In November of last year, Adobe made a very suprising announcement surrounding it’s popular Flash plugin. The announcement centered around the company stopping develoment of Flash for mobile devices sending a major selling point advantage of Android to the grave. Tomorrow, Adobe will disable new installs of Flash on Android, effectively ending the plugin’s future on the mobile web.
The company has historically assured users that Flash enables the “full web experience” on mobile devices. Now Adobe has given up and surrendered the major mobile battle and pledged allegiance to HTML5.
Looking back, Adobe had major plans for mobile Flash. The company met a significant obstacle early on when Apple straight out refused to adopt it. Despite Adobe’s push to get Flash available on every single platform it could via it’s Open Screen Project, Adobe could never find resolution on iOS support. Apple, under Steve Jobs chose instead to ignore the platform. Jobs had famously fought against Flash in favor of HTML5. Jobs went as far as to refer to the Flash tech as a “dying technology”.
With the lack of iOS support, Adobe stumbled and eventually faltered on the one platform that would take it to the next level in the mobile space, Android. Adobe made attempts at Android integration but with only approximately 15% of Android owners able to actually use it, Adobe effectively shut out such a larger potential customer base. Ultimately the final nail in the Adobe mobile venture coffin came from long time ally Microsoft, who have stated, they had limited plans to offer Flash support in Windows 8. With that news, last year one Adobe project manager said Flash “was not going to achieve the same ubiquity on mobile that it has on the desktop.”
Now Adobe has decided to go in a new direction with no intent to give up. The company’s roadmap includes plans to focus on gaming, HTML5, and “premium video”, while the company will continue to support Flash on PCs.
And As the Verge stated: “…It’s hard to imagine Flash’s ongoing relevance in a world that’s increasingly mobile, and Adobe’s support for HTML5 doesn’t bode well for the plugin: in a web with increasingly less Flash, HTML5 will soon provide the “full web experience” for most users”. Head now to the Google Play store if you’re interested in downloading the Flash plugin to your Android device before it is pulled tomorrow.
Source and Image: The Verge