Adobe abandons mobile Flash

With a single leaked email, Adobe effectively announced the end of Flash for mobile. The email, intended for Adobe’s partners, details the demise of one of the company’s flagship products.

The following email comes courtesy of ZDnet.

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.

The email vindicates Steve Jobs’ opinion about the eventual demise of Flash. Jobs hated Flash and in an open letter to Adobe, he described it as “a platform which results in sub-standard apps”. Instead, Jobs praised HTML5, saying “it will win on mobile devices (and PCs too)”.

Adobe will now concentrate its efforts on HTML5, in particular for mobiles applications. Jobs advised this in his open letter, saying “Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticising Apple for leaving the past behind.”

Adobe is battling to remain relevant and shares have plunged since the Flash giant cut 750 jobs in an effort to “lessen its focus on older products and shifts investment to programs for digital publishing and Web advertising.” After the job cut, shares nosedived to their lowest level in a year.

Android devices saw the most traction in regards to mobile Flash, but it was notoriously unstable, crashing on devices from the powerful BlackBerry PlayBook to the Nexus one and most embarrassingly, during one of Adobe’s own presentations.

It seems fitting then, that Apple rejected Flash in favour of HTML5, as it is truly the new standard which Adobe itself is betting the farm on.



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