Adobe Flash

In a briefing to certain people "close to the matter" Adobe has revealed plans to halt future development of the mobile Flash Player, says ZDNet.  According to the leaked document:

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.

Adobe will continue to support the current versions of mobile Flash Player, but their main focus will now be on HTML5 and embedded Flash or Air applications for mobile devices.  Flash for the desktop will still be actively developed.  The full announcement is expected sometime today.

What does this mean for those of us that already have Flash on our phones?  Not much.  Security patches and bug fixes will still be developed.  The real changes come when you consider new hardware architecture or new builds of Android.  These deceives won't be supported.  It's an interesting move, and we're curious to see how it plays out.

Source: ZDNet


Reader comments

Adobe to stop new development on mobile Flash Player


People aren't going to take this too well. Especially those who love jumping to conclusions.

Surely the tegra 3 can play flash.

Does this mean that apps will be sandboxing flash like the Chrome browser does? If so that sounds like a good idea.

This is fucked up....what the hell is the matter with can they do this to Android?...bastards..Sorry ..i am just so pissed right now...

This better be FUD...

And this quote from ZDNet is not true;
"Adobe has briefed developers on the impending cessation of mobile flash browser plugin development."

They have not said anything on the pre-release sites.

So are we giving credence to an internet rumor or has Adobe pulled a HP Touchpad on us?

GREAT ___ Adobe has just posted and they said wait for the blog post in the morning to clear things up; so they can put things in context.... I'm probably breaking some NDA, but this really blows if ZDnet has reported on it properly. As others have noted, it doesn't make sense, especially not now with mobile devices sporting so much power compared to earlier PCs and Macs and tablets getting larger screens.

So they will develop it for the desktop, but not mobile devices? Does that mean that future, more capable phones, will not be able to browse normal sites that use desktop flash?

Increasingly more browsing happens through mobile phones and tablets. Why cripple Flash and yet spend resources on further development for the desktop?

To add to your comment, because adoption of mobile devices is outpacing desktop/notebook sales, Flash will become less and less relevant as web designers prefer common source code. Therefore, like it or not, this is the end of Flash.

I am not concerned with the future of Flash (I don't really care), I am concerned with my ability to browse desktop internet sites in a couple of years. If Flash is completely replaced by then -- fine; but if it still exists on the desktop then my mobile experience will be crippled.

startac is right. Consider this from a web developer point of view:

You develop visually compelling and highly interactive web sites to reach as large an audience as possible. Traditionally, you used tools from Adobe (like Flash) to make this a reality. But now your audience is hitting your site from devices where the resources to render your awesome site are at a premium. (mobile phones, tablets, ect.) The game has changed.

- New tools have come on the market to accommodate these developments, but for now let's look at two: Mobile Flash and HTML5.

- Apple makes the single most popular smartphone model in market, which, for better or worse, makes the iPhone a sort of standard by itself. Consider also that for now and at least the next couple of years, Apple owns the tablet market with the iPad.

- Combined, the iPhone and iPad own an enormous bloc of the mobile space, and simply ignoring that segment is flat-out just not an option. If you want this massive audience, then you have to reach them on the devices they want to use. Straight forward economics right there.

- Apple has made it clear that Flash will not be supported on iOS, which powers these two hugely popular product lines. They will support HTML5 instead, which does just about everything on the web that Flash does (minus games) but with superior battery life since HTML5 is far less taxing than Flash.

- The competing, and likewise exceedingly popular mobile platform, Android, supports both HTML5 and Flash. On the grand scale, there's no issue with these folks because they are visiting your site for the content. They don't care if Flash or HTML5 delivers it to them, and the vast majority couldn't tell you the difference anyway.

As a web developer, what do you do? Code for Flash *and* HTML5? Maintain two separate sites plus a mobile version? Or do you instead create a single site, which can easily be reformatted as a mobile version, all done with a single code base, that can be rendered by the desktop elegantly as well as the two dominant mobile platforms (Android and iOS) covering nearly the entire mobile space? On a high level, HTML5 can do this, Flash cannot. Flash was never designed to power entire websites, only a plugin to add multimedia capabilities. As the web is now being designed with multimedia at the core of the browsing experience, the death of plugins like Flash are not only a matter of time, but wholly inevitable.

Web Developers have known this for a long time, Apple called it out, and Adobe is being forced to admit the reality.

The reality is that Adobe has reached a level with it's native app packagers that they don't need to continue develop Flash Players for mobile. Witness the success of Machinarium which was the number 1 selling game on the iPad and was written in AS3/Flash. Adobe does offer exactly what you are saying - one codebase to deploy to Android, iOS and Desktop. And on all of these three platforms offering more features and better performance than HTML5. With this development environment, why would Adobe continue to put the resources into building a multitude of Flash Players optimized for different mobile platforms and chipsets? If developers don't want to go the native app route, Adobe wants to create the tools that developers use to create HTML5 websites too.

