Flash to Focus on PC Browsing and Mobile Apps; Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5

flash-logoAdobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML.  Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.  This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

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 continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium videoFlash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection.  Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.

We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences.  We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders.  And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.

We are super excited about the next generations of HTML5 and Flash.  Together they offer developers and content publishers great options for delivering compelling web and application experiences across PCs and devices.  There is already amazing work being done that is pushing the newest boundaries, and we can’t wait to see what is still yet to come!

(We have closed comments on this blog post. Please feel free to leave comments and questions about this post on the Flash Platform blog:)


  1. Paul

    You are saying:

    “And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.”

    Does that mean that we can rely on Adobe to let us develop ActionsScript/Flex applications, that will run within HTML5? As a developer I find this very important to know.

  2. Al Lemieux

    Is Flash development going to be relegated only to Video and “Advanced Gaming” then? Is the Flash IDE relevant anymore? Should Flash developers shift focus to HTML5/CSS3?

  3. Michael Vitale


    This is a poor decision by Adobe. Despite all the negative press about Flash on mobile devices most content distributors are very content to deliver live audio and video in Flash. In most cases we only fall back on html 5 to support iOS devices using HLS streaming. The current functionality of html 5 is simply not on par with Actionscript.

    This announcement is going to scare content creators and force distributors to look for alternatives to Flash streaming. With such a dominant footprint on PC’s and Android devices why would you quit to become just another provider of app creation software?

    Sites like Techcrunch and CNN are already picking up this post and raking Adobe over the coals. Stop letting Apple back the bus up over you and fight back. Do not stop developing Flash for mobile devices!

    Mike Vitale
    VP, Operations
    TalkPoint Communications

  4. Michael Benin

    “we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged”

    Make flash export to canvas.

  5. Steve Matthews

    Succinctly this means that;
    – there will be no more future plugins developed for Mobile (phone/tablet) browsers right?
    – and that they are continuing development for Flash player in regular computer browsers ( e.g. Mac and PC )
    – and also concentrating on letting us package Flash as Apps for all devices ( Mobile or Desktop )

  6. Elliot Geno

    Discouraging… Flash makes web development fun!

    Writing HTML, Javascript and CSS is a nightmare. And, worse, it performance is abysmal. Its a nightmare to debug, and requires more QA across the plethora of browsers. Generally, interactive HTML “experiences” if you can call them that, cost three times as much to build as they did in Flash.

    There are no tools for creative people out there and Muse and Edge aren’t ready yet. I can’t create FWA winning websites with Muse or Edge. I simply cant.

    With Flash being implemented by the OEMs instead of Adobe, you will have the same cross-browser issues as you have with developing for HTML.

    So much for having fun while developing for the web.

  7. Hasufel

    So you finally did sign the death of Flash today.
    Why lowering Flash/Air at the level of a Unity3D native application deployment tool when Flash is way beyond that in market shares/penetration? You will not be able to compete at that level. We know that Internet access from mobile platforms has outgrowned pcs. So, by stopping development of Flash for mobile, you kill the whole Flash ecosystem in a mid-term, probably two to three years at most. What a shame for my over-ten-years investment on Flash technology. For once that finally hardware accelerated content could be shown on mobile device through an Internet page, showing what html5 struggles to do in term of development cost and time to keep up with Flash, you just kill this, aim for rapid money in the short term? What is this kind of management? You could have shown the world that they were wrong and that you finally had Flash running 3d Unreal game perfectly on mobiles, and showing some other mobile platform showing nothing but a missing plug in blank space. Plus it is not a matter of power (quad cores are there) nor battery life (gpu), so what?
    I’m sorry to say this, but you should be fired. You killed Flash when it could have done it.

  8. TommyBoy

    You just shot yourselves in the foot and this is the beginning of the end. You gave up on your own technology, that is really weak.

  9. Rui Silva

    This is a bold move and I’m particularly eager to see Adobe’s contributions to HTML5. I hope some of these contributions will improve the way we develop web applications.

  10. Cyber

    Mobile device – this is for smartphones and all?
    Just netbooks and tablets do not belong to the one nor the other, and Flash technology of modern HTML5, but Flash is not necessary for sites to us. After all, it can be disabled, and ARM is now growing, after a year of Windows 8 appear under it, and what happens then.

  11. joelo

    NO new features in Flash player is OK, but please keeping support different mobile devices.

  12. Aldonio

    If Adobe is quiting mobile development for Flash then opensource it and let the community continue the work.

  13. brandon

    Even though they say just mobile … with comments like “we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged” – it makes some of us Flash & Flex developers wonder if we should be looking for new technologies to learn. Unity and Objective-C sound good right about now. I don’t think I will be purchasing anymore updates to the Flash and Flex platforms.

  14. Abiyasa

    Does this mean Flash for desktop will be only a temporary solution until HTML 5 is ready? What if HTML5/6 is perfect, will Adobe drop Flash 100% ?

    What a sad day..

  15. James

    Excellent news. Now kill Flash on the desktop too.

    The other rumor today is that Microsoft is going to kill Silverlight as well.

    This means that in the near future we can finally have a standards based web.

  16. Eric

    Well, you can certainly tell which folks bet the farm on Flash and built their business around it, rather than finding the best technology for the job. More than a year ago, we concluded that Flash on mobile devices was DOA. And we adapted. We already had a meeting scheduled for today to decide how to move to HTML 5 and give Flash the boot for our online educational material.

