Adobe: Flash for mobile is dead

Update: Adobe has confirmed the move. Speaking on the Adobe Blog, Danny Winokur, Adobe VP and general manager for interactive development, said:

"Adobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do.

"However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.  This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.

"We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers."

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Adobe is all set to admit defeat when it comes to Flash and Mobile. Reports suggest that the San Jose-based company will make it official that it will no longer develop a mobile Flash version.

ZDNet managed to get hold of an email memo from within the company that states:

"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."

So there you have it. Support for current versions, but no new Flash developments for your tablets and smartphones. It seems a far cry from just 6 months ago when the BlackBerry PlayBook was being touted as a Flash tablet and a potential iPad killer.

It's thought that Adobe will continue to have a mobile strategy - but one that is app and HTML5 focused.

It looks as if Steve Jobs was right after all. Remember the open letter that the late Apple CEO penned back in April 2010?

Amongst other things Jobs said: "Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers" and that "Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices".

He warned that: "The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content.

"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticising Apple for leaving the past behind."

Without doubt this is a major victory for Apple, and a big kick in the teeth for the Flash-mob.



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