Steve Jobs just finished giving his keynote speech to the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), releasing the much anticipated new revision of the iPhone, iPhone 4.
The new design of the phone came as no big surprise as some poor Apple employee lost a prototype so with some of the new details of the iPhone already common knowledge, the keynote speech by Jobs was underwhelming for consumers, but for businesses competing with Apple in the smartphone market, there are some things that might cause a few sleepless nights amongst highly paid techno-boffins locked into the laboratory at well-known mobile phone companies, if not at the board level.
So what new fatures does the iPhone sport? Well apart from multi-tasking, both a front and rear facing video chat camera and you can switch between front and rear facing cameras during a video call (iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only though), a higher resolution screen than is detectable by the human eye(!), a gyroscope and HD video recording and editing.
But Steve Jobs discreetly mentioned something else, HTML 5. HTML is the language that helps convert text and images into web pages and the next evolution (HTML 5) of the language is set to make the web more beautiful to use will allow developers like me to add video and sound to a website without having to use third party plugins like Flash. HTML 5 also offers image transitions (for flipping images in a gallery for instance), basic ‘Virtual Reality’ functions and 360-degree elements directly into the web page.
So, whilst the phone execs are sweating the iPhone 4, it’s certain that Adobe is sweating the fact that some of the key functions that Flash provides – video, sound, 360-degree presentations – will soon become standard features of HTML. And unlike Adobe Flash, HTML is an open standard.
This is all part of an ongoing feud between Apple and Adobe, but there is no doubt that HTML 5 will render the use of Flash obsolete for anything but very sophisticated web sites and games, and Apple is even taking a chunk out of that market thanks to the success of the App Store. Look out Adobe, it seems Apple is highlighting how to avoid using Flash on all the Apple platforms and inviting web and application developers to quit using Adobe Flash along the way.
Adobe has plenty of other products, and Flash isn’t going to wither away anytime soon, but certainly, Apple is at the avant-garde of design in general and web design companies will be taking cues from Apple, it is only a matter of time before HTML 5 becomes the standard through which web sites will be created, and at that point, sales of Adobe Flash are likely to decrease rapidly.