Adobe announced via a press release today that it would cease development of the Flash Player for smartphones and tablets, and would shift its focus to HTML5 support for those devices. This decision is due at least in part to Apple's refusal to allow Flash on iOS, making HTML5 the de-facto standard for developers wishing to target the highest number of platforms possible with the least amount of development effort.

Adobe says that it will now focus on enabling Flash apps on mobile devices through its Adobe AIR software, rather than developing plug-ins for specific platforms. The final version of the Flash Player plugin for mobile devices will be 11.1, which will come to Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook soon - following its release, updates will fix bugs and security problems rather than add new features.

Though Flash will likely live on in Adobe's portfolio for the forseeable future (Adobe's announcement confirms that Flash Player 12 is already in development), this change of course marks the beginning of a slow fade from relevance on the desktop as HTML5 becomes more feature-rich and browsers' implementations of it improve. Adobe itself will speed this transition along when it releases the final version of Adobe Edge, its forthcoming HTML5 development software.

Source: Adobe

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  • iluvdeal - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Agreed, controlling the runtime was a competitive advantage for Adobe, that's gone now with mobile at least.

    Is Adobe going to fight two battle fronts by pushing Flash on the desktop and HTML5 on mobile? I can't see how flash survives long term on the desktop now that they've conceded the mobile market.
  • name99 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    "This decision is due at least in part to Apple's refusal to allow Flash on iOS, making HTML5 the de-facto standard for developers wishing to target the highest number of platforms possible with the least amount of development effort."

    Uhh, it's due to Adobe's CONSTANT AND ON-GOING ability to ever get Flash to run properly on mobile devices. Apple didn't get pissy about this just because they hate Adobe. Every damn Android review I read includes some line about either "battery life sucked when Flash was enabled" and/or "jerkiness when Flash was enabled".
    They've had four years to work on this (not to mention the years of complaining about Flash BEFORE iPhone shipped) and they appear to have been completely incapable of using that time constructively.

    Adobe seems to take optimization seriously in Photoshop --- and NOWHERE else. To take another example, Acrobat for Mac constantly sucked, without even the most basic caching in place, until OSX made it irrelevant.
  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    That comment alone is why Flash is still relevant. Complain all you want about Flash (and I will complain with you), the simple truth is that every single browser will have its' own "implementation" of HTML5.
  • jrs77 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    I've developed Flash-sites for the last ten years now, and I can only say, that it's total crap.

    The people claiming, that flash runs smooth and fast apparently don't know what they're talking about. Yes, FlashPlayer has improved over time, and the addition of GPU-acceleration in 10.1 was heavily needed for videos, but still Flash doesn't perform very good.

    Flash is good for stuff that noone needs, i.e. crappy games, annoying animated graphics and all this.

    Websites don't need animations and they need to run on every machine without any plugins!
    We don't need games that can be played in the browser aswell, if you wanna play games, then install one or buy a console, etc.
    And video? Well... how about using another container instead of FLV? Try MP4 or OGV which can be played in HTML5 or simply by just passing the link of the video to your favourite mediaplayer, which then gives full GPU-acceleration aswell.

    I'm actually glad that Flash is dying off, as I need to create the websites for my customers to run without plugins anyways, so that everyone can browse them. One problem less to think about.
  • ananduser - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Epic Games disagrees with you, having ported their unreal engine to Flash 11.
  • DarkShift - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Nice try fanboy.

    In a real life for similar multimedia content Flash beats HTML5 easily on graphics rendering. If you have problems with coding, then its not others fault.

    As a multimedia platform it is much easier to develop and debug advanced content than with CSS3/HTML5 and horrible adhoc JS-libraries which won't work in every browser anyway. No proper tools and lack of any advanced features means going back to stone age.
  • DarkShift - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    And you obviously didn't know that Flash has supported MPEG4 H.264 since year 2006 :D
  • eddman - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    You got it totally wrong, that's not what he meant. He's saying that instead of using FLV which isn't supported by HTML5, why not using some other container which is.

    I don't know about games and graphics, etc. but I'd really like to see videos being handled by the browsers themselves and not a plug-in, just like pictures.
  • DarkShift - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Sure, but I don't see it happening given the competetion between browser makers. They can't ever agree which is the right format to support. Given the "pace" of development with HTML5 that's not surprising.

    Lack of streaming and other advanced features like content protection makes it unattractive for commercial use.
  • eddman - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Yes, that's very annoying. For example, the most prominent streaming video codec is h.264 but only two browsers support it, IE 9 and safari. Chrome did support it at first, but then google introduced that stupid VP8 coded and removed the h.264 support from chrome. Opera and firefox don't support it either.

    Imagine if a browser doesn't support a popular image format, like jpeg. Wouldn't that be stupid.

    Still, HTML5 might not be ready yet, but it doesn't mean that it should be abandoned. With proper work it can become better than flash, at least for video purposes.

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