November 9, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Adobe may be ceasing all developmental efforts on mobile Flash according to sources who spoke to ZDNet. On its Tech Broiler blog, ZDNet writer Jason Perlow claims that an update from Adobe to be released later today will confirm that the company is abandoning plans for Flash on mobile devices – like Android phones and tablets – and will begin focusing on mobile apps and HTML 5. The rumored statement says:
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.
No one should accept this as definite until Adobe confirms the rumor, but if true, this is rather surprising. Adobe has spent the better part of the past 2 years stressing how important it was bringing Flash, which powers most of the video and multimedia content on the web today, to mobile devices. How could anyone truly get the most out of their rapidly advancing phones without having access to the videos and galleries on the web?
Sadly, Adobe appears to have not advanced as rapidly with mobile technology. The company announced another round of layoffs yesterday – this time 7 percent of its workforce, over 750 employees – as it attempts to focus on digital media and marketing. Perhaps with fewer people in the building, continuing development on mobile Flash just wasn’t feasible or sensible.
Either way, Flash appears to be on its last legs according to this rumor. Adobe’s plans to “continue to support the current Android…” versions means new devices should still be able to download Flash from the Android Market. However, the advancements made in the desktop version from here on out will not be ported to mobile. We can only hope that the current version of Flash will last long enough for this supposed HTML5 revolution to accelerate quickly.