    We’re considered pretty cutting edge on that topic, so I guess it’s no surprise we had already dumped mobile Flash long ago. Glad to see Adobe wake up. Kudos for killing a cash cow that had no future.

  17. already

    I’ve been creating rich internet applications with Adobe Flash and Macromedia Flash for my entire professional career. I feel like Adobe has just doomed themselves to failure, and left me in the cold.

  18. Flash S. Flushed

    Adobe, this action is indeed a catalyst to the end of the Flash Player’s dominance on our desktops/notebooks too.
    As smartphones advance, the idea was that there would be less segmentation of the development workflows between web and mobile web content (whether for online advertising or website development).
    Now with Mobile Flash being killed, in the future it is more feasible to use HTML5 for both.

  19. Richard H

    It seems that even Adobe executives graduated from the Léo Apotheker School of business. Here is some advice from one of your customers. You should not kill your own technology without having a replacement product ready. Now let’s see what the market thinks of this announcement.

  20. Stephen Bennett

    Hmmm. For me (after only one cup of coffee mind you) the argument that today’s HTML5 is primarily responsible for the move away from Flash on mobile doesn’t really stack up. The trend appears to be consumers are moving away from viewing rich content on desktops to viewing it on their mobile and wireless devices. Claiming the way forward for Flash is the desktop only is a bit of a red herring (IMO). Today out-of-the-box HTML5 does not yet have the capability to support a premium streaming business model meaning publishers working with premium video are future bound to mobile Apps with built in (probably platform specific if you want performance) streaming mechanisms. That’s multiple Apps across multiple mobile platforms meaning a premium business model reliant on the capabilities of Adobe AIR – if your not inclined to develop your own native Apps from scratch. Certainly not an ideal situation and to some worse than the reliance on a plugin install. Maybe Adobe should consider open sourcing Flash mobile allowing the independent developer to iron out it’s quirks and thus insuring there continues to be a platform neutral way to delivery premium content to mobile.

  21. Anonymous

    It should be Free Software from the beggining. almost everyone hates the bloating it causes, and compatibility problems, even those related to FreeBSD 64 bits.

    I think the PDF should be Free software as well.

  22. angryCutlet

    This is a sad day. Is there even a reason to continue with Flash builder or Flash or ColdFusion for that matter?? I love flash builder and AS3 and everything it can do, but it looks like its time to move on from pretty much all that adobe can offer. No reason to invest time in any of your tech anymore since it looks like it is just a matter of time before flash completely fades away. Back to html, css, js nightmare :(

  23. Polo

    You will kill the FalshPlayer ? Great, so i think i do not need to use a creative suite now ! That’s hudge sold !

  24. kwyjibo

    If you’re going to continue to develop flash for mobile through the AIR initiative, why drop browser support?

  25. E Veritas

    Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. For Adobe, this is akin to HP’s “We’re getting out the PC business” moment. Will a shakedown in the top ranks follow as well?

  26. Defiant Design

    Much like the death of Authorware, Adobe has left the Learning Technology Professional out in the cold. I’ve never seen a corporation be so passive and timid when it comes to defending its products.

    What the hell did you buy Macromedia for?!

    Adobe seems fine with people like me having to rely on their products less and less. In fact they seem completely fine with letting other corporations determine Adobe’s fate and product road map.
    How about you actually dedicate some time and energy into making your products better instead of band-aiding them until you can’t band-aid anymore and have to kill them.
    You had the time and the resources to make things work for Flash, even if it meant a re-write. But instead you silently let others push you into irrelevancy.

    Time to sell my stock.
    So much for defending Adobe, they weren’t even interested in defending themselves…

  27. Chad Essley

    So, now that I’m able to make Android apps in Flash CS 5.5, is that going to be killed too?

    Adobe, you are losing me as one of your customers and here’s why:

    Bloated applications, lack of backward compatibility, horrible interface design, and surprise “gotchas” and an aloof corporate atmosphere that doesn’t seem to listen to the needs of users.
    Why can’t I export an Illustrator file from flash CS 5.5 when I could all along in previous versions?
    Taking away features in new versions of software, rather than adding them? Another reason I won’t come back for more.

    Adobe purchased Macromedia Flash, and immediately filled it with bloatware. The web animation revolution that started with flash has been slowly killed over the years, and I fear this is just another bad decision, in a long series of bad decisions at Adobe.

    Want my creative dollars? Make your apps TINY and get rid of that horrible new creative suite grey interface. Stop bolting code onto older code with .net

    Go back to Flash version 6.0 and take a deep look at how to make software small and efficient again. Or at least make it faster and more customizable! Each time I tear away the timeline in Flash by accident and have to reset the whole workspace it drives me mad. Why no LOCK IN PLACE feature for your “cool” new interface? Maddening and stupid.

    I’ve been a fan for many years Adobe.. but OMG.. you’re on the way out.

  28. Sham Bhangal

    I think its important to realise that Adobe makes its money from creating tools rather than plugins.

    Once you see that, the strategy makes sense from Adobe’s perspective: developing another plugin for an existing authoring tool doesnlt make nearly as much for Adobe as creating a new tool in a new field: although the former is desirable for a flash dev/designer, the take up for the latter is far greater in terms of software sold.

    In short, their business model means they make most money from creating new tools for new technologies, rather than cutting their own sales by leveraging tools (that they have already sold) into new devices via compatible plugins.

  29. William

    This just smell like more lock in, the only reason apple opposed flash was that it provided an alternative content delivery platform that they could not control ( Apple Store) , so started the smear campaign , batter power , performance etc.. To drop the ball like this is just insane; hopefully those 750 people will start their own mobile plugin. Don’t understand why HTML5 can’t handle competition

  30. Fred bloggs

    Spotted this trend a while ago, we moved away from ios and android specific development about 7 months ago. We are now exclusively html5 for mobile and will become so for desktop. It wa dealing with apple that swayed us the html5 route. Desktop just makes sense from a resourcing perspective. I like flash, I think flash and air allow for a great UI. However the Internet is moving mobile, I think apps are a short term moneymaking piece for the app stores that will be replaced with html5.

    I can’t see where adobe fit in here, at best on the sidelines.

  31. Denis

    This is only going to encourage the media spin doctors to kill off everything else you guys are doing – watch the bloggers/media spin this as “Flash is Dead” and watch the developer community dump or dismiss the entire flash platform including AIR faster than anything that’s ever been dumped before. Very stupid, very costly, goodbye Adobe.

  32. filth

    To even announce this is an amazingly poor decision… as have said, this is just going to scare everyone even further away. Very poor decision and poor PR.

  33. Theospia Papanolous

    This is in reply to what Mike Vitale (VP, Operations
    TalkPoint Communications) has written here:

    Your main argument is that the current functionality of HTML 5 is not on part with Actionscript, and therefore Adobe should continue developing Flash for mobile devices and forgo shifting an entire system to HTML 5.

    Your argument is flawed. HTML 5 may not be on part with Actionscript as of today, but that doesn’t mean HTML 5 (and onwards) cannot be developed to be on par with and better than Actionscript. Flash for mobile devices is not a viable option because it does not work well with mobile devices (power hungry, CPU intensive, a hog — and it generally is all of these too on desktop computers). Adobe has had the chance to develop more streamlined and efficient Flash for mobile but it has been unable to do so, perhaps because the technology for Flash is simply antiquated at this point and unable to adapt to the requirements that mobile devices need!

    Given this, it’s time to drop Flash for Mobile and shift to putting resources into HTML 5 and helping the HTML 5 create ever more robust versions of the technology.

    Adobe had quite a number of years (at least 4 or 5?) to really prove that Flash for mobile works. It hasn’t been able to prove that. It’s been struggling all along to try to find a way. There isn’t a way, it seems.

    What this means for company like yours, Mike, is that you’re forced to re-invest in another technology. Perhaps that’s why you are adamant that Flash for mobile should be continuing its development. I can see how shifting technologies can be painful. It is unfortunately the nature of high tech business. You have to keep reinvesting.

    So, goodbye Flash for mobile and onwards and upwards with HTML 5. There were some tech companies who were savvy enough many years back to realise that Flash for mobile would go nowhere and had shifted gears earlier on to HTML 5. Now is the time to shift, because the longer you prolong this process, the more painful and more expensive it is to shift.

  34. coolcoder

    What does all this mean for FLEX (flash builder) developers? I think we need to be re-assured that Flash Builder / Flex will remain a viable / reliable platform for building desktop applications (as well as mobile air applications).

  35. Theospia Papanolous

    Referring to my post above: Excuse my English. For many of the times I typed “part”, I meant “par”.

  36. Marc Pelland

    While I am disappointed, I think that it is a good move (apart from mobile video which isn’t where it needs to be with html5). Flash Player has never really performed very well on mobile devices, but I am very thankful that Air development with still be developed and improved

  37. Neglefarot

    The future as once was having a PC in every home is now portability, in 10 years magic will be created in the palm of our hands wirelessly and whit low energy consuming devices…when is the correct time to get on that bus?

    I say, congratulations Adobe you where getting stuborn about this and despite the today opinion, tomorrow you will have a better business and products in all markets.

  38. Georges Kosta

    We are ALL looking forward to a Flash/Flex –> HTML5 & SWF & AIR

  39. sergio

    Bad bad bad ! , nothing to say , Adobe disappoint the world. Why we are working every day with as3 if you don´t fight for it? the right thing was work to put flash in everywhere and not like a plugin. Html5 maybe in a few years , flash now in everywhere . Finish new experiences, new 3d websites… I hope you change , if not you killed Flash and all the hard work of the comunities around the world.

  40. JohnnySanDiego

    You are singlehandedly destroying the only web development platform for Artists and Animators in favor of programmer based development. This is a big mistake without another solution in place for graphics professionals who are not even interested in programming HTML, Java, CSS, etc. Our company has used Flash for rich media content for 15 years and it has always been the best solution for us. Now what do I do with a staff of 6 artist/animators who are among the best in the industry at what they do? Train them to be programmers instead?

    Thanks for nothing.

    John Payton
    Creative Director
    System Simulations, Inc.

  41. Sergey Kovalyov

    Easy to guess that it will trigger an avalanche of sarcastic comments from fanboys who have no clue about the technology.

    This already happens.

    But is it really game changing announcement?

    Definitely not!

    In fact, nothing has changed, because until now there was no single significant Flash project targeting mobile browsers.

    From the very beginning with Flash Lite the whole idea of delivering ANY SWF to mobile browser was weak.

    Complex web applications are not suitable for that at all from UI and performance perspective.