This news comes from ZDNET which is worst than its probably not true as far as Adobe not offering flash player at all to mobile browsers....will see how thing will turn out

Unless Adobe is just going to kill Flash on all devices, period, I can't help but be extremely irritated at this decision. I liked having access to the same web on all of my devices, even though Flash did suck.

Just kill it and open source it Adobe... Kill it because it has no future, open source it because there are some great Flash games out there that it would be a shame to someday lose.

Adobe AIR is what enables the app developer to push advertisements to the notification bar. I downloaded a freebie from Amazon that needed Adobe AIR and the minute I activated the app I started seeing Ads in the notification bar. Once I uninstalled AIR the ads went away. So it seems to mee that his is really a way for Adobe to maybe receive kick backs from those Ads. Its brilliant actually. Stop development of the one thing that truly pushes one to buy an Android tablet or phone (flash support in web) which will force everyone to install AIR which will then allow idiot App developers to push ads to the notification bar. Win for the App developer, Win for Adobe, lose for the consumer. Recognize any patterns here?

Actually, any other app can push ads to your notification bar. It's definitely not exclusive to AIR apps.

That's kinda how I feel. I've always wanted flash to go away, I just wanted it to happen smoothly and without loss of access to content on websites during the transition.


so what does this mean exactly? let's say I get a new Android phone sometime next year, will the web browser still be able to play Flash and give me the same internet as when I'm on my computer, or, will it only display mobile version for websites?

I'd be happier if they let us remove Flash from our Android devices completely... Flash is resource-hungry and courtesy of HTML 5, un-needed.

I deleted Flash from my N1 months ago due to lack of free memory, and just purged Google+ for the same reason. What phone doesn't let you remove flash?

Come on people get off your foolishness. I am old enough to remember the same arguments being made when CD's began to replace cassettes and when DVD's began to replace VHS. I'm sure those in the 70's huffed and puffed when 8tracks were starting to go away.

Bottom line is: DO YOU REALLY THINK THERE WILL NOT BE ADVANCEMENTS?!?! Come on. We are so quick to get on these soapboxes and we know darn well that by this time next week (figuratively speaking) it will be forgotten as we have all embraced the new standard, whatever it may be.


Hmmmm... I think this was actually within Steve Jobs Will... all part of his Ultimate Plan to destroy Android.. to be executed upon his death... Yes.. he WILLED it that Adobe kill Flash!!! no skin off of the iPhone's butt... they NEVER really had it to begin with!?!?! (He IS the Android AntiChrist...)

While I'm one thats happy to see Flash start to go away I don't want to hear all the crap about Apple causing it. Flash was headed down with or without Apple. Simply not allowing Flash on a device that only has 28% of the market while its on a platform that has 40+% of the market and rapidly growing is not going to kill it. Truth is developers just want it out. It can really open up more possibilities when your media playback is more native to the rest of your web application.

The other thing I'd say is the gaming market. I'd say Flash sucks and be swarmed with talk of all these games and other stuff you couldn't do with HTML 5 and/or Javascript. But I look and all these games are just casual stuff. Look where the mobile games are going now...Shadowgun??? GTA??? These games are written in C and C++ and as much as people have wanted to change that it hasn't. Gaming was never going to be the saviour of Flash. And don't let Google take off with their native code in the browser. Its over at that point because you can take your existing code and bring a full game directly to the browser.

And lastly while Google was welcoming to Adobe on Android that whole thing was just a spite move to get at Apple for the moment. Google is the real force behind trying to move HTML 5 ahead. Apple is just talking about it. They don't have any tools like GWT and aren't trying to improve languages to develop. They literally just talk about it and hope others push it forward while they end up with the credit.

Im a little scared by this lol just picture those websites with hundreds of thousands of flash games being sent to hell muahaha!

This was only a matter of time.... Apple already does not support flash in any manner... Microsoft is no longer going to support flash starting with Windows 8, and I am assuming their windows phone, since the next version of windows mobile is windows 8.

Flash has always been a hog, and yes it makes cool things, but at a cost of performance. I am guessing since Adobe has been adding AIR into their development kits, that was their future and just now finally admitted it..

Awesome, awesome, awesome. It's about time. Anyone complaining about Flash dying off is beyond delusional. This is good for everyone.

As long as I will always have access to the ENTIRE web on my android device, it makes no difference. At this moment you need flash (as my iphone using wife tells me occasionally). Go to any local news site and try to watch video on an ios device. you're SOL.
If this speeds the development and deployment of HTML5 across the web, its better for all. This writing has been on the wall for years. And flash has never been 'great' on phones, but its alot better than an empty box on the screen that you can't access at all ...a la, ios.

Id rather see the empty box if all its going to show me is an advertisement and drag my battery life down.