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Google may be one of the world's most respected tech companies, but it could learn a thing or two from Apple. One lesson: surprises are supposed to be good.
Yesterday, Google surprised the world with an announcement that it is dropping support for the popular H.264 video codec. Not surprisingly, this sparked an outcry from many publishers and users who now know: the codec wars are on.
Fashion retailer River Island relaunched its website last month, with a more accessible and usable version replacing the all Flash website which has been in place for the last few years.
This non-Flash site is long overdue, and can hardly fail to improve on the previous version. It was originally designed by EMC/Conchango, and project managed by Ideal Interface. I've been trying the new site out...
The Web is getting a makeover. HTML5, the not-yet-ratified update of digital media's standard language, is poised to become a game-changer for publishing, advertising, marketing, video, mobile platforms and search. The industry big guns: Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple, are all over the new format. While it may not yet be the moment to convert to this yet-embryonic platform, it certainly is time for anyone doing business on the Web to get up to speed on what HTML5 is, and why it may soon be changing digital media, commerce, publishing and advertising.
When Apple made it clear that apps created with Adobe's Flash Packager
for iPhone would not be permitted in the App Store, Steve Jobs had an
explanation: "We know from painful experience that letting a third
party layer of software come between the platform and the developer
ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and
progress of the platform."
Many, myself included, found Jobs' explanation to be somewhat disingenuous. Tools that facilitate cross-platform development aren't necessarily responsible for bad code and poor software; bad development practices and poorly-skilled developers almost always are.
In April, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained in detail why consumers aren't going to see Flash support on the iPhone and iPad. Long story short: Adobe Flash "is no longer necessary." Although Apple's lack of support for Flash is often cited as an iPhone/iPad drawback, Flash certainly isn't going to win a whole lot of popularity contests either. But the question remains: is there a place for Flash in the mobile market?
We may soon have an answer.
I may not be a full service number-one digital branding or content agency myself. If I ran one, though, I'd probably make sure my site looked ok on the iPad, which we should all know by now doesn't do Flash.
Here are 11 screenshots showing agency websites as seen on my iPad. These screenshots show the sites exactly as they appeared on my iPad (which was in landscape orientation).
Should etailers think about designing apps or special versions of their websites for the iPad, or will the existing websites do the job?
Whether these sites need to adapt for the iPad or produce apps is debatable at the moment, since the number of users of the device is still small, but it may be something they will have to think about in future.
I've been trying out a few e-commerce sites on the iPad, and I've listed some of the usability issues that iPad users may face.
Apple's rise to the top of the tech world has been marked just as much by controversy as it has by success in the mobile market. The company's desire for control has made it a target for critics, and potentially for regulators.
Apple attracted the spotlight when it implemented new rules that essentially killed Adobe's iPhone/iPad ambitions by making it clear that apps developed using Adobe's Packager for iPhone tool contained in the newest version Flash Professional would not make it into the App Store. And its dislike for Flash was made abundantly clear when the iPad was unveiled, sans Flash support.
Consumers and privacy advocates are forever concerned about the ways they can be tracked online. But it looks like one effective method has not gotten much attention to date: the browser. According to a new study from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, 84% of browsers have an "instantaneously unique fingerprint." What's more? Efforts to disguise a browser might actually make consumers more easily identifiable.
Now if only companies were using this information for nefarious purposes, we'd have a real privacy issue on our hands.
If Adobe can position itself as an open platform advocate, it will be one of the great feats of modern marketing. The company has spent the last few years being bashed — and banned — from Apple's mobile products. After Steve Jobs wrote an open letter explaining Apple's distaste for Adobe's product Flash last month, Adobe is fighting back.
Today, the company launched a digital and print campaign extolling the company's affinity for digital freedoms and openness. The trouble is, Adobe is not an open platform. This could be a hard sell.
HTML5 is coming, and a growing number of companies are trying to kick the Flash habit, even if on a limited basis. The latest: popular online document sharing service Scribd.
According to the startup's CTO, "We are scrapping three years of Flash development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash."