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Adobe rumored to be abandoning work on mobile Flash player

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Adobe has briefed its employees on the company's plans to abandon development of Flash player for mobile browsers in a blow to Google Android and Research in Motion PlayBook tablets, according to a new report.

ZDNet cited "sources close to Adobe" late Tuesday as claiming that the company will soon make the following announcement, possibly as early as Wednesday:
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 adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.
Adobe's partners will reportedly receive an email briefing them on the fact that it is "stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile," the report continued. The company will instead focus its efforts on mobile applications, desktop content "in and out of browser," and investments in HTML5.

The rumored announcement can largely be seen as a win for Apple and a loss for Android tablets and the Playbook. Competitors to the iPad and iPhone had originally touted Adobe Flash as a major selling point for their devices over Apple's mobile offerings, which have eschewed Flash. RIM had highlighted in videos the fact that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was Flash-capable.

Making the resource-intensive Flash work for low-power mobile situations has long been a thorn in Adobe's side. The company has encountered delays as it struggled to streamline Flash to run on mobile processors. Earlier this year, Motorola bragged that its Xoom tablet would come "fully Flash-enabled," but then went ahead and launched the device without initial Flash support, promising to add it later.

The end of mobile Flash could also be seen as a vindication of Apple's decision to steer clear of it. The late Steve Jobs famously called out Adobe for its struggles with Flash.

"Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it," Jobs said in an open letter last April.

"Flash was created during the PC era for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards all areas where Flash falls short."

In recent months, Adobe has moved towards HTML5. For instance, in September, the company announced that its Flash Media Server product would support the delivery of HTML5 video to Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. Adobe also unveiled this summer work on an Edge web development tool that will enable creation of Flash-style animations through HTML5.

Adobe's decision to drop development of mobile Flash comes as the company has initiated a round of layoffs due to restructuring. According to a press release on Tuesday, the software maker is aiming to focus more on "Digital Media and Digital Marketing" and will cut 750 full-time positions in North America and Europe as a result.
post #2 of 65
News flash! Not!
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post #3 of 65
Flash was never suited for mobile applications regardless of what the Flashtards think. It was doomed from the get-go. Finally Adobe realizes it's better to bite the bullet and discontinue a dead technology than to continue milking a dying cow.

Queue the flash apologists and their crybaby whining as to why this means less "choice" for the consumer... </sarcasm>
post #4 of 65
Hm, I always thought Flash worked perfectly on my Nokia N900, but my demands are probably pretty low.
post #5 of 65
Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
post #6 of 65
But Flash is awesome and any phone without Flash sucks
post #7 of 65
This is the first of what will be many things I wish Steve Jobs was around to see. Adobe certainly gave Steve a hard time for saying mobile is not the proper place for Flash. Glad they finally woke up and agreed with him.

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post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA

Adobe's partners will reportedly receive an email briefing them on the fact that it is "stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile," the report continued. The company will instead focus its efforts on mobile applications, desktop content "in and out of browser," and investments in HTML5.

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.
post #9 of 65
This is a win win for the future of mobile computing, as well as Adobe. Flash was a dud. Good riddance. Long live H.264 and HTML 5.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Otoh, the iPhone experience would have been worse with shorter battery time and laggy interface response due to Flash.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Looks like you've been proven wrong.
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Any time I come across a site that doesn't work on my iPhone due to Flash, I lodge a support ticket explaining why I will NEVER visit their site again and how I will NEVER spend my money on whatever it is they are promoting.

I often embellish my ticket with links to sites of their competitors whose sites are more accessible due to being based on open standards.

The reference in the article and I quote;- "Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations" shows that Flash is not as "open" as some would have us believe.
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post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Otoh, the iPhone experience would have been worse with shorter battery time and laggy interface response due to Flash.

flash is on demand...it's not always on.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

This is the first of what will be many things I wish Steve Jobs was around to see. Adobe certainly gave Steve a hard time for saying mobile is not the proper place for Flash. Glad they finally woke up and agreed with him.

