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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By tecknurd on 11/9/2011 5:38:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Flash 11 is essentially the final hurrah. They did everything they wanted to do. Full hardware acceleration across all platforms. 64 bit support. Small footprint. Low CPU and power usage. Ridiculous 3D capabilities.

Obviously they can further improve on the engine if they wish, but transitioning to HTML5 is a sensible move. It needs a lot of work but once perfected, HTML5 will simply work throughout everything without Adobe having to waste time developing and tailoring to every platform.

Please tell me this is sarcasm because this is not true at all.

One thing hardware acceleration probably works well on Windows, but besides that it kinda eh. Under Linux, hardware acceleration for Flash has never worked reliable and not stable. Mainly, I have hardware acceleration turned off. Of all the Adobe Flash versions, version 9 works the best for me. When 10 and to the latest, Flash has just gotten worst and worst.

I would not say HTML 5 is best path either. It probably the first version that is including proprietary features that could cause headaches to deliver or share web browsers. If HTML 5 is introduced and proprietary features are not left out, web browsers may have to bought at stores. Everybody can thank Apple, Google, and Microsoft for making HTML 5 cost money to use.

FYI, Adobe is taking away the Flash player plug-in for mobile devices, but Flash is still can be used on mobile devices using Adobe Air. I do not think this is a win of Adobe Flash is being rid of on a computer based device. Until web designers stop using Flash for their sites, unfortunately Flash is here to stay.


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