Adobe will no longer update its Flash plugin for mobile browsers, though it will continue to issue security updates and bug fixes. The company issued a statement to developers conceding that "HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively," adding "that makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." This is a stark about-face for the company, which has heretofore vehemently defended Flash for mobile devices, and spent years attempting to optimize the software for better performance on lower powered systems. We're following the news as it happens, so read along in the stories below.
Aug 14, 2012
In November of last year, Adobe made a surprising about-face on its popular Flash plugin, announcing that it would stop development of Flash for mobile devices. Today, Adobe will disable new installs of Flash on Android, effectively cutting it off from the future of the mobile web — despite the company's historical assertion that Flash would enable the "full web experience" on mobile devices. Instead, Adobe surrendered the major mobile battlegrounds and pledged allegiance to HTML5.Read Article >
Adobe, of course, is not giving up by any means: the company's roadmap includes plans to focus on gaming and "premium video," and the company will continue to support Flash on PCs. Still, 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. But hey — at least Flash still has one admirer in the mobile world.
Jun 29, 2012Read Article >
In the wake of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean's announcement this week, Adobe has issued a note saying that it hasn't been developing and testing Flash against it and there won't be any "certified implementations" offered — in other words, the age of Flash on smartphones is effectively drawing to a close. The company had previously opted out of supporting Chrome for Android — the heir apparent to Android's built-in browser — so this announcement comes as little surprise now that Chrome has come out of beta. If you still want to install Flash on your phone, now is the time to do it: Adobe says that it will be disabling fresh installs from Google Play on August 15th, meaning you'll only be able to update after that point if you already have it installed.
Feb 22, 2012
Adobe swallowed a lot of pride in conceding defeat and abandoning development of Flash Player on mobile devices last year, but that doesn't mean the company is ready to completely give up on its still ubiquitous rich media web format. Today sees the first publication of a new roadmap document for the development of Adobe Flash runtimes, setting out where Adobe's priorities lie and how it intends to continue supporting Flash.Read Article >
Future bug fixes and developments will be prioritized around two key areas: gaming and the deployment of so-called premium video. Relying on its nearly universal distribution, Adobe hopes to see Flash maintain its position as a leader in browser-based games (something that Google is actively challenging with its Chrome Native Client development kit) and will seek to support its developers with a formalized game dev program and a set of unspecified game services. On the video side of things, Adobe pledges closer collaboration with hardware partners and the delivery of its video streaming and content protection technology to more platforms in native formats.
Feb 7, 2012
When we took a look at the Chrome for Android beta, we mentioned that Flash wasn't supported on the software. Now, Adobe has reiterated that decision, stating that the lack of Flash support is consistent with its position to stop developing Flash Player for mobile devices. Instead, Adobe stressed its partnership with Google to advance HTML5 and noted a couple of Adobe technologies, like CSS Regions, that did make it into the browser.Read Article >
While Flash is still supported on Android's current default browser, Google plans to eventually replace that browser with Chrome, effectively signaling the end of mobile Flash Player. However, Adobe says that these changes won't spill over into its continued support for Flash on PC or mobile apps.
Dec 15, 2011Read Article >
Flash is now playing on Ice Cream Sandwich. Adobe just released an updated version of the soon to be abandoned app on Android Market that offers compatibility with Google's latest OS. It arrives just in time for those new Galaxy Nexus owners on Verizon Wireless here in the US — though those carrying the GSM device have had to endure a bit of a wait. A couple nagging issues remain: the on-screen preview will not change when scrubbing through a video, and some videos are experiencing playback trouble. Hit the release notes below for the full details. Other improvements include the standard bug fixes and stability improvements that you might expect. The update awaits you in Android Market now.
Nov 21, 2011
We're not sure you'd necessarily consider this a bad thing, but Google's new world-beating Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus, comes without a preinstalled Flash Player and offers no option to download or install it from the Market. This is because, says Google, Adobe needs to update the software for Ice Cream Sandwich, which has yet to happen.Read Article >
That puts us in rather a tricky situation since Adobe recently halted development of Flash for mobile platforms, although SlashGear — who first spotted the issue — has a statement from Google saying that "as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS." So Ice Cream Sandwich will likely still get the rich media capabilities that Flash provides, though we imagine it'll be the last new platform added to its list of supported operating systems. At least for the moment, though, it's a Flash-free world on the Galaxy Nexus and any other Android phone you may have managed to flash with an ICS ROM.