I stated the obvious when this topic came up many times over the last few years: Steve Jobs KNEW, almost without a doubt, that Adobe would NEVER be able to show Flash mobile working sufficiently.

Why does everyone just assume that SJ shot off comments "from the hip" so to speak? The engineers at Apple invariably tried to get Flash working, reverse-engineered at some point or even with help from Adobe, and reported back to SJ, "Nope... not gonna happen any time soon".

Understanding the brilliance of SJ is realizing that he was incredibly smart and thorough, and an obsessive bordering on the psychopathic, as all geniuses are. If we could ask him, I bet he even paged through the Flash code himself. Remember: this guy started NeXt as well, which was more than anything, a programming platform. SJ understood good... and bad code... when he saw it.

SJ was a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur, innovator, visionary, and CEO... because he worked incredibly hard at all of them.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen should have taken Apple's and SJ's advice and offer to help, considering he knew both being a former employee at Apple.

I imagine finally killing Flash at this point in time, had mostly to do with ego and face-saving. If SJ was still alive... would "Shanty" have pulled the plug on Flash now? Why do I think the answer to that question is "no"... and that due to ego, he would still be pulling the wool over the eyes of his "partners" re: Flash mobile performance, updates, etc., just to save face.
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post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Flash does need to die, that I agree with...but I like having the option of activating it when necessary...

HTML 5+ is the future, definitely...and all major players are supporting its advancement...but this does suck IMO


on the other hand I can see HTML 5 adoption increasing rapidly.
post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Oh how wrong you are!

Address your complaints to the fools still programming their websites with it... not at Apple for not including it.

Also... you do realize that Flash (and Reader) contain the largest security risks on any device, don't you? Would you really like that problem on your phone?
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post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

flash is on demand...it's not always on.

Yeah, when it's on is when the issues appear.. strangely.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Flash has been dead or dying for quite some time now. Seeing anything or anybody we love die is tough to accept but we eventually learn to accept it in time.

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post #19 of 65
I'm glad for investors who no longer have to worry about Adobe throwing money into a doomed project. I'm hopeful this focus on native apps and open web standards will yield positive results for the company.
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post #20 of 65
All I can say is

post #21 of 65
Oh noes! Now we'll never get the "full web"!
post #22 of 65
I wish I could get PETA to throw red paint on all restaurants that use flash for their websites! I feel like printing this article and wallpapering the front of my local Thai restaurants front entrance with it.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

flash is on demand...it's not always on.

yet strangely, even this web page, when viewed without ClicktoFlash, still manages to be "always on"
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

You are fundamentally missing the point. Apple didn't leave support for Flash out of iOS because they felt like being difficult, they left it out because it wasn't good enough. It wipes out battery, it doesn't perform anything like well enough and it is utterly unsuited to touch interfaces.

Apple released the first version of what would be come known as iOS in 2007. Here we are 4 years later, 4 years, and Adobe still haven't got it working anywhere close to the standard that Apple expects of its core technologies. For the first 3 years of iOS, there wasn't even a version of Flash available for them LOOK at, but they still got criticised for lacking Flash support, as if it was Apple's responsibility to port a Flash client. Absurd.

Apple knows how consumers think. If you go to a site on Mobile Safari that runs Flash and it runs like a dog, your impression of the device you are using will be impacted. Apple saw that the user would not got much benefit from a terrible Mobile Flash implementation, but they would get a bad impression of their iPhone and later iPad. In short, they didn't want to tarnish the work they'd put in to making the iPhone and iPad such great user experiences.

Look at how powerful the iPhone4, 4S and iPad 2 are. They can run PS2-quality games, arguably even better, but even with all that power, Flash can't work well. It's become utterly apparent that Flash is not a technology we should want around.

Don't blame Apple for not supporting Flash, blame the site you are visiting for choosing to lazily use a plugin that doesn't support 100,000,000 iOS devices and circumvents web standards. Blame Adobe for pushing an inappropriate technology into the mobile space with false promises that were swallowed by manufactures desperate for any USP they could laud over the iPhone/iPad. Also blame IE for flat out ignoring web standards and making Flash a short cut to reliable cross-browser compatibility.

