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Adobe Flash, the iPhone and the iPad - A Combination that Doesn't Mix

Published:  April 15, 2012

For many years, Adobe Flash technology dominated much of the web.  Flash intros were all the rage and every time you went to a website, you had to sit through a long animated movie to get to the main content.  While the days of Flash intros have (thankfully) fallen aside, many dental and medical websites still use Adobe's Flash technology for main website navigation. Continuing to use Flash for your website navigation -- or for any critical content on your dental or medical website -- here in 2012 -  is  probably costing you patients.  And you can thank Apple (the iPad and the iPhone run Apple's iOS)  for this change!

The Past with Flash

In the past using Flash for your website navigation was a great idea -- Flash was installed on practically every machine you could find (even those free computer terminals at the library, too) and you could be sure that if you had a Flash menu or a Flash component on your website, then most everyone could see it.

The Present without Flash

Much has changed since the days of Flash being dominant across the web, and while there are still many websites that do use flash components,  [quote]But the most important thing you need to take out of this article is that the iPhone and the iPad simply do NOT support Flash technology.  What this means practically is that if your dental website has a Flash-based navigation, it simply won't work on the iPhone or the iPad.[/quote]  And to make matters even worse, new Mac computers are no longer shipping with Flash installed.

The Road Ahead

Adobe announced recently that it will not be continuing to develop Flash for mobile devices, so the writing is now on the wall that Flash will begin a slow decline soon.  This doesn't mean that Flash is dead by any stretch -- but it does mean that anyone with a website that has significant Flash technology incorporated in it better take a good look at their website to see how the site performs on the iPhone and the iPad. It also means that any new sites that are being build should NOT incorporate Flash in their navigation.   What this change does underscore, however, is my frequent point that any and all critical information on your website should be in a format that is accessible to everyone (i.e. make every effort on your website to have your phone number and address in a text-based format so people on any device can reach you)..

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