    Games could be and should be packaged as apps and some companies already do so. http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplatform/2011/09/flash-based-machinarium-game-is-now-1-ipad-app-delivered-using-adobe-air.html

    Ads with the flying tagline and pulsating product picture? Well, I do not really care about ads, but this is probably the area where so called HTML5 is already good enough.

    That is why I totally support Adobe’s move to sharpen focus on:

    1. Desktop Flash Player. It is crucial to choose the right tool for the right task. Using Flash for simple wizard nowdays is nonsense. At the same time it remains the obvious choice for complex web applications. With Flash Builder and Flex SDK you can build high-quality applications with unbeatable performance which work the same in all browsers on all operation systems. Other than that there are still a lot of important features which are either not supported as such or virtually impossible to implement and maintain with HTML/CSS/JS stack of technologies. When you attach multiple files in GMail – it’s Flash. Charts in Google Analytics Flash again. All more or less complex operations with media content from Grooveshark to YouTube are also implemented in Flash.

    2. Air as a tool to build cross platform apps. Now also for mobile. Although there is huge iOS domination in smartphone and tablet markets, there are some other platforms already present on the market and it is quite possible that new will appear. Companies have to invest a lot to address all of them with native apps. For giants it is not a big issue. For certain performance sensitive applications it will remain inevitable as well. But with latest releases from Adobe and native extensions support Air becomes the best choice for many others. With single code base you address iOS, Android and other platforms and use any platform specific feature when needed.

    3. HTML5 authoring software. There is too much hype about HTML5 (mostly from people who know this buzzword only from Steve Jobs famous Thoughts on Flash), but until now there are no tools for creative professionals to produce content comparable even to Flash 3 (more than 10 years ago!). Every single HTML5 ad, demo, promo is PROGRAMMED by frontend developers. For sure this must be changed. And there is a big opportunity for Adobe here. Hopefully in future JavaScript, that is probably the worst programming language in the world, will evolve to something like ActionScript 3.0 and we will see HTML5 authoring software not only for designers and animators, but also for developers.

  42. Lionel

    ” We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.”

    So there might be several different mobile flash player plugins to choose from in the future?

  43. Barnaby

    Good decision. Flash no longer (has never?!) made sense in the browser on mobile devices where modern web content is universally supported, often with far superior performance.

    I have always seen it like this: Games should be native apps, and pretty much everything else is best done with HTML5/JS. The only thing that Flash still serves to do really well is let websites use peripherals like cameras, microphones etc. Hopefully HTML5 will enable this soon with

    Thank you very much. This is a step in the right direction for the web, whilst not threatening the jobs of actionscript programmers quite yet (if you are one however, I seriously suggest you start having a play with javascript…)

  44. Mike Demoll

    Bye Adobe. You have a 5 -10 years left before you are gone completely with this move. There are already enough free IDE’s or cheaper alternatives to buying and investing any time in your abondanware. The worst thing you could have done was abandoning your loyal developers after lying to them at Max about the flash platform.

  45. BL17

    Some com enters need to read more carefully:
    Adobe’s intends to continue offering creation tools usable for create both mobile Apps (AIR) and web-standrads based content for mobile browsers (Wallaby etc.), so
    1. No-one is saying that HTML5/CSS _alone_ can replace Flash Player; native apps are part of the story too.
    2. It is not necessary to write directly in HTML5/CSS/Javascript if that is not to your taste; Adobe is very happy to provide nicer tools for creating website content.

  46. Mike Chambers


    Is Flash development going to be relegated only to Video and “Advanced Gaming” then?

    No, but we feel that Flash is particularly strong today in these areas.

    Is the Flash IDE relevant anymore?

    Yes. If you are doing Flash design / development / animation, it is still the best tool for this. Furthermore, we have given some sneaks of using Flash Authoring to also export content and animations to HTML5, so it will be relevant even if you are deploying to the browser via HTML5.

    Should Flash developers shift focus to HTML5/CSS3?

    It depends on what type of work you are doing. If you are building content that can be created and deployed via HTML5 and the browser, then you should probably do that. Adobe will make tools that made that development easier.

    If you are creating content that can only be done via the Flash Player in the browser, then by all means use Flash. If you need to deploy to mobile, then create an application using Adobe AIR.

    Hope that helps clarify things…

    mike chambers


  47. Francis

    Don’t be fool be the small prints, Adobe just kill Flash today.

    I’ve been developing in Flash since Flash 4. My greatest fear was when you (Adobe) bought Macromedia. I was right. You don’t give a shit about Flash technology, you only want to sell authoring tools with the minimal amount of investment in the ecosystem. Then killing Flash was the way to go for profit, as you don’t have to maintain HTML5 yourself. The Adobe Max keynote by Kevin Lynch when he didn’t even talk about Flash should have ring a bell to everyone.

    By killing Flash you literally layoff thousands of developer that have faith in Flash ecosystem and in Adobe. The first comment of a lot of developer at my job was: If they just kill Flash like that, we can’t thrust Adobe for anything. It’s not only Flash you kill today, is whatever kind of respect developer may have for Adobe. If I’m going to learn any new technology, you can be sure I’ll stay miles away from anything Adobe.

    At least we will soon be able to enjoy a boring web and wall garden ecosystems that are in the process of killing the inter connectivity that was the root of the www.

    Thanks for nothing.

