Flash Mobile is dead, long live Flash


A little excitement today in the Flash dev community.


If you read the actual announcement (leaving out the trolling hyperbole), you’ll see that FP mobile is not dead per-se. However, from this day forward, Adobe won’t be branching their FP code to port it to the countless device architecture/hardware configurations… It’ll be up to Adobe’s source code licensees (read: OEM hardware providers) to port Flash to their specific platform.

Do I think that OEM licensees will do that? Not likely.

But at the same time, I don’t believe that Adobe’s made anything better than a mediocre MOBILE flash player. It was underpowered & sporadically supported when it was called Flash Lite. The inconsistent quality/experience was carried over when Adobe ditched Flash Lite and attempted to port the desktop player straight over to mobiles.

IMHO Adobe’s just finally figured out that its in their best interest to focus their effort on developing the desktop Flash Player. They have AIR, and that does a fine job of allowing devs to author & package native mobile apps. All that happened today is that Adobe sent Flash’s younger brother (you know, the one who wasn’t too bright, was a little slow, and was always picked last for kickball) out into the woods, hoping that he’d get lost & never come home again.

The public perception of Flash has always been subject to the whim of two detrimental forces… 1) Its pervasive use for paid-media advertising, and 2) Bad devs.  Neither one of which is – alone – bad… put the two together though, and I’m not surprised at all that web pages were causing users’ fans to blow at full speed.

For those out there rejoicing today, thinking that this announcement will affect #1; I predict that you’ll be sorely mistaken.  Advertisers were using Flash because it was (and still is) a cost-effective manner to reach all screens and have the experience be nearly identical across those screens.  Write once, QA once, and deploy (nearly) everywhere.

If Flash disappears, advertisers will just switch to HTML5 for their ads. And, unlike Flash (which is a plugin that you can disable), HTML5 is baked into your browser. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.


Alright, that’s all. I’ll sit down now.