Adobe has officially decided to halt development toward future versions of Flash for mobile devices. While this mainly affects those of you with BlackBerry’s and PlayBooks or anything running Android, I believe most Apple owners are quite interested in this news. I am pretty sure if you have a seashell in the room you can put your ear against you can hear Steve Jobs whispering, “I told you so.”
Jobs was at the center of controversy when he took a stand and said Apple would not be supporting Flash on iOS-based devices. Everybody thought he would cave. Everybody thought we couldn’t live without support for Flash. Well, those everybody’s were wrong.
Adobe was quick to clarify that they would continue to support existing configurations but went on to explain that they would no longer be adapting the plug-in for use with future mobile operating systems, browsers and device hardware.
The best comment I saw on this subject came from a tweet in my Twitter timeline (unfortunately I can’t recall who said it or I would directly credit them, I wish I could claim I said it myself) that suggested Apple should be really mean and make an official looking announcement that indicated they were ready to start supporting Flash now. Sorry, I suppose I shouldn’t make fun.
With all sincerity I am sad to see Flash circling the drain. I’ve been working with the web since before there really was a web and will always have a soft spot for technologies like this. Unfortunately Adobe has a history of trying to bully in lieu of evolving and in a world of options that just isn’t the way to succeed.
I’ve been an iOS user for several years now and I can say with absolute honesty that I have missed having Flash on those devices once or twice at the most. Generally speaking, that content is the fluffy stuff I’m glad to miss and even if I am on my MacBook Pro I avoid websites created entirely in Flash like the plague.
This news is likely not a huge surprise given that existing implementations of Flash on supported configurations are slow and do pleasant things like drink your battery life and sometimes even crash your hardware. So with Adobe restructuring and redefining their priorities (starting with the cutting of 750 jobs earlier this week) it was the most logical thing to go. Instead, the company will focus on packaging content using their AIR platform which makes infinitely more sense.