  48. Peter Rowe

    So we just spend $250,000 on Flash-based educational software with plans to put it on tablets next year and now you are saying that 20,000 lessons we have bought won’t work on them?

    You let Steve Jobs win and we all get screwed. Leaving your loyal customers behind like this is not a good idea in my opinion. I will never, ever trust Adobe again and will immediately move all of our development offorts off Air/Flex (we were one of the first users of it in the Ed Industry) because you will bail on that too down the road. So much for this great cross-platform Dev environment. What a bad, bad day for Adobe Developers.

  49. Mike Chambers


    Writing HTML, Javascript and CSS is a nightmare. And, worse, it performance is abysmal. Its a nightmare to debug, and requires more QA across the plethora of browsers. Generally, interactive HTML “experiences” if you can call them that, cost three times as much to build as they did in Flash.

    There are no tools for creative people out there and Muse and Edge aren’t ready yet. I can’t create FWA winning websites with Muse or Edge. I simply cant.

    Yes, developing and designing for the browser and HTML5 today is too difficult. This is an area where we are actively working and investing to improve the experience and workflow.

    mike chambers


  50. Tony Lee

    I have multiple people told me, they are buying Andriod tablet instead of iphone for their kid just because of Flash games, and education website on line.

    With GHz + multi-cores + GBs of memory phone/tablet in dev, there are pretty powerfull HW platform to attract sw dev to mobile flash platform.

    The 1Ghz dual core tablet/phone today will be 486 of 15 years ago in 1-2 years timeframe.

    Looks like Adobe is doing what HP is doing to their PC div a few months ago. First for it, then against, then for it. ….

  51. Mike Chambers


    Why lowering Flash/Air at the level of a Unity3D native application deployment tool when Flash is way beyond that in market shares/penetration?

    Just to be clear, we are continuing to actively develop the Flash Player for the desktop, where it has and continues to have ubiquitous deployment.

    For mobile, we are focusing our Flash efforts around application via Adobe AIR, where users are more used to looking for content via applications and app stores.

    mike chambers


  52. Andrew

    To be honest, this is just sad… wish I never invested in learning Flex and AS3…

  53. Daniel

    keynote from last year “build once, run everywhere” good to know adobe is bluffing and what about developers and invested money? We(adobe) give a s… nice, go on!!

  54. jive

    Where do you draw the line between mobile and web though? The difference between iPads, Tablets, Tablet PCs and Netbooks is fuzzy.

    There still isn’t a simple solid solution for a awesome rich media experience with HTML5, CSS, JS and SVG. jQuery and Raphael.js, come close to getting us there, but with browsers like IE8/7 (no SVG support) still out there, it makes it hard because Raphael.js’ VML translation of SVG is quite slow.

    Adobe Edge is a move in the right direction, but it needs a lot more features such as audio, video, etc.

  55. Antony

    with Flash 12, can you please support the VP8 codec as promised almost 2 years ago…
    that will help in the transition to HTML5

  56. Mad

    Looks like flash and flex just became the next coldfusion. The only way to save it would be to open source all of the code.

    I do understand that making flash run on a billion desktop’s is difficult enough but 10 billion mobile devices would be extreme for any company.

  57. Raju Bitter

    Laszlo and OpenLaszlo have JavaScript to ActionScript 3 compilation working. That means, you code an app in an XML/JavaScript/ActionScript language, which is compile to JavaScript 2, and then into either JavaScript 1.5 or ActionScript 3. Check this demo app

    Adobe should have implemented an ActionScript 3 -> JavaScript compiler long ago. It would have made a lot of sense back in 2008/2009, and now it’s the only way for technologies like Flex to still be relevant. Well, it’s never to late…

  58. Redoc

    Who the hell cares about HTML5, everyone is talking about it but I have yet to see something worthwhile developed in it. So far I saw bunch of demos, simple apps and really slow games, whats all the fuss about?

    If you kill it atleast opensource it to the community.

    Create a AS3->html5 compile option.

    The guy who decided this should be fired, this is simply stupid and will push web development years back :/

  59. J.M.Stokes

    This was inevitable, but it might be premature. As Canvas develops, I foresee Flex-like frameworks being built on Canvas to produce RIAs without plugins. However, HTML5 penetration is still low. College campuses are largely using FireFox and IE9, but Corporate America is still stuck largely on IE7. Flash has something like 98% market penetration – higher even than Javascript. HTML5 Canvas is nowhere near that. Adobe shouldn’t kill off Flash until comparable Canvas-based tools exist.

  60. Mark

    What about Audio? HTML5 audio is crippled in iOS5 at least, possibly in some other mobile devices.

  61. Rob McKeown

    Adobe, you really need to make some kind of statement about Flex and application development. You keep talking about gaming and entertainment conveniently forgetting to mention apps at all. From out here, it sounds like that isn’t important to Adobe anymore. With all this talk about HTML5, it makes us all feel like, we should stop investing in learning Flex and start looking elsewhere. You are now in the same place that Microsoft is with their apparent abandonment of Silverlight. Many MS devs that invested in Silverlight feel completely left out in the cold and you would expect that Adobe would have been aware of how that played out and at least addressed Flex developers somehow. I personally don’t care if Flex apps run in Flash Player or somehow get converted to HTML/JS (like OpenLaszlo) but you need to give us some idea of what the future holds for us. Especially where the focus has been “write once, run anywhere”, I now wonder if Adobe plans for “anywhere” to include desktops!

