Adobes Wallaby to Convert Flash Banners, Animations to HTML for Mobile

By Michelle Megna

Adobe today released an experimental application that will convert basic Flash files, such as animations and banner ads, into HTML files that will run on iPhones and iPads, which are powered by the mobile platform iOS that famously does not support Flash.

Apple's chief, Steve Jobs, has long maintained that Flash is not worthy of supporting on its iOS, and instead has chosen to advocate HTML 5 video on the iPhone and iPad. For its part, Adobe has tried, and largely failed, to win over Apple in supporting Flash.

Meanwhile, as the two standards for delivering video online compete, the two remain complementary. Most HTML 5 video comes in standard embedded code that auto-detects the type of device requesting the video, and then provides the matching version, which means usually there is both a Flash and HTML 5 version stored online. Meanwhile, Google’s mobile OS Android, supports Adobe Flash 10.1 on devices running version 2.2 or later.

With the ongoing conflict with Apple as the back story, Adobe is providing developers a work around for some of Apple's restrictions, and for now, primarily focusing on advertisers who may want to publish ads on iOS devices.

Wallaby as it exists today will take Flash content and convert it to a mix of HTML, CSS and JavaScript code, which can then be edited or simply dropped into a web page.

"Wallaby is an application to convert Adobe Flash Professional CS5 files (.FLA) to HTML5. Wallaby has a very simple UI which accepts as input a FLA file and exports HTML and support files to a user-selected folder. There is also an option to launch the default application assigned for the .html extension. Once Wallaby is launched it will stay active until closed and can be used to process any number of files one by one," says the Wallaby release notes posted by Adobe.

Supported Webkit browsers include Chrome and Safari on OSX, Windows, and iOS.

Adobe goes on to say that Wallaby is still a work in progress. "Wallaby's design goal was not to produce final form HTML ready for deployment to web pages. Instead it focuses on converting the rich animated graphical content into a form that can easily be imported into other web pages in development with web page design tools like Dreamweaver."

In August, Adobe made Flash 10.1 support available for devices running Google's mobile OS Android 2.2.

In October, Adobe released AIR 2.5, which expanded AIR's scope beyond the confines of desktop Windows, Mac and Linux PCs to multiple new platforms including BlackBerry Tablet OS, Android and even TVs.

The AIR 2.5 release was the lastest evolution of Adobe's effort to create a multi- platform application runtime which first debuted back in 2008. AIR leverages the same skills that developers already have with Flash in order to deploy applications for AIR across multiple types of devices.

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