Adobe Axes Development of Flash Players for Mobile Devices

Adobe Refocuses from Flash to HTML5 on Mobile Devices

by Anton Shilov
11/09/2011 | 05:05 PM

Adobe, a leading designer of authoring tools for various platforms, on Wednesday said it would cease developing of Flash players for mobile devices. In the future, Adobe wants to concentrate on tools for HTML5 tech. The announcement is hard to underestimate as it means there will be no Flash players for mobile devices running next-generations of Android, BlackBerry QNX, Windows Phone and other mobile platforms. This automatically changes approaches that developers take to create web pages.


"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," said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of interactive development at Adobe.

For many years 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. Nonetheless, a lot of developers and executives all around the industry has criticized Flash for being inefficient, closed and caused glitches on various devices. Meanwhile, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively, which makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.

"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," said Mr. Winokur.

Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that Adobe's 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 Apple App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.

The absence of Adobe Flash support on the next-generation tablets and smartphones automatically changes the global standard for the Internet from Adobe Flash to HTML5 as the latter will run on all possible devices and browsers, while Flash will not.  This will force developers of web pages to completely rethink their approaches to their development process. In general, HTML5 is now officially the default standard of the World Wide Web.