Adobe has just announced the release of its Animate CC software, which is significant for more than just the users of its previous Flash Professional software. It isn’t a simple of case of adding new features and then renaming an old tool. Given the significance of both the tool and the name, it more formally marks the end of an era. With Animate CC, Adobe moves away from the now derided Flash technology, putting its eggs into the new HTML5 basket, a trend that will hopefully be picked up by more content creators on the Web.
For all the faults it is blamed now, Flash, which was created by Macromedia before the the latter was acquired by Adobe, served a significant purpose in the history of the Web. For one, it ushered in an age of highly interactive and visually sophisticated websites, including the so-called Flash games. It also allowed for a new way to distribute and watch videos on the web aside from the likes of QuickTime movies.
That was, however, at a time when the Web was more like the Wild Wild Web, with different browser vendors and technology creators putting out their own incompatible thing. Since then, most have rallied behind Web standards for the sake of interoperability and wider audience and device reach, and HTML5 was the poster boy for that, especially in places occupied by Flash.
Being Flash’s developer and vendor, it was thought that Adobe would drag its feet and heavily promote the technology til kingdom come. But in November last year, it pleasantly surprised the industry by revealing that Flash Professional would be renamed to Animate CC to reflect its new direction. Adobe says the renaming was actually logical. By then, a third of the content produced on Flash Professional was actually HTML5, so it was only really keeping the ball rolling in the right direction. Of course, Adobe is still keeping support for exporting to Flash as well as its own AIR platform, but it is advertising heavily on web standards.
The name now also more clearly declares what it can do. Animate CC lets users create vector animation like its predecessor, but now with HTML5 technology like Canvas and even WebGL. The CC part refers to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which lets users integrate assets with Adobe’s dozen of other software, including some available on mobile apps. Animate CC alone costs $19.99 per month while the whole CC package goes for $49.99 monthly.
With Flash’s “death” and the Java plugin’s impending end, the Web is finally on the verge of shedding off legacy technology that have become more liability than advantage. Now to wait for everyone else to update.