Google’s New Swiffy Turns Flash Files Into iPad-Friendly Code


Credit: Adobe

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) unveiled a tool Tuesday that could help developers and content creators live more easily on both sides of the mobile debate over Flash versus HTML5. The tool, called Swiffy, is still a Google Labs project but could prove a useful conversion tool for Flash files that yearn to be written in HTML5.

You’ll no doubt recall the furor that erupted last year following the release of Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs’ letter entitled “Thoughts on Flash,” which outlined why Apple’s mobile devices have no plans to support Flash content and have chosen instead to support HTML5 code and h.264 videos. Google and Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) promptly lined up on the other side of the fence with rhetoric about supporting “the full Web,” and it was on. The truth is, they’re both right: Flash is not a great solution for the constraints of mobile computing, and while HTML5 has a lot of promise, until it’s fully baked Flash will still have to play a big role for developers.

Google has decided to bridge the gap with Swiffy. Just upload a Flash .swf file here, and Google will convert it to HTML5 code that can be embedded on a Web page and seen by iPhones and iPads. Being that it is a Labs project, which means it’s not ever deserving of the title of “beta,” Swiffy may not be the holy grail of the Flash/HTML5 debate just yet for the mobile development community but is still an interesting step.

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