  62. Dan Zen

    Since the iOS NFIB (no flash in browser) we have had to plan around Flash in the browser anyway. Flash and Flash Builder are still great for cross platform mobile APP development. Adobe is concentrating on HCJ (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) for the mobile browser. Here is a post that helps clarify what these two technologies do and discusses the browser / app split with respect to the type of content made: http://danzen.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/flash-and-hcj-html-css-and-javascript/ please share if you find it helpful.

  63. BigShea

    Good riddance! All of the crybabies on this stream need to understand that this WAS a good decision for the advancement of technology, the Internet and consumers. Too bad it doesn’t fit your budget or your skillset is from 2001. Change. Adopt HTM5/CSS3 and move the web forward.

    Flash is officially dead…and good riddance.

  64. Andrew Begin

    I’d like to offer up some first-hand research/knowledge that may be of interest re: HTML5 vs Flash. Being involved in Biz Dev for a JavaScript charting library that renders in Flash, HTML5 Canvas and SVG, my inbox provides an interesting viewpoint. Especially when compared with reality.

    What the market wants:
    We’ve seen significantly more interest in HTML5 technology in recent months than for that of Flash, both for startups and larger organizations. While all like the ‘option’ of serving Flash charts, most are developing their apps with HTML5 taking the lead.

    Obviously (Apple) mobile created a considerable share of the anti-Flash sentiment. But now that the ball is rolling, many developers are focusing on the ‘open web’ and HTML5 technologies to do what they used to do with Flash. See some examples we curated over the winter at http://html5advent.com.

    I must clarify ‘what the market wants.’ For me, it’s developers. But the real market is the end user of a phone, website or application. And I’d argue very few if any of them care about Flash vs. HTML5 so long as whatever they want to view works, is fast, and looks good wherever they’re accessing it.

    The truth of the matter (as we’ve experienced):
    Each technology has ups and downs, depending on project. In fact, even within charting, no technology rules all. For instance, SVG consistently beats Canvas when drawing simpler charts (small amount of nodes or basic line charts). But complex charts such as a bar chart with 3 series x 1000 nodes results in Canvas winning in a landslide (4 seconds). You can run your own tests at http://zingchart.com (Speed Test tab).

    Further, the startup costs of Flash make it not as preferable in many cases, but a clear winner in charting and interacting with much larger datasets and complex dashboards, especially in the desktop environment.

    “Which One is Right?”
    Neither of them are, or, a better answer would be that all of them are. Let’s not get cornered into our own preferences that paint a broad stroke across the technologies. And instead, decide on a per-project basis keeping the audience and their browsing habits in mind.

    Bravo to Adobe for adopting HTML5 while continuing to develop Flash where it’s best suited.

  65. Ron

    Why not just open source flash? Its not the difficult and would be a great PR move!

  66. Tony

    Having Flash on PC’s but not mobile devices is going destroy incentive for developing web content in Flash. Mobile devices are becoming more powerful and used like regular PC’s for common tasks including web browsing. If mobile devices don’t support Flash then consumers and most clients asking for web work are not going to support it either.
    When people go to view content on the net they are not going to accept it working on PC’s but not on their mobile devices. Stopping development of Flash on mobile devices is going to kill Flash for the web in general including on PC’s.

    This is also ‘throwing under the bus’ all the developers and people who have supported Adobe over the last few years against Steve Jobs’ crusade to kill Flash.

  67. Synaptek

    What do you think you are doing announcing something like this before having a migration path laid out for developers??

    Announcing this without a way to publish FlashBuilder to HTML5 has seemingly left the Flex SDK orphaned and the writing is on the wall for FlashBuilder. In case you didn’t notice the future is on tablets! if you are not going to be where the action is you’re worthless to developers.

    Dollars to donuts this decision was made by a CEO with no knowledge of what it means to be a software engineer. Just looking at the dollar signs isn’t going to lead you to the right solution when navigating the future of a technology company like Adobe. There are much larger long-term questions engineers have to make when selecting platforms for large scale development. If you aren’t properly committed to supporting your developer base why are they going to commit to you??

    Also you say you will support AIR on the mobile platforms which means you are still going to have to manage many of the same platform issues you would with the Player plug-in. This makes no sense.

    This entire thing has been very poorly handled!!!

  68. Taft

    A bold and decisive move, bravo Adobe!

    The economic drag of maintaining Flash far outweighs the benefits (even non-monetary). It’s not necessary in this changing marketplace since equivalent technologies exist that Adobe has plenty of ability to leverage, not least of which is AIR.

    Thank you Danny

  69. ToughLove

    That had to be an incredibly tough decision—credit due for tackling the issue head-on rather than dragging it out.

    This is tough for flash developers, but it’s a big relief to hear Adobe officially commit to shifting their focus away from developing platforms back to a focus on developing TOOLS.

  70. Jules

    Terrible decision. The recently launched Flash Player 11 was Flash reborn and was to ensure the platforms survival for years to come. But axing Flash on mobiles will ensure it’s death on all platforms in the long run.

    Why? In coming years mobiles and tablets will occupy an increasingly larger percentage of users hardware, and they will become ever faster. Let’s say 50% of all net activity is from mobile/tablet in a few years. That means if you’ve got embedded Flash on your website, only half of all users can access it! Ridiculous. And if it can’t run in the browser and you expect us all to develop installable software instead, there are better products than AIR to do that with.

