Steve Jobs never liked Flash Player for mobile devices, which is why you won’t find the software on Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. He said that it wasn’t necessary for consuming web content, and that HTML5 would win on mobile devices instead.
And it looks like Steve was right: Adobe is killing Flash Player for mobile devices. In an email memo, which was obtained by ZDNet, Adobe announces that while it will continue to support existing Flash Players for Android and PlayBook devices, it will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobiles:
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.”
It is believed that Adobe will continue to maintain a mobile strategy, but that it will instead be focused around native apps and HTML5 — which is what Steve recommended in an open letter written in April 2010:
“Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers.”
“Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices.”
“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.”
This may be disappointing news to those who have previously enjoyed Flash Player on their devices, but speaking from an iOS user’s standpoint, I can assure you that life without Flash on your mobile isn’t as bad as it may seem. In fact, as more and more sites adopt HTML5, you don’t even notice that Flash isn’t there after a while.
Let’s hope this will finally settle those Android vs. iOS arguments that were often focused on Flash Player.
Are you disappointed that Adobe will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobiles?