Adobe Will Discontinue Flash Player For Mobile, Focusing Instead On HTML 5


Well isn’t this hilariously ironic? Shortly after a spammer/scammer tricked his way into Android Market’s trending apps by releasing a fake version of Flash 12, we learn that Adobe will discontinue development of in-browser flash on mobile devices beyond version 11.1. So hey you – Androidking guy – sure you don’t want to build out that Flash 12 for real?

More than anything, this signifies the soon-t0-be sweeping changes that HTML 5 will usher in- and I’m not exaggerating when I say sweeping. In February, at Mobile World Congress, Eric Schmidt admitted that most apps will be built using HTML 5 saying exactly that:

“HTML 5 is the way almost all applications will be built, including for phones.”

Considering that… how well is Google positioned with the combination of Android, Chrome, ChromeOS, and Google TV? They’ve got technological insurance policies up the wazoo. Meanwhile, Adobe is going to have to shift directions to keep themselves riding any type of curve.
Apple and Adobe have a longstanding conflict that stems from Steve Jobs (read his bio, it’s amazing), but when Jobs refused to put Flash on iOS devices it definitely put a dent in Adobe’s game plan. Maybe it was the kick in the butt they needed. While Android was able to boast Flash support and therefore full html browsing capabilities that would load more pages properly than iPhones, it wasn’t making the future any rosier for Adobe’s Flash on mobile. Instead of continuing to push Flash they’ll now be moving towards Adobe AIR:

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.

Adobe will indeed continue working on Flash for desktop devices, it’s merely the mobile strategy that has changed. I applaud Adobe for backing away from their Flash product line for mobile. You hear the news and you think they’re surrendering to some degree. And they are. For a proud company like Adobe that’s a hard thing to do but it’s also what is necessary. Newspapers and magazines are failing because they didn’t embrace the web soon enough. Tides and times change and you’ve got to be willing to change with the times to ride the new tides.

Will Adobe be successful in their new mission to innovate with HTML5?

[Via Adobe]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I really hate pictures of Jobs… I think he was a great man, but an ugly elitist.

  2. The writing is on the wall. Adobe is a partner with Google and Microsoft and gets to see long term plans that we do not.
    A 720p quad-core smartphone is no longer a mobile device.  It’s basically a desktop computer.  It’s obvious that Google is going to integrate Chrome OS and have a full desktop browser on their phones while Microsoft by releasing Windows 8 for ARM is on the path to integrate full internet explorer into their phones.

    When that happens in the next few years, the need to separately develop flash will not exist.  Why bother developing an application that will not exist in the next version of Android and the next version of Windows Mobile?

  3. Well, isn’t that gonna excite iSheeps praising their Jobs god for being right again and forever.

    1. Jobs was not “right” nor was he wrong. He simply didn’t like it. All you see here is Adobe moving toward something new and not letting Flash hold them back forever. I applaud them for taking the step forward and not continuing with something most consider broken. Also, they didn’t say anything about discontinuing flash for Desktops, just mobile. So for us flash lovers, no big deal.

      1. Everyone will win out of this because Adobe can now focus on technologies that work across all platforms.

    2. Damn straight. Come join us. I’ve been a member since 1983 and I’ve never been happier.

      1. Can u hear that??? It’s the sound of Steve Jobs laughing from the hereafter….HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

        1. THAT’S the ol’ Debbil laughing vigorously forking Job’s skeletor carcass up and down through a hot, bubbling mass of brimstone and treacle.

    3. What’s the matter Unorthodox?  That humble pie is tasting a little bitter?

      1. Lmao!!! Bitter indeed!

  4. “In February, at Mobile World Congress, Eric Schmidt admitted that most apps will be built using HTML 5”

    Bizarre wording. How is this an “admission”? Everyone has known for at least 2 years that HTML5 was going to take over.

    1. I used “admitted” because saying HTML 5 will be the basis of most apps greatly reduces the competitive advantages Android has built.

      I think if you ask the vast majority of people, and I’m talking 95% plus, what their phone apps will be built on in 5 years… the majority would say android or iphone or something but VERY few would even mention HTML 5. The others, after you told them, would say “that’s for websites not phones.”

      1. 99% of that 95% will ask you “what does ‘built on’ mean?”

        Otherwise your statement makes complete sense.

        (Unless they answer: “built on a computer”)

      2. I’m not sure that Schmidt is right. Flash Builder (exporting to native apps) is a much better cross-platform development environment than anything HTML5 has to offer and probably will remain so due to the shortcomings of Javascript as a programming language.

  5. Pisses me off. Yeah, flash can be stuttery and drain the battery depending on what you’re doing with it, and it’s closed compared to html5. But there’s still a lot of content on the web that’s in flash, and if you want to access the content you have to have it. I can only hope that it starts to disappear before i get a device that flash just stops working on.

    1. Google is so FREE and OPEN but I want FLASH even though its CLOSED.

      Good god you android fanboys are so confused.

      1. Android users want to be able to choose which technologies they use, rather than some company choosing for us. Android has always shipped with a bunch of closed apps – Gmail, Maps, etc. Having Flash never limited my choices – I could have it on or off, I could use alternative technologies, etc. I’m not sure why iSheep have such trouble understanding the concept of free will. Maybe if it was released by Apple and called iFreeWill?

  6. Well that is a kick below the belt for Android users. What happens when there’s a security hole? Just leave it open? There killing one of the biggest things that makes Android stand out from iPhone. Thanks Adobe!!!!

    1. The title of this article is misleading.  Flash will continue to be on android devices.  They basically have taken flash player as far as they can and won’t continue to develop it further.  They will however support their existing flash player with security fixes.  Not sure if this means that it will not be on future devices though.  I watch flash movies on amazon’s website all the time and it works great.  

    2. Flash will still be there for use and Adobe will continue sending security patches. They’re just done optimising and expanding.

      1. There never was any “optimising”

  7. Hmmm… I’m not techy enough to fully understand what’s going on and what HTML5 really is or how it’s taking over, but I trust Adobe and Android/Google to continue to give us an outstanding mobile internet experience.

  8. I feel bad doing this, but here’s a re-post from Droid-Life lol:

    Google and Adobe teamed up to bring Flash to devices because that was one of Android’s biggest differentiation against the iPhone. It was first and foremost, a marketing ploy.

    Secondly, they wanted to take the App Store ecosystem down. Google’s biggest fear are native apps: when people start living on apps and stop using the browser. Evidently, that did not happen. The browser is the most used feature of a smartphone next to app usage. Even iPhone users’ browsing habits are growing year after year. Not even to mention that Android now has the market share, and those handsets come equipped with Google’s own browser. 

    Finally, the Android Market is maturing and growing faster than ever. Developers are jumping into the notion of developing for a plethora of devices. If the battleground be in the app ecosystem, Google and its Market will give the Apple a run for its money. 

    Adobe and Google decided to throw in the towel because they perceive no threat anymore from Apple’s App ecosystem. The future will be HTML5 on the browser.

    1. But on the other hand Apple has a new CEO who may be easier for Adobe  to work with than Steve Jobs.

  9. All this time the Android community eschews Apple for their stance on Flash, and now suddenly, you guys flip-flop and see it as necessary.

    Nice try to save face.  

    1. actually, a lot of us see this as bull$&# and are pretty pissed off to see flash support go.

      1. Flash isn’t going anywhere. It just won’t be supported beyond security and bug fixes.

        1. right. flash support is going. I think that’s crap.

          1. I don’t agree with it wither but at least android users will have a smooth transition over to full html5 web whereas iOS users still don’t and never will access flash.

    2. It *was* necessary to have Flash to be able to render the Internet as it existed(/exists).  HTML5 will possibly render Flash unnecessary so the company is rolling with technology.  On the flipside, companies like Apple and Sony like to strongarm their own technologies and ideals and usually end up falling flat.

