Adobe Lays Out the Future of Flash

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Despite the fact that Adobe killed the mobile version of its Flash Player, the platform isn’t dead. To help clear up questions about where the multimedia platform is headed, Adobe released a roadmap (PDF) showing how it will continue to support Flash, and which operating systems it plans to drop.

Adobe plans to continue supporting Flash Player for the Mac and Windows, but Linux users are going to be left behind. Instead, Linux users will be directed to Google’s Chrome web browser and its built-in Flash Player.

Adobe details the future of FlashAdobe details the future of Flash

Flash Player 11.2 should ship some time during the first quarter of 2012 with improved hardware-accelerated graphics support, and additional updates throughout the year will improve gaming capabilities.

Adobe is acknowledging that roles Flash previously served on the Internet are shifting to newer technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3, but the company still sees its multimedia platform as important. Flash’s new role, according to Adobe’s roadmap, lies in “creating and deploying rich, expressive games with console-quality graphics and deploying premium video.”

Planned features for post-11.2 updates include keyboard support in full-screen mode, better audio performance, expanded hardware support for video, improved ActionScript support, and more.

Adobe reiterated that Flash Player 11.1 is the final version for mobile devices, although it will release security updates and critical bug fixes.

Adobe’s open commitment to Flash doesn’t come as a surprise considering the platform is a big part of the company’s business plans despite the general shift towards HTML5 and CSS3. With Apple and now Microsoft pushing Flash alternatives, however, it’s going to only get harder for Adobe’s to keep the platform relevant in the eyes of computer users.

[Some images courtesy of Shutterstock]

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8 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

It has a future?

Lee Dronick

How about a highway with a Dead End sign? smile

Flash will be around for a while, there are a lot of legacy websites that use it, but as to new development who knows.

sflocal

Flash is on a slow death.  Providers don’t want to maintain two sets of formats (Flash / HTML5-CSS3).  They will go with the direction media is heading, and its not Flash.  The post-PC era is here.

Where’s Bosco to preach to all of us how Flash on non-Apple devices were going to put Apple in its place?

ilikeimac

Instead, Linux users will be directed to Google?s Chrome web browser and its built-in Flash Player.

I knew that Chrome had a “built-in” Flash player, but I assumed it was still an Adobe implementation. Does this mean it’s actually a Google implementation?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This story misses half of the story, which is AIR. And sflocal, that’s been the more important thing I’ve been talking about here for nearly two years, but you Flash haters just can’t wrap your heads around the whole of the technology.

Basically, it’s using the Flash API that millions of Flash developers know and love to create real, compiled apps. And that still lives on and is a very important development platform for both iOS and Android, despite Steve’s stupid attempt to kill it and all third party APIs.

jfbiii

Definitely a Flash hater here. Because it ran like crap for so long on my computers. The reason, the REAL reason that Adobe dropped mobile development is that, 5 years into the smart phone revolution that the iPhone sparked, Adobe is STILL unable to deliver a version of Flash player that works well on existing mobile devices. The reason that Steve didn’t want Flash on the iPhone is that there wasn’t a version of Flash that he could put on the iPhone.

KitsuneStudios

Hey, I’m really glad for this; perhaps it means Adobe will start improving Flash Pro’s graphic tools again.

I’ve said before, Flash’s problem is that it’s trying to be everything to everyone. It was a vector based animation program with simple interactivity. Then it took over complex cross-platform interactivity as it absorbed the features of Director. Then it became the multimedia player for the masses in the internet age.

The result is a program that has trail-blazed a number of new fields, but excels in none of them. ToonBoom stole the mantle from Flash as the premiere vector animation tool a while ago. HTML 5 allows video on mobile and Linux without Adobe’s development, and Unity now builds games both cross-platform and for mobile and console systems.

Now that the Flash player has missed the boat on mobile, Flash Pro needs a focus, ANY focus, to maintain any sort of role. Right now the only thing saving it is that it’s “free” with the Creation Suite bundles, making it a sound investment for small studios needing to add a little animation to their web or video workflow. At least with gaming, it helps get back to it’s more foundational roots of cross-platform interactive graphics.

ibuck

Bosco wrote: Basically, it?s using the Flash API that millions of Flash developers know and love to create real, compiled apps.

The trouble seems to be uses that (presumably less clever) developers designed that were resource hogs that slowed, stopped or crashed the devices on which they were played.

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