For the past few years consumers and professionals alike have ridiculed Apple for not supporting Flash on their iOS devices. Adobe Flash is found everywhere on the web, why would Apple so fervently aim to cripple their consumers’ web browsing experience? Apple held its ground in fully backing HTML5 and the H.264 video codec while others like Android and BlackBerry took advantage of integrating Flash support into their web browsing experiences.
In less than 24 hours Adobe will concede to HTML5 and announce that it will cease the development of the Flash browser plugin for mobile devices. ZDNet was leaked the following internal memo that began to circulate inside the company a few hours ago:
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.
The decision to ditch Flash on mobile browsers was long overdue. Adobe has a very powerful cross-platform future with Adobe AIR and it would be foolish to not tap that software to its fullest potential. Flash has been dying a slow death and although its decline hasn’t been quite that obvious yet, it is a relic of the past that helped usher in the Web 2.0 revolution.
Battery consumption was always a major issue for the Flash web browser plugin for mobile devices, which was one of the main reasons why Apple took a hostile position towards it. Although Flash won’t disappear from the internet overnight, websites and developers will begin to slowly transition over to Flash-less alternatives for their websites, as many already have.