Adobe renames Flash Professional to Animate, pivots to HTML5

Adobe renamed its Creative Cloud software Flash Professional to Animate as it downplays Flash, which is under fire in many camps, and pivots to HTML5 with its messaging. Flash Professional was already used for HTML5 animations.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe on Tuesday delivered an update to its Creative Cloud, but the biggest switch may be that it renamed its Flash Professional CC to Adobe Animate CC in a move that highlights the pivot from Flash to HTML5.

Officially, the renaming of Flash Professional CC is "to more accurately reflect the content-formats produced by this tool." Meanwhile, Adobe said that it is working on a new HTML5 video player for the desktop.

In a blog post, Adobe outlined its reason for the name change to Animate CC:

Why the change? The use of open web standards and HTML5 has become the dominant standard on the web. Over the past few years, the Flash Professional CC product team has embraced this movement by rewriting the tool from the ground up, adding native support for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL as well as output to any format (such as SVG) with an extensible architecture. This flexibility has been a huge hit with Adobe customers. Today, over a third of all content produced in Flash Professional CC is HTML5-based, reaching over 1 billion devices worldwide. In order to more clearly reflect its role as the premier animation tool for the open web and beyond, we updated the name.

The move may be long overdue. Flash has been under attack from many quarters over security as well as slowing down Web pages. Adobe wants to remain a leader in interactive tools and the pivot to HTML5 requires new messaging.

More: Adobe releases emergency patch for Flash zero-day flaw | How to disable Adobe Flash on Windows, Mac | Google to hit pause on Flash ads in Chrome on September 1 | Amazon kills off Flash ads amid industry push towards HTML5 | It's time to kill Flash, says Facebook's new security chief

IDC analyst Al Hilwa noted:

This has to do with Adobe's successful pivot in the capability of its tools to support HTML5. The renaming of Adobe's animation tools reflect that it now emits HTML5 and is widely used for this purpose and so the new name reflects this important change in the capability and usage patterns seen by its users.

Adobe also added that Animate CC will "continue supporting Flash (SWF) and AIR formats as first-class citizens."

Bottom line: With Animate CC, Adobe is trying to drive home the point that its tools are used to deliver animations using any Web standard. Animate CC will be available in early 2016.

As for the other updates to the Creative Cloud:

  • Adobe better integrated Adobe Stock into its apps to allow searches within apps.
  • The company highlighted advanced touch support for its desktop apps.
  • Photoshop Fix and Capture CC, two free mobile apps, were made available.
  • CreativeSync ties the apps, data and setting across Adobe tools.
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