Adobe to trash Flash Player Mobile

Nov 9, 2011
25

Adobe is reportedly preparing to announce it is ditching Mobile Flash development, with no further plans to push Flash Player for mobile devices. The decision, revealed to ZDNet by sources close to Adobe, will mean an end to the ongoing argument over whether Flash support on smartphones and tablets is a benefit to end-users or a hinderance, something which saw Adobe and Apple lock horns on a number of occasions. Moving forward, Adobe will concentrate on Flash on the desktop and using Adobe AIR and HTML5 for mobile deployments.

"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" Leaked Adobe announcement

Although currently unconfirmed by Adobe, the company's financial results announcements this week do suggest a big change is incoming. Adobe will be "shifting resources to support even greater investment in HTML5" the company's Digital Media and Digital Marketing strategy plan revealed, "focusing Flash resources on delivering the most advanced PC web experiences, including gaming and premium video, as well as mobile apps."

Back in April 2010, Steve Jobs published an open letter to Adobe and iOS device customers addressing long-standing calls for the iPhone and other devices to support Mobile Flash. "Flash has not performed well on mobile devices" the then-CEO wrote. "We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it."

"Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers" Jobs concluded. In contrast, Android devices and other platforms have had access to Flash Player for mobile, and users of those devices have had the option whether to turn Flash support on - and face potentially longer webpage loading times, extra battery use and occasional instability - or turn it off and do without animations, games and other interactive elements.

Adobe hasn't been resting on its Flash laurels, however. Back in August the company demonstrated an early version of Adobe Edge, a system which pulled together HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and more to create online animations and interactive gadgets. The benefit is support within iOS browsers, which are HTML5 compliant, as well as close integration with Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5. Edge - currently in pre-beta - is one of Adobe's new focuses, according to the strategy document.

As for Flash on Android and other platforms, Adobe will apparently commit to releasing security updates as required, but nothing more. The demise of Flash on Mobile Devices is expected to be officially confirmed sometime within the next 24 hours.


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