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Google makes Flash video on Apple possible

June 30, 2011 5:19pm

Tags: Google
What started out as a "hack" is now a budding Google tool that promises to allow Flash videos to be played on Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod devices soon.

Google said that the initial version of its "Swiffy" project, which it made available via Google Labs, converts Flash files to HTML5, a format Apple's devices support.

"Today we’re making the first version of Swiffy available on Google Labs. You can upload a SWF file, and Swiffy will produce an HTML5 version which will run in modern browsers with a high level of SVG support such as Chrome and Safari," product manager Marcel Gordon said in a blog post.

Apple's devices presently do not support Flash. It cited bugs and possible security issues in making such a decision.

However, Apple's devices —including its Safari browser— support newer Web technologies like HTML5.

"Swiffy is a great example of how far the web platform has come. Swiffy animations benefit from the recent advancements in JavaScript execution speed and hardware accelerated 2D graphics in the browser. Viva la Web!" he said.

Started from a hack

Gordon said that the project started from a hack: an engineering intern, Pieter Senster, was "hacking around" to explore how Google could display Flash animations on devices that do not support Adobe's Flash player software.

"Pieter made such great progress that Google hired him full time and formed a team to work on the project. Swiffy was born!" Gordon said.

But Gordon said "Swiffy" is still in its early stages, and may not convert all Flash content, although it already works well on ads and animations.

He said "Swiffy" uses a compact JSON representation of the animation, which is rendered using SVG and a bit of HTML5 and CSS3.

ActionScript 2.0 is also present in the JSON object, and is interpreted in JavaScript in the browser.

This representation makes the Swiffy animations almost as compact as the original SWF files, he said. — TJD, GMA News

Tags: Google



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