adobe will back away from HTML5 now that Flash has a future on iOS devices, Nack emphasizes his company's dual-track focus by stressing that he's not saying HTML5 should not be used and that HTML5 could prevail over Flash in a different benchmark performance test. Nack's point, one Adobe and Flash advocates have been making for months, is that HTML5 and Flash each have their strengths.

"Competition is great," wrote Nack. "For things that HTML5 does best, use it; same goes for Flash."

Nack's post is based on tests conducted by Chris Black, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Flash developer. Black also claims that Flash 10.1 consumes about half the battery life of an equivalent HTML5 app on the Nexus One. He also says that iOS and Android devices don't render CSS3 the same way.

Competition is great for Adobe when competing HTML5 implementations provide a rationale for developing content on Flash for the sake of consistent output.

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