Sure we tend to side with Apple because we like their stuff, but in this case Apple really is the good guy. The web will be far, far better off without Flash in the medium term.

On another note:

I don't think AI really believe this report. If they did, I think this would have been in red. If it turns out to be true, it is a BIG deal.
post #25 of 65
I wish Steve was here for this news. It's a cruel irony that Flash Mobile outlived him.
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

All I can say is


QFT
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post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.


Adobe finally got the picture. Why can't you?

Flash does NOT work on mobile and never has. Any instance where it seems to work is an example of something that could have been better done with HTML. It's time for websites to stop creating crappy Flash content.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by design_editor View Post

I wish Steve was here for this news. It's a cruel irony that Flash Mobile outlived him.

What's ironic about it?
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

flash is on demand...it's not always on.

Yeah, remind me about that the next time I visit a crappy website with a hundred obnoxious animated Flash ads on it. Oh wait... I don't see those anymore because all of my mobile devices ignore Flash content and my desktop web browser is set to block Flash as well. Never mind...
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Adobe finally got the picture. Why can't you?

Flash does NOT work on mobile and never has. Any instance where it seems to work is an example of something that could have been better done with HTML. It's time for websites to stop creating crappy Flash content.

And instead create crappy HTML content. Shit is shit, no matter what form it is delivered. And don't fool yourself that HTML magically results in performance improvement.

Many html5 demos work poorly on any iOS device.
post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Flash does need to die, that I agree with...but I like having the option of activating it when necessary...

HTML 5+ is the future, definitely...and all major players are supporting its advancement...but this does suck IMO


on the other hand I can see HTML 5 adoption increasing rapidly.

People's insistence on using dead end Flash technology has helped prolong its demise. Now that Adobe has finally abandoned it, we'll see everyone focus on improving HTML5 instead.
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

If you wanted Flash, You should have bought an Android phone.

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post #33 of 65
In many ways this is a good thing for Adobe. It's core strength is content creation tools. With this they can focus even more on this side of the business.
post #34 of 65
Joe Paterno.

Both are old, worn out, and past their time.

And hanging on to either is just plain stupid.

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post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

So as a replacement of Flash we get some vague promises. I'd rather have Flash then. At least it works. I have an iPhone but I find the lack of Flask quite irritating. That is compensated for by other things, but the iPhone experience would have been better with Flash.

Ah, you seem to have a short memory. Mobile flash (proper flash not flash lite etc) only turned up this year, whereas the iPhone has been around since 2007. So, whether you wanted flash on the iPhone or not you couldn't have it as it wasn't available. So seeing as IT WAS NOT AVAILABLE, Im guessing the iPhone with flash would have been no different from the iPhone without flash.
post #36 of 65
I hope it leads to the end of Flash Internet wide.
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Ah, you seem to have a short memory. Mobile flash (proper flash not flash lite etc) only turned up this year, whereas the iPhone has been around since 2007. So, whether you wanted flash on the iPhone or not you couldn't have it as it wasn't available. So seeing as IT WAS NOT AVAILABLE, Im guessing the iPhone with flash would have been no different from the iPhone without flash.

I have had my Nokia N900 since July 2010 or so. But maybe that thing ran a non-mobile version of Flash. It worked well, anyway. It was way ahead of its time. Pity that Nokia chucked it about three weeks after I bought it.
post #38 of 65
Now, if only AI could cut the cord......\
post #39 of 65
Score! Finally all sites will be forced to take off the idiotic flash wrapper off their native h.264 encoded videos. Restaurants are next - get rid of flash sites if you want customers.
--SHEFFmachine out
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post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Score! Finally all sites will be forced to take off the idiotic flash wrapper off their native h.264 encoded videos. Restaurants are next - get rid of flash sites if you want customers.

Well no, because there is still no way to implement DRM using video delivered using the HTML <video> tag.
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