A suggestion for web designers: Reverse Flash sites

I don’t know if work for freelance web designers is starting to dry up, but here’s a new sideline: take an existing Flash-based website and use the same text, pictures and video to make a version for mobile phone users.

Many people believe that Apple will not allow Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone. The PR reason is that they think that the programming language behind Flash could cause security and technical problems. An incompetent or malicious programmer could make iPhones go wrong. Since phones have been able to run more and more 3rd-party applications, they have become more unreliable.

The ‘Steve Jobs’ reason might be that Adobe have never spent enough time making Flash work well on non-Windows-based computers. People complain that it is a waste of processor and battery power when a Flash movie plays on a mobile phone. On Macs, simple Flash operations take over 70% of CPU resources.

If the iPhone becomes more popular, it might be a good idea for those sites that are centred around Flash to have an alternative non-Flash version available for those browsing on the run.

A few weeks ago I was at a social organised by Stellar Network. After chatting with various people for a while I thought it wouldn’t be too pretentious to get my iPhone out. We had been talking about post-production toys such as the new Red camera system, so I hoped that browsing the web in public would be OK. It was response to a conversation about web design. One person there was Melissa Byers. As she is a cinematographer with foresight, she grabbed a great domain: camerawoman.com:

Melissa Byers' site

I tried visiting her website. My iPhone wasn’t good enough to browse her Flash-based site.

I got an email from Melissa this afternoon. I remembered our conversation and visited her site for the first time today.

That’s why it might be a good idea to have alternative version of your Flash site for people like me with more money than sense – iPhone buyers!

You could even learn how to turn Flash sites into iPhone web applications. Before July 2008, that was the only way to add functionality to the iPhone. Find out about iPhone WebApps at http://www.apple.com/webapps/

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