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What Vimeo.com’s new HTML5 video players tells us about the mobile app market

Posted on | February 20, 2010 | No Comments

Vimeo, the popular video web site, recently launched an HTML5 video player as an option to the normal flash-based video player. You can try the player by clicking the “Switch to HTML5 player” link on this page.

This is good news for mobile device users who can’t run flash (e.g. iPhone/iPad) but bad news for Adobe, who must wish sites would hold off of HTML5 adoption until Flash were better supported on mobile devices.

Yet another interesting turn of events in what is becoming quite a battle between Apple and Adobe, the maker of Flash. Apple recently began openly panning Flash to journalists, and also announced that Flash would not be supported on the iPad platform.

Additionally, Google has been de-prioritizing fixes for it’s broken Google Gears browser plug-in for the Mac platform because it would be a better investment to simply support HTML5’s offline data storage functionality.¬†The worst part of this for Adobe is that it actually makes sense — why support a proprietary local storage mechanism when there is a rising open-source standard which accomplishes the same goal in a more scalable manner?

What’s the big picture? We’re seeing a steady move toward a world which combines native apps with rich mobile web implementations. HTML5 is gaining traction. So it’s worth considering carefully if your mobile project is best accomplished using a native app, or via a rich mobile web app.

We’ll be posting an article on how to make this kind of decision next week.

ADDENDUM: Google has now officially announced they will be supporting HTML5 client data storage instead of Gears.

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