Company buckles to reality
In what can only be described as the answer to a question of "when" and not "if," Adobe has effectively killed Flash for mobile browser. Most analyst saw it only as a matter of time before Adobe shut down support for the once universal Web format in favor of the emerging HTML5 platform.
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Heralded by Apple, which almost single-handedly made it the new mobile standard, HTML5 offers much more flexibility, quicker load times, and an easier developer interface for mobile than the traditional Flash, which remains riddled with problems for mobile platforms.
Adobe VP Danny Winokur explained the company's decision in a post on Adobe.com today, in which he first praised Flash for its years of contributions to the Web environment. "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," he wrote.
And indeed, Flash was the dominant, universal standard for many years. But times change, and in this mobile environment, we know that isn't just a cliche.
So for all existing Android developers, they will need to change focus to HTML5. Adobe will do the exact same thing.
Winokur promised, "These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium video. Flash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection. Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World."
So there you have it. Say goodbye to Flash on mobile devices. But it isn't a sad day, as this should be seen as a huge step forward for HTML5, and for mobile Web in general. Exciting things are sure to come down the pipe now that Adobe is on board with its former competing standard.