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This article was published on June 28, 2011


Google launches ‘Swiffy’ tool to convert Flash animations into HTML5

Google launches ‘Swiffy’ tool to convert Flash animations into HTML5
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Google is famously fond of the brave new world that is HTML5. So, it’s little surprise to see a new tool emerge from its labs that converts Flash right into the latest version of the Web markup standard.

Swiffy, as it’s called, emerged as a summer project from an engineering intern on Google’s mobile advertising team, looking at how Flash animations could be displayed on devices that don’t support Adobe’s format. Simply feed it a .swf file and it will spit out the equivalent HTML5 as a JSON file.

While Google says that full Flash-based games won’t work with the converter just yet, vector graphics, embedded fonts, images and timeline animations should work fine. Google has set up a gallery of example conversions and it’s fair to say that they make the leap to HTML5 well.

While Google isn’t promoting Swiffy as anything more than an experimental tool at the moment, the tactical advantage for Google of being able to get people away from proprietary formats to its beloved open standards mean that further developments to this converter seem highly likely. As a side effect, Flash-averse Apple should be pretty pleased about this too.