Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Adobe Admits It Is Saying Buh-Bye to Flash for Mobile Devices

In a blog post by one of its execs, titled “Flash to Focus on PC Browsing and Mobile Apps; Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5,” Adobe said what had already been reported: That it would no longer be developing its well-known Flash for mobile devices.

Here’s the key graph:

“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 continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.”

Last night, reports surfaced that the high-profile software company — whose Flash technology has been a flagship product — was halting development on the mobile version of its browser plug-in.

Now, Adobe will focus its PC Web browser business on tools that allow Flash developers to create mobile apps by packaging their code to run on Adobe’s AIR platform.

The move has big implications for Adobe going forward and also for mobile device makers, such as Google and Research In Motion. But not Apple.

As Ina Fried wrote:

“The move, if true, would be a major blow to Android device makers, who have long touted Flash compatibility as a key competitive advantage over Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

It would also mark a posthumous vindication for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who took a controversial stand by not supporting Flash on Apple’s mobile products.”

Turns out Jobs was prescient, as usual.

Here is the full version of the Adobe blog:

Flash to Focus on PC Browsing and Mobile Apps; Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5

POSTED BY DANNY WINOKUR, VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER, INTERACTIVE DEVELOPMENT AT ADOBE ON NOVEMBER 9, 2011 5:59 AM IN BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS, CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS, DEVELOPERS, VIDEO

Adobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML. Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

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 continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium video. Flash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection. Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.

We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences. We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders. And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.

We are super excited about the next generations of HTML5 and Flash. Together they offer developers and content publishers great options for delivering compelling web and application experiences across PCs and devices. There is already amazing work being done that is pushing the newest boundaries, and we can’t wait to see what is still yet to come!


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