Adobe pulls plug on Flash mobile

To refocus on HTML5 development just as Steve Jobs advised in the past
Darren Allan
Darren Allan -


In a move which has surprised and even stunned industry commentators, it would seem Adobe has dramatically rethought its tactics when it comes to the mobile web.

Adobe, which has previously pushed Flash for mobile as a key part of its armoury, has now suddenly dropped it. At least according to an exclusive whisper from insiders which ZDNet heard.

Flash has long been controversial in mobile form due to a number of issues, from security to performance.

It’s widely deployed on the web, though, so the usage of Flash was a selling point for Android tablets versus the iPad, as Apple refused to allow Flash on board its tablet.

If he was still here, Steve Jobs would no doubt be beaming at the revelation that Adobe is to cease work on Flash for mobile to instead concentrate on developing HTML5 based technology for web video and animations.

Exactly as Jobs (and others) have said should be the case.

The revelation comes from sources “close to Adobe” who ZDNet spoke to. They told the tech website: “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.”

The only support Adobe will continue to provide going forward will be bug fixes and critical security updates for the current Android and PlayBook versions.

Although the insiders did note that Adobe recognised the possibility that other source code licensees may continue to work on Flash for mobile.

HTML5 has certainly been seen as the future of the web for some time, so perhaps this move shouldn’t have surprised us (and others) as much as it did. We just weren’t expecting Adobe to be ready to be moving on just yet.

Hopefully the mobile web will be better for a swifter refocusing of efforts on this front, although some are concerned about Android devices and their ability to run HTML5 at this still relatively early stage in its development.

How much longer Flash for desktop computers has to run, too, is another question raised by this announcement…

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