Today, YouTube announced it will now default to HTML5 when a video is loaded rather than using Flash. For years, Apple has been criticized for not allowing Flash on its iOS devices, leading Steve Jobs in April 2010 to release an open letter explaining Apple’s position on the subject. You can read the whole letter here. Inside, Jobs addresses the technical issues associated with Flash and Adobe’s criticisms of Apple for not using the platform.
In light of YouTube’s transition to HTML5, however, it’s worth pointing out the close of the letter:
Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.
The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.
New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too).
Five years later, it’s interesting to see this transition continue to take place, this time at one of the most popular websites in the world. Head over to Apple’s site for the complete text of the letter.