So Adobe has finally put the last nail in the coffin for future development of the Flash Player itself for mobile. A lot of people are wondering what that means for them. We’re seeing a large upswing of “mobile” traffic in some areas and I know from experience that a lot of web/flash developers were counting on being able to show Flash content within their sites and web apps.
First up to say that Flash is dead is just another ignorant statement by those that want to make a dramatic point. The player will still exist in the mobile world (android devices and playbook) and Adobe is working on their last iteration of version 11.1. The player is still incredibly powerful and it’s not going anywhere. Updates for security and critical bugs are still in the works and will be supported going forward.
The Flash Player on desktop is still in full development and there are a whole bunch of cool features coming. The capabilities they have in it now are powerful as it is, and it’s just going to get better.
From a Flash developer’s perspective that has been pushing the Flash Player to mobile devices and promoting it as the “competition” to the app store, I can’t help but feel a bit blindsided. What happened there? Makes Steve Jobs and Apple look like the “winner”. Granted, it was a pain to develop two versions, one for everybody and one for iOS users. So there was always that thought in the back of my head when working on stuff. I suppose Adobe was bleeding cash with trying to create a Flash Player version for two operating systems that account for very little of the online market share. Had Apple come on board then I’m sure it would be a different story.
With that, more concentration on AIR for apps. Did somebody at Adobe get paid off by the guys who own the marketplace and appstore? Take Flash off of the tablets and phones and now you HAVE to go to the online stores to get an app that did the same thing in the browser. Granted, Flash was a pain for richer and more advanced apps due to the fact that you no longer have a mouse. Touch dragging and scrolling never worked well with it and in turn looked very buggy, if not completely non-functioning.
In the end I see this is a forward movement item. Any Flash developer out there that hasn’t branched out to other technologies while working on Flash I’m sure is going to feel shafted. That’s understandable if not a bit short sighted at this point. There is still TONS of Flash work out there and a lot of companies are only just barely looking at accommodating the mobile world. Now you can just take your skills to the app store/marketplace and count on Adobe working harder to make sure it works well and performance meets or exceeds native apps.
For those that have branched out, this is just another item to take in stride and adjust accordingly. No big deal, make an app, or “settle” for FP 11.1. Not a bad proposition.