    It’s almost a backwards step for net – up until recently the idea was that we would do everything in the browser. Now, the message is clear – HTML5 is the upper limit of what you will be able to do and that’s it. And anybody who has worked with HTML5 will know how much more limiting and inconsistent it is compared to Flash.

    I’m quitting Flash and won’t be upgrading my copy of Master Collection to CS6 or any other version when it’s out. So long, Adobe.

  71. flash dev

    every smart Flash and Html5 developer know that Flash is better technology than Html5. Html5 now is mainly JS which is much worse than Flash AS3.
    Adobe: this is very bad move. Just look on your subject:
    “Aggressively Contribute to HTML5″
    and now look on worldwide blogs subjects:
    “Adobe drops Flash”
    so you see – people think different than you. See on your stock: -10%.
    You had chance – you lost it.
    Smarthones has still better CPU which could works with Flash Player perfect. And then Flash could win (1, max 2 years and performance on smartphones will be no problem).

    Now Google can make good move – buy Flash and continue to extend it and have Android growing up (Flash on Android is very big bonus and mainly bonus vs iPhone).

  72. Dawn Reel

    Yes, All Power to the People! Video should be FREE & Open Source! Now let’s kill off Apple’s proprietary H.264!

    “There’s Just One Web”: yes, writing ONE web page that works across all devices/desktops/phones with HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript is the future!! (see Jen Simmon’s awesome slides from talk at HTML5 Live! conference: http://www.slideshare.net/jensimmons/jensimmons-html5liveresponsivedesign).

    C’mon fellow designers, make the connection:
    – Corporations make us do backflips developing for their Native specs
    – One designer can no longer make one website–a web team is required to design a site a lot of folks with different devices can see
    – Creating one HTML5/CSS4/JavaScript-based site and throwing them in wrappers for the App Stores/profit/worldwide reach is the way to go.
    – “There’s Just One Web,” open source, and “Responsive Web Design” takes power away from the corporations and turns it back to The People! Occupy Adobe wins!

    Let’s Occupy the Web and win it for The People!

  73. NooRotic

    I can completely understand that continuing support for mobile (smartphones) is a bear to keep up with and it was really a ‘nice-to-have’ feature on mobile but this is shocking. With quad-core phones and tablets coming, this is a shocking and truly terrible move.

    I have been a flash dev for 10+ years and yes, I am targeting mobile platforms (mostly tablets) for video support. I have tons of clients that want their video players to detect being on mobile and change UI accordingly. Does this mean I now tell clients in the future Adobe is no longer releasing new FP versions and I still want to target it?

    With the current Flash/Flex builder IDEs, it’s not easy at all to create mobile projects that were based on standard desktop code. Maybe with an update to Flash builder to ease migration of existing projects to AIR, this wouldn’t be so shocking.

    Is this the first real disappointment from Adobe since MacroMedia purchase?

    I can’t believe this either (I just released a video player that streams HD content (using MBR if the device can support it) and optimized for mobile)

  74. Eduardo

    Congratulations Adobe! You did right.

    Flash on mobile browsers never worked. Let’s focus on mobile apps.

    I can’t get why some guys are so upset. Flash will still be on desktop browsers (as I understood).

  75. notsteve

    So, I guess Steve Jobs was right about Flash on mobile devices all along?

  76. Chris

    The only question I’ve wanted answered for years is:

    When can I turn off Click to Flash and still not be harassed by Flash ads?

    I’d still like to know, but at I’m glad that now there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

  77. Graham

    This is good news. Flash on mobile was just a waste of everyones time. Next time to axe Flash on the desktop and that abysmal Air garbage.

  78. Groinko

    Pfff.. how could I have confidence in Adobe now? Ok let’s go HTML5 only, I don’t need Adobe’s products for that. And going to HTML5 also means going WebGL, of course.

  79. mahjong

    In Spain we have the legend of the Cid (see Charlton Heston’s movie). The legend says the Cid won a battle after he died because the knights tide up his corpse to the horse and put it in front of the troops. The enemy was so afraid of the Cid that they escape and the knights won that fight.

    Hmmmm Steve Jobs… Flash… Adobe… this sound familiar to a Spanish guy.

    Shame on you Adobe.

  80. GrumpyMonkeyPants

    “So much for having fun while developing for the web.”
    Hello! You are not developing for the web. You are developing for FLASH. Adobes ancient proprietary software. Their plugin allows it to run in a web browser.
    No wonder HTML, CSS, and Javascript is so difficult for you.

    It is your fault you didn’t keep up with modern development and educating yourself on standards and best practices. You now find yourself in the corner with your blanket and a box of Adobe crapware.

    Advice: Don’t learn a program (and therefore be dependent on it). Learn the technology.

    Oh nos, they took away my FrontPage!

  81. Red Oak

    Why don’t you just come out and say that Flash on mobile devices has serious performance issues? Adobe is this month’s laughing stock.

    Cue “Pie in the Face”

  82. lenny breau

    Way to make Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony Pictures and numerous others who were keeping Flash alive get pissed and just have to water-down experiences to match ‘current tech’ which it too and so current, it can’t do much.

  83. Ashish Desai

    Adobe shot itself in the foot. A discouraging decision. However, thought from a business perspective, Adobe could do nothing but let go the mobile version of the platform to save some money on building something that was never going to win the war.

