Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5 (UPDATED)

Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5 (UPDATED)

Summary: Adobe has briefed developers on the impending cessation of mobile flash browser plugin development.

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Sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company's future development plans have revealed this forthcoming announcement to ZDNet:

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.

Additionally, the e-mail briefing to Adobe's partners has been summed up as follows:

  • Adobe is Stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile.

Adobe is now focusing their development efforts on:

  • Applications for mobile
  • Expressive content on the desktop (in and out of browser)
  • Increasing their investments in HTML5 in general

[UPDATE: The full content and scope of the announcement has now been posted on the Adobe web site.]

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Mobility, Software Development

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Well, this is exactly what Steven Jobs adviced them in his letter last year

    [i]"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."[/i] (http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/)<br><br>Wise decision.
    dderss
    • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

      @dderss

      Exactly. Jobs was right then and now and all the phony moralizing, whining, complaining etc...by anti-Apple or Adobe shills never changed the fact that Flash is crap for mobile and hopefully soon gets taken off the desktop soon too.
      arackal
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @arackal No, you miss the point... Mobile is crap for Flash, subtle but relevant difference.

        And that's ignoring the fact that Android seems crap for most things... including Mobile. This is why they have to keep throwing more and more horsepower at Android devices, because it's crap.
        LeeC
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @arackal <br><br>Flash being taken off desktops isn't going to happen anytime soon. Despite the preliminary HTML5 specification nodding its head to video, it's not robust enough for companies that depend on Flash to deliver video to their customers, e.g., Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand. My beef with Adobe largely ended when they added GPU acceleration on both Windows and Mac OS X. Flash 11 is about 1000x faster than previous versions. Don't believe me? Epic ported its Unreal Engine 3 to the Flash 11 runtime. As for Flash's security woes, guess what, there's an endless stream of patches for OSes, all web browsers and various other popular software. It's not an indigenous problem to Flash. And no I don't work for Adobe, I'm simply appreciating the great strides in performance that have taken place, particularly on the Mac. Flash was the bane of Mac OS X users for many, many years until it received GPU acceleration.<br><br>-M
        betelgeuse68
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @arackal

        Contrary to what these others are saying, I agree that Flash needs to stop being a problem for desktop users. What they don't seem to get is that it doesn't work with x64 OSs, and Adobe hasn't bothered to correct this in ovedr half a decade. As the majority of new PCs use this architecture, Flash will inevitably fail... except maybe with Linux users, since Adobe has given them a usable 64 bit version...
        Sekhmei
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeeC<br><br>I agree with your "mobile is crap for Flash" statement, in the sense that it wasn't designed with today's specific usage in mind, so there are definately issues.<br><br>However, what is up with your "Android is crap" statement ?<br>Are you in any way able to say why that is ?<br>And do you really think that the reason Android devices get _better_ hardware is because they _need_ it ? Or is it more likely that their manufacturers are free to do (almost) whatever they want hardware-wise with their Android devices, while still making them Android-compatible.<br><br>Android devices are more akin to desktop PCs in the sense that you can have new models come out all the time and take advantage of new technology along the way.<br>Same thing with Android devices.<br>So its a _GOOD_ sign that we're seeing Android devices with better hardware.<br><br>Its not because it _needs_ it.<br><br>Its because it can _take advantage_ of it.
        Darkne55
    • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

      @dderss

      Meanwhile, Apple's movie trailers website still -- over a year after Jobs' "thoughts on flash" -- requires the proprietary Quicktime plugin instead of using HTML5 video...

      Jobs was a hypocrite. He didn't really care about open formats and technologies; proprietary stuff was absolutely fine when it was his own.
      LeoD
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD Jobs cared about things that were well done, a disappearing concern in the computing world.
        themarty
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD

        Maybe. But they created iOS and Abobe just demonstrated why you don't let another company control your destiny.

        Flash caused time, money and effort to be expended on WebOS, Android and the Playbook and Adobe just turned around and screwed them all.

