So a day after my last post, Adobe announced that it was going to cease development for Adobe Flash Player for mobile devices, and that moving forward, future updates for the phones that did get flash (Android, Blackberry, maybe WebOS) will be getting security updates only. The consequence is that when Flash 12 comes around, mobile phones won’t be invited to the party. Honestly, they should have just said that they were killing flash outright at that point. The problem is, it wasn’t just mobile phones that were getting these updates, it was also tablets, and while the non iOS tablet marketshare is pretty small at the moment, moving forward, they are going to constitute an increasingly large share of the market. And if companies like Asus manage to make tablet-netbook combinations a thing, then you could end up having tablets fill the most basic user niche. I honestly have to wonder if Windows 8 ARM edition will carry flash player at all. Microsoft had in the past said no for internet explorer, but Adobe relented that they would. As for Microsoft, rumors are mounting that they’ll be killing off Silverlight as a web browser plug-in with Windows 8. So really it’s a bad time to be a browser plug in.
So now that we now have version 11 as the last version of flash that will be able to run on all device types, why would I as a developer support any features of future flash versions if it means sacrificing the a developing mobile audience? And since you are now going to have to build out HTML5 services to access the mobile demo (which you were going to do anyway) what becomes the point of using flash for your desktop sites?
I don’t really like flash, for a number of reasons, but the most prevalent being that it is more or less outdated and archaic as a web plug-in. Don’t get me wrong, flash has its uses, you still should use flash for web video if it doesn’t need to be mobile, simply because HTML5 web standards don’t have adequate copyright protection, and more than likely won’t have such protection for quite sometime. But flash never got along with search engine optimization, appearing to crawlers as just an object.
It was a necessary sacrifice in order to create things like games and other interactive elements like that, but now there’s far less of a need than ever to make these things using flash.