The Script is on the wall…

by Stephen O
It is easy to see by now that Flash will be dying off in the coming years, probably in no small effort by Apple denying adobe flash on their iOS devices. Even Adobe can see that Flash will be going the way of the Dodo; they have axed development of plug-ins for mobile devices like the BlackBerry Playbook and Android users. Adobe has really tried to push their mobile flash plug-ins, but with all the drawbacks mobile flash has outweighed the advantages, and in addition, users of iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPad users have been flash-less for a while now with no issues. Another issue that has come up is performance; mobile devices that have been running flash have been far below par. “From the start, PCWorld’s Ginny Mies was not impressed by Flash’s performance on Android since it was first released in 2010 on the Nexus One: some sites moved ‘painfully slow’ while she ‘tried playing a couple of beloved Flash games that aren’t optimized for mobile and was disappointed that I couldn’t play some of them without a keyboard.’” (Ionescu, 2011) and it’s not just on Android devices that flash is failing to perform, “Even on the BlackBerry PlayBook ‘Flash objects are often slow to load, and some would not function,’ wrote Galen Gurman for InfoWorld in April; ‘It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Flash and mobile don’t mix.’” (Ionescu, 2011) Flash is hurting, as mentioned earlier Adobe has seen the writing on the wall, they know flash is on the way out. They have come out and have said they will be working on HTML 5, flash’s rival. In August of 2011, they released a demo of Edge, a tool that would allow people to create flash like images using HTML 5. Flash isn’t the only loser here, Microsoft’s Silverlight(their version of flash) will be dying off in the near future as Microsoft has admitted that HTML 5 will be the way of the future.

Reflection:

We have all had our experiences with flash, some good, and some bad. We have seen that flash is on the way out, it can be likened to sinking ship. It has had a good run, but the clear choice for moving forward is HTML 5. Flash is simply not able to keep up, it runs slow on mobile devices, and it is not required for a great mobile experience.

Perhaps Apple hastened the end of flash, perhaps it was not, and maybe it merely forced people to examine flash more carefully. I remember in high school, we watched a video about young people on their first day on the job at places like Netscape and Adobe. The thing I remember the most was the interview given by the new hire at Adobe, he was very excited for working on Adobe Shockwave flash, as he was quite certain it was the future, and he was right. Flash has been around a long time, but nothing lasts forever, and I think Adobe is doing the right thing by throwing their lot in behind HTML 5, it’s the smart thing to do.

Ionescu, D. (2011, Nov 9). RIP Adobe Mobile Flash: Will Anyone Miss You? Retrieved Feb 12, 2012, from PCworld: http://www.pcworld.com/article/243469/rip_adobe_mobile_flash_will_anyone_miss_you.html