Yesterday, Adobe announced a major decision of discontinuing their development efforts on Flash Player for mobiles. This decision was conveyed to all the Flash Developers through email and later also posted on Adobe Blog.
Android device manufactures extensively used Flash Player Support as a major USP of the device so that, they could compete against iPhone and iPad, which never supported use of Flash
The story goes back to 2007 and till date, Steve Jobs announced mobile devices without supporting Flash. Which meant, mobile Safari will never be able to render any Flash content from any website. The scenario is unchanged and will never change in future.
Now we say, Steve Jobs was right from the day one and nobody listened to him. Indeed, he was the only great visionary who could brought greatest innovations to the world.
The first strong reaction from both parties came in April 2010, when Adobe released Flash-to-iPhone tool as a part of Creative Suite 5 (CS5). Steve Jobs was still not happy with their decision and changed Developer Program License. He disallowed applications developed using unapproved tools like Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone.
Apple was always skeptical about Flash in general. They were never happy about how it worked on Mac Desktops and laptops. They clearly indicated in many ways that – Flash is buggy, insecure and a large resource hogger – hence, not suitable for mobile devices.
Steve Jobs wrote a public statement titled Thoughts on Flash, which is available on Apple’s website.
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.
The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.
New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.
He was so confident that, he paid a huge amount of money to YouTube for having separate MP4 files of every video uploaded to their website in addition to FLV so that, Apple’s mobile devices could play them. That’s why we have a special YouTube app on our iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
RIM (makers of BlackBerry Playbook) seems to be found in different dilemma. They too have extensively campaigned their Playbook which can play Flash on its browser. Their Playbook failed big time and now they might be feeling dumped after paying huge licensing fee for getting access to Flash’s source code.
Adobe, on the other hand are trying to nullify the impact by communicating to such companies as Key Players to drive HTML5 innovation. They have also promised of letting source code licensees to continue working on their own. But, I think the future of Flash is pretty clear.
What will happen to Flash on Desktops & Laptops?
Adobe is very confident about future success especially after announcing Flash Player 11. But, search engines like Google have already made it clear about difficulty in indexing Flash content in their search results.
While, Content management systems like WordPress, Drupal are taking over static HTML and Flash websites – HTML5 & CSS3 are capable of creating all the gizmo which Flash is able to create – Honeycomb tablets are unable play Flash files consistently, it’s very hard for me to see Flash getting further popular.
And I fear – the company may fire more non-performing – disliked employees like Flash Mobile Player to bring in more cool, friendly employees like HTML5 and promote them even further.
Do you still develop in Flash? Or are you one of those client’s who insist on Flash websites? Do you not think it’s the time to reconsider on those?
I am eager and would like to know more from you through comments.
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