        The only one who didn't get burned was the one company that decided to forgo depending on them. That doesn't make you a hypocrite(and as the company that released webkit to the world, Apple and Jobs weren't), it makes you smart.
        dhmccoy
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD <br><br><i>"Meanwhile, Apple's movie trailers website still -- over a year after Jobs' "thoughts on flash" -- requires the proprietary Quicktime plugin instead of using HTML5 video..."</i><br><br>I thought we are discussing Flash on mobile? What does QuickTime on the desktop have to do with anything?
        dave95.
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @dave95
        Steve Jobs wrote a letter to the public explaining why Apple wouldn't put Flash on the iPhone. It sounded like a lot of BS -- it came across as a personal beef with Adobe that Steve was trying to justify.
        One of the reasons that was obviously hollow is that Flash isn't open, and Apple is all about openness. Apple uses locked down proprietary technology on everything: hardware prices are high (both computers and accessories) because nobody else is allowed to make it. Apple's app store removes or denies apps without the submitter being given a full explanation. They tried to make jailbreaking illegal. And their video site simply uses Quiktime instead of an open alternative.
        chris3145
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses

        @themarty -

        web search "iphone antenna bloomberg" to find an article where Jobs was told by an engineer during development of the faulty antenna.

        Lion is chock full of bugs, even 10.7.2 has issues.

        Overheating imacs with yellowing screens, etc, I recommend you research the products Steve was responsible for. As a Mac user, I have experienced enouh and tech sites have scores of articles covering Apple's shoddy producrs giving only a superficial perception of "well-made".
        HypnoToad72
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD +1
        mmathieum
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        Just pulled up the Apple Trailers website on my iPad. Looks like HTML5 to me.
        irregulara
      • You make no sense...

        @HypnoToad72... I use Apple products because for well over 20 years I've been in computer repair and or support. I've worked on every existing brand and many which no longer exist including such rare names as Osborne:). To my way of thinking and my experience while Apple is far from perfect they are the best. Now you claim to be an Apple user but you've had personally any number of issues with various Apple products and you collect mysterious negative Apple reports to boot and you are still an Apple user? To be frank I would not be if I were you. So again you make little sense.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD

        This is a standards issue. The trailers are h.264 in an mp4 container, except that mp4 doesn't (yet) support more channels than stereo audio, and so the quicktime plugin is needed to allow mp4 with multichannel audio.
        normanmargolus
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD - Jobs letter was about mobile devices and how pathetic Flash's performance was on them. What does that have to do with QuickTime?
        veggiedude
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @veggiedude

        One of Steve's complaints was that Flash was proprietary rather than open. Apple denies iPhone users the use of the proprietary Flash, but has no problem pushing Apple's own proprietary QuickTime in its place.
        Some the reasons Jobs gave for not putting Flash on the iPhone were bogus, especially the "We support openness, so we're not using Flash" bit.
        chris3145
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @LeoD

        Before you continue down the path of looking at Apple as a hypocrite, who do you think provided the technology (as an open standard) to replace Flash? Apple provided HTTP Live Streaming as a solution and it provides all of the functionality (except for DRM) that Flash does for video.

        Apple's decision to not support Flash on mobile was not some spiteful, anti-Adobe decision. It was based on practicality. Flash is terrible on mobile. After all these years, they've neither worked out the performance, memory overhead (on memory starved devices), battery or security issues.

        Further, one of the lessons Apple has learned is to not allow your fate to be decided by others. Had they relied on Adobe to deliver (and continue to deliver), they'd be in trouble now. Thankfully, Apple helped pushed the HTML 5 standard and support for it further. BTW, Microsoft is headed in the same direction with Windows 8 on ARM devices.

        @dhmccoy: Exactly!
        techconc
      • RE: Exclusive: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

        @irregulara Just pulled the Apple Trailers site on my desktop PC and looks 100% quicktime (I don't have it installed and was presented with a benner saying "GET QUICKTIME - download quicktime to view this video"

        So no, it's not html 5
        Ryan_T