Mobile Flash killed by app domination

Mobile Flash killed by app domination

Summary: Many have seen Adobe's choice to ditch Flash Player for mobile as a sign that it has conceded the fight to be included on Apple's mobile devices, but the company actually just thinks there is little future use in browser-based Flash for mobile.

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Many have seen Adobe's choice to ditch Flash Player for mobile as a sign that it has conceded the fight to be included on Apple's mobile devices, but the company actually just thinks there is little future use in browser-based Flash for mobile.

(Adobe Logo by midiman, CC2.0)

Speaking to ZDNet Australia, Adobe Asia-Pacific evangelist Paul Burnett said the reality was that people were simply not consuming Flash content through mobile web browsers.

"There is a real move towards people consuming web content through applications. Browsers on mobile phones, people are using to collect immediate information and material — basically just getting quick and ready information. For interactive experiences, they're looking to applications," he said.

Burnett dismissed the idea that the company had pulled back development on its mobile player due to comments from the late Steve Jobs on Flash including criticisms that it sapped battery power and was unstable.

"That really resolved itself when we released the Flash Player earlier on Android devices. The performance on Android devices for sites that were optimised ... [and] the feedback that we got was incredibly positive. I think those issues that Steve Jobs mentioned were more to do with a business decision by Apple."

Of course, Flash Player for Android is no longer offered by the company, but it said it would continue to focus on its other products, including its tools for designers, to develop in HTML5 (in combination with CSS3 and JavaScript). In fact, that was one of the areas that the company was focusing on, echoing Steve Jobs' sentiment that "Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future".

But it's not the only area of focus for the company. While Flash Player for mobile has certainly been ditched, the company will place more emphasis on Flash for desktop, developing Adobe AIR for all platforms (including mobile), and how it can build its tools to develop for multiple platforms.

"One of the things that Adobe mainly focuses on is our developer and designers — enabling them to create engaging content across any platform. Whatever the framework is, whatever the platform is, we're going to move forward with technology. If another technology comes out tomorrow, we'll start to see how we can enable our designers and developers to engage with that as well.

"Really, our attitude is to be platform agnostic. We don't want to develop just for specific platforms."

Burnett also moved to dispel myths that Flash was in a war against HTML5 as a platform for content creators. He viewed Flash's role in the industry as complementary tool to HTML.

"HTML and Flash have been around for the last 14 years and Flash has always been the tool that provides more than HTML is able to do. That's the purpose of it. That's always been the purpose of it. It's been the thing that has enabled developers to do more than they're able to in HTML5."

He happily conceded that HTML would continue to grow and likely replace many of the features Flash offered today, but he also said that the gap between then and now would continue to be filled by Flash.

Topics: Open Source, Software Development

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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