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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: Hypocracy
By msheredy on 11/9/2011 3:24:30 PM , Rating: 1
Please tell me how Apple is "completely closed."

RE: Hypocracy
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/9/2011 3:54:47 PM , Rating: 4
And please tell us how it isn't . This ought to be interesting.

RE: Hypocracy
By msheredy on 11/9/2011 5:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
Wow way to answer a question with a question.

Let's see... how many software companies have software written specifically for the Macintosh to date? If they're so "closed" how is this possible? If they're so "closed" how is it there are hundreds of thousands of iOS devs working within their supposedly "closed" system.

Just because they won't license their OS to anyone doesn't mean they're closed.

RE: Hypocracy
By Alexstarfire on 11/9/2011 5:44:14 PM , Rating: 3
I believe he's talking more about the mobile division, considering this is an article about mobile devices. In that regard they totally are closed. You are not allowed in unless they say so, that's pretty closed by most standards.

RE: Hypocracy
By TakinYourPoints on 11/9/2011 8:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
There's also the fact that Apple leans quite a bit on open source. They've contributed back improvements they've made to Webkit, BSD, and OpenGL. They were a huge backer of HTML5 standards. OpenCL was an internal project at Apple that was then open sourced. Even the mini-DisplayPort connector was released royalty free.

The reasoning for this is that Apple is a hardware company, that's where they make their money. It isn't a case like Microsoft where they make their profit from software and have historically benefited more from a closed approach. It is in Apple's best interest for software standards to be as widely adopted and compatible as possible, especially given their relatively small marketshare. It is one important reason they contribute as much as they do to open source.

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