Nov 21, 2011
Adobe may have discontinued development of its Flash Player for mobile devices and hinted at backing away from Flash on the desktop, but an anonymous group calling itself Occupy Flash wants action now. Focused primarily on desktop Flash, the group is asking the world to boldly uninstall the multimedia player from desktops and laptops. It argues that as long as Flash — a proprietary "fossil," in its words — is ubiquitous on computers it will continue to see development, despite the availability of open standards like HTML5. It holds up the years-long dominance of Internet Explorer 6 as an object lesson, and acknowledges that while users may have to go without certain websites or Flash games in the short term, "the more of us who run browsers that don't support Flash, the quicker that pain will subside." It's estimated that Flash Player is currently installed on 95 percent of desktop browsers, but with Adobe now aiming its development tools towards HTML5 and Air apps, it may not be too long before Flash becomes the one percent instead. Check out the source below to see if you're ready for your browser to join the movement.Read Article >
Nov 18, 2011Read Article >
Adobe killed Flash on mobile last week after realizing it couldn't compete with HTML5, and now it looks like it's taking a step away from Flash on the desktop. The company has announced that it's donating the Flex SDK, which is used to develop Flash-based internet applications, to the open source Apache Software Foundation, where it will continue on as an independent project. We've also been hearing whispers that the move is part of a broader refocusing that will ultimately see Flash on the desktop canceled as well, but we can't confirm anything yet. We'll see what happens — it seems as though Adobe is making some hard decisions.
Nov 12, 2011
Adobe has taken note of the big reaction to its decision to cease development of the Flash Player mobile plug-in, so product manager Mike Chambers has taken to his personal blog to provide some context and background. In short, Adobe saw the writing on the wall, with Chambers admitted that Flash "was not going to achieve the same ubiquity on mobile that it has on the desktop." One of the big reasons for that was stiff competition from HTML5, which is much more widely supported on mobile browsers than Flash could ever hope to be. That's another way of saying that Apple supports HTML5 on iOS devices, but despite Adobe's best efforts would not support Flash.Read Article >
More details will come about Adobe's HTML5 and Air efforts, but Adobe believes that features that are even now still unique to Flash are coming to HTML5 in short order. Chambers is encouraging Flash developers to give HTML5 a long, hard look — hopefully Adobe's tools to help those developers do just that will see rapid development.
Nov 11, 2011
Adobe has released the final feature update to its Flash Player plug-in for Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook, version 11.1. The update consists primarily of security and bugfixes, including a video streaming issue on Galaxy S II devices and support for "1080p video for Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset based devices." That last feature at least shows that Adobe was preparing for the next generation of Android devices, but somehow we don't think that Flash will feature heavily in future Android advertising. As for the PlayBook, presumably the update will come in a future software update, and beyond that we know that RIM has promised to continue development of the Flash plug-in on the PlayBook.Read Article >
Although Adobe made it clear that it would still continue to "provide critical bug fixes and security updates" to its Flash Player plug-in for mobile browsers, this release is likely the last time the company will issue a broad, cross-platform update. The future is all about HTML5 with a side of Adobe Air, and we'll be watching to see how aggressive the company will be in developing tools for both.
In addition to killing the Flash browser plug-in for mobile devices, Adobe is also ramping down development of the Flash plugin for televisions. The company said as much in a statement to GigaOm, saying that it would "continue to support existing licensees who are planning on supporting Flash Player for web browsing on digital home devices." Although Adobe's statement leaves the door open for the company to continue to support Flash on TV for a short while longer, it's clear that the company is focusing its current and future efforts on supporting Adobe Air on those platforms.Read Article >
The most popular devices that use Adobe Flash on televisions are based on Google TV, but the platform has had a difficult time gaining widespread adoption. Although the recent 3.1 update enabling apps like Plex means that Google TV is less dependent on Flash for displaying video, Adobe's decision is still a short term blow for the platform.
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Adobe strongly endorsed HTML5 as the "best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across multiple platforms," instead of Flash. RIM said it was pleased that Adobe would be focusing on HTML5, but we can't image it's especially pleased to have the costs of maintaining Flash on PlayBook dropped in its lap while it pushes to finish its BBX platform.
Nov 9, 2011Read Article >
Adobe just officially announced that it's killing Flash Player for Android and the BlackBerry Playbook, following a ZDNet report of the decision late last night. The company will still develop and support Flash for the PC, but says that HTML5 is the "best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." Adobe will also continue to support AIR on mobile so developers can package Flash content as mobile apps, and Flash Player 11.1 for Android and Playbook is still on track to be released — and Adobe will continue to ship bug fixes and security updates, as well.
Nov 9, 2011Read Article >
Adobe may have hinted at this move earlier today in a statement detailing its new direction, noting that it would be "shifting resources to support even greater investment in HTML5," and "focusing Flash resources on delivering the most advanced PC web experiences, including gaming and premium video, as well as mobile apps." The mobile Flash plugin was notably absent from the list of Adobe's future directions. As a part of the restructuring, Adobe also announced that it will be laying off approximately 750 full-time employees in North America and Europe, though we have no word about which specific divisions will be hit.