Once the darling of web designers, Flash has of late become more of a liability than an asset. The Web at large and the tech giants behind it have called for its death. That puts Adobe in a very difficult position, being one of the standard bearers of good design but also the owner of Flash. But it has seen the writing on the wall and has started to embrace, even move over to, more accepted equivalent HTML5 and WebGL technologies. And nowhere is that more evident than in its latest slew of updates.
Flash has served its purpose and, to be fair, has served us well. It flourished at a time when HTML5 was but a pipedream and WebGL was nowhere to be seen. It gave rise to interactive web content, browser games, and web video. Today, however, it has become riddled with security issues, incompatibility, and bloat. Web designers have started migrating over to more standard and more flexible technologies, and it is a trend that Adobe can no longer deny.
According to Adobe, it has been working over the years to support HTML5 and WebGL inside its Flash Professional animation tool. During the course of that time, it has noticed that a third of the content produced in Flash Professional isn’t actually Flash anymore but HTML5. As such, the name no longer reflected its purpose and so today, Adobe is ditching the “Flash” and renaming the software as Adobe Animate CC. Of course, that isn’t the only change to the software, as the update also brings new features like a completely rotatable canvas and integration with Adobe’s Creative Cloud tools and libraries.
Even Adobe Primetime, the company’s over-the-top (OTT) TV platform is now rooting for the competition. Adobe is releasing a new TVSDK specifically for HTML5 for content creators who want to target the most number of devices, some of which do not support Flash content at all.
Of course, Adobe isn’t totally abandoning Flash just yet. Adobe Animate CC will continue supporting the old SWF format as well as Adobe’s own AIR for an unspecified amount of time, maybe forever. And as for OTT content, Adobe continues singing of Flash’s superiority over HTML5 video when it comes to things like DRM protection. Suffice it to say, Flash isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as far as Adobe is concerned. But at least now it is willing to drop the name here and there.