Print 58 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Nov 13 at 5:39 PM

Adobe will no longer develop Flash Player for mobile browsers

According to a report from ZDNet, Adobe has announced that it is ceasing development of Flash Player for mobile devices and will instead focus on HTML5. Although the move isn't exactly unexpected, it’s still a slight shock to the system.
Apple, which leads in tablet shipments and has a sizable share of the smartphone market, has been a big proponent of HTML5. Apple has made it a point to completely ignore Flash for mobile devices and it appears that Adobe has finally gotten the hint that open standards are the way of the future.
Adobe released the following statement to ZDNet:
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.
This means that the numerous Android devices out there that rely on Adobe's Mobile Flash Player plugin will no longer receive feature upgrades. Users can only now expect the occasional security update to fix vulnerabilities.
It's no secret that the late Steve Jobs was no fan of Adobe Flash. The tech visionary railed against Flash and said on numerous occasions that it would never, ever appear on any of Apple's iOS-based mobile devices. Jobs complained about security risks, battery life, and the proprietary nature of Flash.
In April of last year, Jobs wrote an open letter entitled "Thoughts on Flash" in which he explained:
We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.
He continued, adding:
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.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen later responded to Jobs' rage, saying that Jobs was putting up a smokescreen and that Apple was truly the one stifling development on mobile platforms. Narayan also went on to refute the claims that Adobe Flash hampers battery life.
In the end, it looks as though Jobs won this battle. It's just unfortunate that it wasn't alive to say, "I told you so" as we know he certainly would have done.

Updated 11/9/2011 @ 10am EST
Adobe has confirmed the move to abandon Flash Player for mobile devices. The statement on the company's Flash Blog includes an expanded version of the snippet released to ZDNet:

Adobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML.  Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.  This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

Sources: ZDNet, Adobe Blog

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RE: Best to leave on a high note IMO
By CU on 11/9/2011 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how this will work. I expect and I assume most users expect websites to work and look the same on my phone, tablet, and desktop. But if flash is only on desktops this cannot happen. So, either you don't use flash, or you have to develop two websites. I think killing mobile flash will kill the desktop version eventually. If speed was the problem, the mobile hardware will only get faster, and that problem would have fixed itself in a year or two anyway. I just don't get it.

Plus what happens to Windows 8 on tablets, flash or no flash? Will it be the only tablet with official flash support? Will this help or enable Windows phones to have flash support?

By Brandon Hill on 11/9/2011 10:36:42 AM , Rating: 3
This whole debacle reminded me to turn on the HTML5 flag for YouTube in Google Chrome. No more Flash for videos.

But I agree... it seems like the beginning of the end. If you want a consistent experience across all devices, Flash is gonna have to go.

RE: Best to leave on a high note IMO
By Paj on 11/9/2011 11:23:29 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is that phones do not, and probably never will have, the same capabilities as desktops in terms of physical interaction. A touchscreen is not a mouse + keyboard, and as long as this holds true, there will always be a case for desktop Flash.

HTML5 and CSS3 is still a long way off being able to make rich online games, which is still a massive industry.

The other reason you will still see Flash is AIR, which essentially packages Flash content as a standalone executable. This makes it far, far easier to develop apps without advanced coding skills. Even iOS have allowed AIR apps since 2010, and its user base is growing.

By TakinYourPoints on 11/9/2011 8:40:14 PM , Rating: 1
This has already been happening for years. There is no lack of video content on iOS, even things like live streaming are widely supported. Flash was already well on the way out for website navigation and effects in the late 2000s, so again it is a non-issue.

As for work on the backend, that work is also minimized as the video is all h.264 anyway, the only difference is the video container.

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