After years of promises and over a year of buggy, lame Android builds, Adobe’s finally ready to concede that Apple was right all along: Adobe is finally admitting that Flash is wholly unsuitable for phones and tablets and halting development, once and for all.
Well, it’s actually not quite that simple. Adobe will still provide bug fixes and security updates for the current version of mobile Flash for Android and RIM’s Playbook, but otherwise, it’s every licensee for himself.
In a statement to developers, Adobe wrote:
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
Good riddance. Although Android smartphone and tablet makers proudly advertised their devices’ ability to run Flash as a major selling point, consumers either didn’t really care at best or openly hated what Flash did to performance and battery life on their devices at worst. After years of work trying to prove Steve Jobs wrong, Adobe still couldn’t deliver a version of Flash that ran on a smartphone well.
Let’s not mince words. In canning Flash for mobile platforms, Adobe’s essentially admitting that Flash is a dead-end product that they will be phasing out over the next couple of years. The writing’s on the wall: the whole web is moving to HTML5, and so is Adobe.
Looks like Steve was right. Again.