Adobe Unveils Wallaby: Flash to HTML 5 Converter

| Product News

Adobe introduced a new experimental tool on Tuesday called Wallaby that converts Flash content into HTML 5. Right now Wallaby can handle a limited selection of Flash components, but it does offer a way to get at least some of the content developers are creating with Adobe’s multimedia tools onto devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Wallaby is an Adobe AIR-based application that focuses on translating Adobe Flash Professional files (FLA) into HTML 5. So far, Adobe has been focusing its efforts on making the converted files WebKit-compatible — think Safari and Chrome.

Convert Flash to HTML 5 with WallabyWallaby turns Flash banner ads iOS-compatible HTML 5

Adobe’s Tom Barclay told The Mac Observer that Wallaby is more of a technology preview and its experimental nature means it isn’t an all encompassing tool, at least not yet. In its current state, Wallaby works well for converting Flash animations into HTML 5, and Mr. Barclay expects designers will use the tool to convert banner ads into a format that mobile devices that lack Flash support can view.

Wallaby doesn’t handle ActionScript, so that means apps and interactive ads won’t convert to HTML 5. It also won’t convert audio and video content.

Since Wallaby is an experimental project, expect to see changes and new features over time. “We’re looking for ideas on how people will use Wallaby features,” Mr. Barclay said.

Adobe doesn’t have any official product plans for Wallaby yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t find its way into a future version of Flash Pro.

Wallaby is available as a free download at the Adobe Labs Web site and requires Creative Suite 5.

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I take this to mean that even Adobe is tacitly admitting that Flash is past its prime and HTML5 is the future. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe my days of fighting with Flash updates, Flash browser problems, Flash security holes,  Flash-caused system crashes, and badly done Flash web pages might be coming to an end.


We can interpret this two ways:

1. Adobe has pretty much capitulated and is eventually going to abandon Flash. It’s no use. It is obvious that iOS will dominate the mobile space and moving to HTML5 is the only way to ensure continued sales of Flash-like development tools.

2. Someone at Adobe figured that, while waiting for Android to take over the mobile market, and re-establish the presence of Flash in the browser, they could mitigate their temporary losses by making this tool available.

In reality, though, it is clear, even to Adobe, that iOS already HAS a massive presence out there (over 150 million devices). Becoming the first to deliver a simple, “Adobe-friendly” development tool for HTML5 means locking in those developers before someone else does it first. It has become obvious that Apple has no intention of approving a Flash plug-in for mobile Safari, no matter how fast, efficient and battery-conscious it may become. The only way to get any iOS business is to deliver HTML5 authoring.

At least somebody at Adobe has a brain.


I’ll have to disagree with both geoduck and vasic.

It means there will be a need for new browser add-ons that stop battery draining, mind numbing HTML 5 ads and animations.

I think Apple *would* approve a Flash plug-in iff Adobe could make it fast and energy efficient. Apple wants to move hardware. While they have high expectations for software, if Adobe can meet those expectations, there’s no reason to banish it.


t means there will be a need for new browser add-ons that stop battery draining, mind numbing HTML 5 ads and animations.

Bingo! I wouldn’t look too much into this tool, I think it is mostly too keep advertisers (read: $$$$) on the Flash platform.

Jeremiah Johnson

I like the idea, but no ActionScript support? Is this a fancy Gif Construction Set? lol

Seriously though, an ActionScript to JavaScript translator would be nice. I assumed that the objects would be converted into animations contained in divs and controlled by javascript and css.. disappointing for now.

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