Adobe Engineer: Apple Played Major Role in Demise of Flash

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Apple Played Major Role in Demise of Flash

Adobe’s announcement last week that it will cease development of its Flash Player platform for mobile device browsers was caused in major part by Apple’s decision not to support the platform on its iOS devices, according to Mike Chambers, principal product manager for developer relations at Adobe. 

Although initially only joked about, Mr. Chambers’ explained in a blog post that Steve Jobs’ very public battle with Adobe and his decision to eschew the company’s technology likely spurred its demise. 

In a section entitled “Why did Adobe decide to no longer develop the Flash Player for Mobile Browsers?,” Mr. Chambers explained that Flash on mobile “was not going to achieve the same ubiquity” as it had on the desktop. “This one should be pretty apparent, but given the fragmentation of the mobile market, and the fact that one of the leading mobile platforms (Apple’s iOS) was not going to allow the Flash Player in the browser, the Flash Player was not on track to reach anywhere near the ubiquity of the Flash Player on desktops,” Mr. Chambers wrote. [Emphasis added].

Even after Mr. Jobs’s passing, there was little hope at Adobe that Apple would change its course on Flash. “Just to be very clear on this. No matter what we did, the Flash Player was not going to be available on Apple’s iOS anytime in the foreseeable future.”

Going forward, Adobe will focus its mobile browser efforts on HTML5, the same platform that Mr. Jobs praised as a better, higher performance, and more open technology for achieving the same benefit that Flash had brought to the table. “HTML5 has very strong support on modern mobile devices and tablets. Indeed, on mobile devices, it has a level of ubiquity similar to what the Flash Player has on the desktop,” Mr. Chambers noted.

While some have taken Adobe’s announcement to mean the end of Flash, Mr. Chambers was quick to counter: Outside of mobile web browsers, “Flash is not dead. It’s role and focus has shifted but we feel that it still fills important roles both on the web and mobile platforms.”

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Comments

HD Boy

?...Flash is not dead. It?s role and focus has shifted but we feel that it still fills important roles both on the web and mobile platforms…?

Maybe not. Maybe so. Why spend the time and money programming for Flash on the desktop when HTML5 can deliver content to both platforms?

The answer: Flash is dead on the desktop too.

50/50 Apple and Google

It was Google’s HTML5 initiative and Apple ignoring flash on iPhone that led to the demise of flash. But that is a good thing, we don’t any proprietary technologies on the web. Let’s get HTML5 rolling.

jfbiii

No matter what we did, the Flash Player was not going to be available on Apple?s iOS anytime in the foreseeable future.

Well, if they had actually delivered on a Flash player that performed well on mobile devices it might not be. A lot of people think that Steve just had it in for Flash…but I think the two real objections were: efficiency—first and by far most important—and a desire to not have developers adopt a platform that could possibly cater to the lowest common denominator cross-platform development tool that would effectively neuter feature advantages Apple had over competitors.

Terrin

Google has openly embraced Flash on Chrome, Android, and Google TV. Google has been slow to adopt HTML5 as full heartedly as some would like people to think. 

It was Google?s HTML5 initiative and Apple ignoring flash on iPhone that led to the demise of flash. But that is a good thing, we don?t any proprietary technologies on the web. Let?s get HTML5 rolling.

Garion

A refreshingly honest assessment of Flash’s demise from Adobe.

As for HTML5 the big stumbling block is still the {video} tag. Apple and Microsoft have chosen to support the H.264 codec for HTML5 video in Safari and IE9. Google and Mozilla don’t want to support H.264 in their Chrome and Firefox browsers. They are instead supporting Google’s bid for HTML5 video codec called WebM.

Dirt Road

Good riddance. If Adobe would have expended some effort to make Flash work properly on Apple’s desktop platforms, I wouldn’t be reading & commenting on this article right now.

ctopher

If Adobe would have expended some effort to make Flash work properly on Apple?s desktop platforms,

I believe Adobe could not deliver because Apple would not give them permission to use the low-level system resources necessary to create an efficient implementation of Flash.

I don’t blame Apple, they are trying to protect their ecosystem, but I also don’t blame Adobe for poor implementation. Since iOS is the least fragmented of the mobile platforms, Adobe might have been able to produce the best version of Flash on iOS devices, but Apple did not want a third-party system developer.

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