      1. Except that HTML5 is not Apple technology, it’s a true open source format (unlike “open” android).  Apple makes no money off of HTML5 in either savings, advertising, or licensing.

        1. Never said it was.  Apple prevented Flash from their product, didn’t push their own in this case.  See: FireWire and a plethora of other failed tech that was backed mostly by the single listed companies.

          1. Then again I believe Adobe had the upper hand a few years ago when it refused to port a number of important applications to OSX so I guess it could be argued they were strong arming people to use Windows instead of Linux/OSX.

  10. Apple will take over now! Bahaha.

    1. Nah, Apple will fold and crumple into itself like the pot-metal Macs they push.

  11. Well (as a flash mobile developer) I am happy about this. 

    AIR is more interesting to me from the point of view that it will lead to a lot less support (nightmare) scenarios for me, once my ‘apps’ get deployed. 

    Recall, that ‘AIR’ apps have a Webkit + security model + flash embedded – in a ‘thunk’; and in the new version, you don’t have to install ‘AIR’ runtime separately either.  Which is a big plus going forward.

    This is all great news for me (& I suspect they lower their support costs by this containment strategy for Adobe as well)…

    The AIR + hw / acceleration for phones/tablets is a good step forward and is what the mobile developers should/will concentrate on.  I would hope Adobe would lower their cost of their creation toolsets in this space to get more developers interested in this as a development path.  I think that’s the biggest barrier to their success at present.

    Just my 2cents.  //GH

  12. obviously all of you have phones that can run in-browser flash, and you don’t realizes how much the internet sucks without it. 

    you’re all idiots for thinking this won’t make a difference. no in-browser flash? that’s HORRIBLE. it reduces android’s capabilities and helps push android towards the hater’s “its a toy” category. 

    XDA and other places will have people saving the flash app, uploading it, redistributing it – because, simple fact without flash, THE INTERNET DOES NOT WORK AS WELL!

    1. Just sit down.

      Flash isn’t all of a sudden leaving our phones. Read the damn article.

  13. Steve Jobs was right. Again! HTML 5 is the future and Flash is the old tech on its way out. Wow! I was stunned when I heard about this. Like him or not, he was a true visionary. I wonder how he planned to kill Android? After this, can’t help but think it’s going to happen and it can’t be stopped.

    1. STEVE who? He’s buried and forgotten. Move along, dammit.

  14. I bet the same will soon happen to Apple’s Thunderbolt interface USB 3.0 will take that over. This however removes one of the advantages of Android to iOS, but since Google’s chrome browser is one of the 2 leading browsers in terms if HTML 5 performance, I think this doesn’t matter.

  15. Flash is still alive and well, Jobs is dead and gone. Guess who had the last laugh?

    It’s laughable to see people gushing over this guy. It’ll probably be years before Flash is completely replaced. Hopefully ICS supports it.

    1. Wipe some of that egg off of your face and make me a sammich!!! Lmao!

      1. Wow we have a happy troll today. Too bad Flash isn’t going anywhere soon and your iCrap still can’t view half the web. 

        1. I hate to tell you this, but flash player sucks on Android/mobile devices. I found it to be low quality, battery hog, buggy, and slow.

        2. Got CloudBrowse bro….I can view the ENTIRE web!!!
          Now get me that egg sammich!!!! Lol!

  16. if adobe is converting to html5, then that shouldn’t be much of a problem for android devices.  time for the programmers and coders to get busy.  it won’t hurt android any.

  17. “HTML 5 is the way almost all applications will be built, including for phones.”

    Has Eric ever built anything complex in JavaScript? :)
    I’m being “sarcastic” of course and that question is rhetorical, but HTML5 is really no better off than prior versions of HTML; it still shares many of the same problems/limitations.
    To me this says that Google like others, are trying to heard us all towards a time when we don’t own any applications.  A time when we are all completely dependent on their servers/services, so tEh cloud… Wait, isn’t that happening now… O.O

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