Mike Chambers, Principal Product Manager for Developer Relations for the Flash Platform recently published a blog post clarifying the reasons behind Adobe’s plans to drop development for Flash on mobile devices. For those of you who didn’t already know, Adobe recently announced
that that it will continue to support existing implementations of Flash Player for mobile browsers but cease development in order to focus on HTML5.
Chambers has spent over a decade working on Flash and according to him, the past few days “have been some of the most difficult” in his career. In his blog post, he mentioned that continuing development on Flash “would not be the “best use of resources” as Flash would never “achieve the same ubiquity” on mobile devices as it has on the desktop. He even went as far as stating that this is mainly due to “the fact that one of the leading mobile platforms (Apple’s iOS) was not going to allow the Flash Player in the browser” preventing Flash from becoming as popular as it was on desktops.
Furthermore, it was admitted that HTML5 was now the clear solution to providing “a richer browser based experience” across browsers on mobile devices. "No matter what we did, the Flash Player was not going to be available on Apple’s iOS anytime in the foreseeable future," Chambers said.
The App store took part of the blame for Flash’s demise according to the post due to the fact that many users were likely to look for applications rather than the web for rich content. This was mainly due to all the differences amongst devices such as screen sizes, resolution, interaction models, etc. as a reason why browser-based content was a bit harder to accommodate when compared to the app in terms of providing rich content.
Chambers even went as far as admitting that the Flash Player for mobile browsers required “much more resources” than the company had originally expected. On the desktop, Adobe can usually work within “well defined plugin APIs” but the company struggled to work with a number of different mobile operating system vendors, hardware device manufacturers, and component manufacturers in order to develop Flash on mobile platforms. "For each new device, browser and operating system released, the resources required to develop, test and maintain the Flash Player also increases. This is something that we realized is simply not scalable or sustainable.”
In the end, Adobe decided to allocate more resources from Flash to HTML5 due to the widespread adoption of HTML5. The decision was made to “more evenly balance” out its resources between the two technologies. Chambers did remind readers that “Flash is not dead” and continued to reiterate Adobe’s “long term commitment” to Adobe’s Flash Player on desktops. Chambers then pointed to the need to shift some resources from Flash to HTML5. Given the widespread adoption of HTML5, Adobe had decided to "more evenly balance" its resources between the two technologies according to him.
Steve Jobs predicted much of Flash’s demise in his open letter
regarding his thoughts on Flash last year
. Despite the rough situation Adobe must be going through, it is good to see the company moving forward by accepting that their technology is not meant to be for mobile devices and continuing forward with the adoption of HTML5. I just wonder how things would have been today if Adobe hopped the bandwagon earlier when the topic was first brought up instead of standing their ground only to admit recently they were wrong. Hit the source link to read the full blog post by Mike Chambers - it's a lengthy but very interesting read.
How do you feel about the whole ordeal?
Source: Mike Chambers