Adobe halts Flash development for mobile, retrenches around HTML5

November 9, 2011
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In a 2010 open letter explaining why Apple was leaving out Flash in its mobile devices, Steve Jobs explained that Flash under-performed on mobile devices, that it exhibited poor battery life, and that the future of rich media on mobile was HTML5.

While Adobe has never conceded any of Jobs' criticisms, the company's moves are a clear affirmation of the late Apple cofounder's analysis. On the heels of its announcement that it would reduce its workforce by 7% (750 employees), Adobe released a statement this morning confirming reports that it will cease ongoing development of the Flash player for mobile platforms. Adobe will now only develop for Flash in the context of "enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores."

Adobe's statement goes on to say, "We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and Blackberry Playbook."

In its place, Adobe will redirect its focus to HTML5, which Adobe refers to as "the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across multiple platforms."

In the future, Adobe will continue to support and enable Flash developers in packaging native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. The company will also continue to support the current Android and Playbook implementations of Flash with patches and security updates. Adobe also states that it is already working on Flash Player 12, but with an eye towards a "smooth transition to HMTL5 as the standards evolve."

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