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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  • jookyone - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Support for h.264 was pulled and omitted in browsers that didn't want to pay the licensing fees. Later, on August 26, 2010 MPEG LA announced that H.264 encoded internet video that is free to end users will never be charged for royalties. All other royalties will remain in place such as the royalties for products that decode and encode H.264 video. So consumers on free video won't get charged per video, but it costs money to make them, and potentially for video that isn't free, which is the video that most people want (Netflix, Hulu, etc). The point is that MPEG LA had nearly pushed h.264... a proprietary and costly format, on everyone, including into HTML5, which is supposed to be a free and open standard. Dodged a bullet there if you ask me.

    Chrome moved to license free WebM and Ogg, and continues to support Flash (it's integrated into Chromium). At least Flash didn't push fees on anyone using that technology.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 14, 2011 - link

    "Lack of streaming and other advanced features like content protection makes it unattractive for commercial use."

    DRM is one major drawback to HTML5 video, one that is currently handled by apps. Live streaming was tackled ages ago, I can watch live MLG streams through the mobile iOS browser no problem.
  • jrs77 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    I'm not a fanboy at all actually and I don't have problems with coding Flash itself, but I don't see any reason for having to code a website in two versions, when it's perfectly doable without Flash aswell.

    That's what I'm talking about.

    And, if Flash wouldn't be a bug-ridden and publicly known rather unsecure PlugIn, but a piece of the browser-engine itself, which gets updated frequently, running flawlessly etc, then I'd have not any problems with it at all.

    Oh, and having to buy a software to make any Flash-content doesn't help either.

    So yeah, I stand by my POV, that for a professional web-developer Flash is not really enjoyable so far, allthough it offers some great features.
  • DarkShift - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    You must have been living under a rock. Flash is updated at much higher pace than HTML5 can ever do. There has been very frequent updates so your claim is false and obviously driven by an agenda.

    Just a remainder for what version 11 brings up:

    Latest public beta has multithreaded H.264 decoding which makes video acceleration even further.

    For a basic web site HTML is the right thing but I'm talking about advanced multimedia content for games, marketing, education or art. HTML5 just don't have the features or the tools to cut it.

    HTML was never meant to be multimedia standard, and its development has always been stagnated by browser wars, slow moving organizations and some individuals who doesn't have a clue or are driven by personal interests. Sorry to be blunt but thats the way I see it.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 14, 2011 - link

    "Nice try fanboy"

    You're calling a FLASH DEVELOPER a fanboy for not liking Flash?

    My god the internet is stupid.
  • jookyone - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    No one believes he is a Flash Developer, but rather a fanboy in disguise. Everything he says suggests he has never developed Flash.
  • eddman - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Flash on mobile phones is horrible. It slows down the whole browsing experience and consumes too much power.
    Flash's main purpose on mobile phones is for playing videos. HTML5 can easily handle that task and would bring video playback capability to a much wider range of mobile OSes, like WP, iOS, symbian, and mobile browsers, like opera mobile.
  • croc - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    As I recall, Apple were trying to patent some very core elements of the HTML 5 standard. Patent 7,743,336 and patent (applied) 20070101146. That was a big fly in the W3C's ointment as apple refused (at the time) to consider complying with the royalty free standards of the consortium. Has this now been worked out so that the HTML 5 standard won't become a loaded gun pointed at any body but Apple?

    I thought at the time that it was typical of Jobs to try to get a 'standard' for the web that he, and only he, controlled....
  • windywoo - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    In Opera because it can be set to click to play. I thought I saw this feature in the default Android browser too.

    Performance on early devices wasn't great but on phones with an 800 mhz processor or better flash has been smooth for me.
  • cjb110 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    The fact that Flash development is continuing, but they just can't get their bloaty plugin to work on mobile platforms is just lazy.

    Either plan to kill flash, or support it properly on browsers...or at lease allow others too. Give the mobile source to Apache or something.

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