    However, unfortunately this step has a high negative impact on its Flash Platform in a whole. Adobe just did not have enough courage to fight back. I think eventually Adobe will end up building conversion tools to convert flash to HTML 5 and native mobile applications. Each enterprise will think, why not build in HTML 5 itself, than having to learn Action Script/Flex.

    Overall a poor decision.

    Ashish Desai
    Zootar LLP

  84. Paul G Petty

    This is bittersweet news. I never cared that the first (and my first) iPhone never had Flash. Never. But I always expected ingenuity to reign at Adobe; and this “solution” doesn’t seem ingenious at all.

    In Steve Jobs “Thoughts on Flash” (http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/) the information … the basic instructions were laid out. Fix a few aspects of the technology and, yes, cave to Apple’s guidelines (or work out a deal) & it’s game on, literally.

    It seems incredibly likely that this does spell the end of Flash everywhere. And I won’t miss Flash in those other places, either. Because now Adobe or maybe Apple or maybe both have conspired to let developers show what can be done on all our little devices without Flash; it’s inevitable: our big devices will soon inherit the same software solutions.

    AMF! (Adios MacroMedia Flash.)

  85. Harry Garland

    As a developer, Flash to me is just a really great graphics API, and it’s great at creating special applications, and I love it for creating 3D virtual tradeshows, and apps that require unique user interactions with data-driven components.

    Maybe if I’m out with friends, and I just want my device to tell me when the last ferry will leave the city so I can get back to Sausalito, it’s not the right time to embrace the strengths of Flash.

    Keep Flash focused on the job that it is the right tool for!

  86. James

    I’m still scratching my head over this. What are the Adobe managers thinking? to make this decision. Flash is going great, I work in Advertising and I know for sure that Flash has bright future for several years. HTML5 is not so good for Animations and graphics, specially in mobile browsers, there Flash had an advantage.

    And you don’t throw the towel when you are on top of the World (more than 95% penetration on PC) and a good Footprint in mobile, you just need to focus in Android and maybe RIM and you are done in mobile.

  87. Alan Bryant

    What a poor decision.

    When Adobe and Macromedia merged I was worried that the forward thinking and strong product road map of Macromedia was going to be lost in the timid, staid corporate culture of Adobe. I am sorry to see that is has become so.

    Even if you wished to slow down/end development of Flash on mobile it would have been better to keep it to yourself. By this announcement you have doomed Flash to the dustbin of technology. Flash has been embattled before, during the days of “AJAX” Flash was reviled almost as much as it has been lately but ultimately companies looked at the high cost of developing crossbrowser solutions using HTML, CSS and JavaScript and revisited Flash as an alternative. Flash was again in favor… of course Flex 2 was released about that time, however we all know that Flex 2 was created by the Macromedia team and was close to release before the merger.

    It seems that Steve Jobs was correct in his assessment of Adobe. You are “lazy”.

    This decision is on par with Leo Apotheker’s decision to end HP’s PC business.

    As a Flash developer how can I sell and Flash solution? All I hear now is that Steve Jobs was right and Flash is a broken technology. There are no arguments that can be made to the contrary because now no one is listening.

  88. Dan

    The notion that Apple could bully Adobe into dropping Flash for *all* mobile devices is ludicrous at best, and in fact is insulting to Adobe.

    The simple truth–and Adobe finally acknowleges it– is that Flash does not and never has performed well on *any* mobile device, regardless of the OS. If that were not the case, I seriously doubt they’d drop it for devices running Android on beefy dual-core processors. But again: Flash doesn’t work well. It’s a power hog and a resource hog.

    Adobe has said for *years*: “It’s coming! Really! A stable Flash solution for mobile devices! Just you wait, we’ll sho ya!” Nobody can honestly say they’ve ever made good on that promise (or threat, depending on your point of view.) Even Adobe has finally admitted it.

  89. Photospherix

    All things change with time. I still remember when Flash was a little child much like html5 is today. In the future Flash will be setting next to its father DIRECTOR.

    All things change and some change for the better

  90. Graham Phillips

    The problem here is the way Adobe have managed the news. All that has happened is if we want to target mobile devices, we use AIR, not the Flash plug-in in the browser. Now every tech blog and mainstream media outlet is running with a me-too story about Flash being dead, Adobe moving to HTML5 and Steve jobs being right. Terrible PR for Flash technologies. Yes, HTML5 will be very useful for a lot of things Flash was used for in the past, but Flash continues to evolve. Its sad that Adobe PR have managed this story so badly and allowed it to reflect negatively on Flash, and therefore on the developer community.

    There has been a lack of information from Adobe. Some are guessing that the 750 redundancies are to do with dropping mobile browser plug-in development, others say its in the enterprise licensing dept, which would presumably mean LCDS? Is that the real news here- that a company that is refocussing on “marketing” and “digital media” has no place in its offering for enterprise Java server solutions any more?

  91. RonN

    Steve Jobs (RIP) was right. Too bad as a company, Adobe could not rise to the occasion and prove him wrong, the Flash developer community would have been proud, needless to say they welcome it. Flash has the potential to be a great platform for mobile devices, however when a more mature and streamlined platform already exists, its 1000x harder to force get buy-in from others.

    Makes me wonder, as a major tech. company, what does Adobe’s organization chart look like? :)

  92. David H.

    This is so sad and disappointed. I just installed Flash 11 on my Android and it has been running just great. I really disagree with this decision because it legitimizes a lot of the unfair claims that have been made by html5 proponents. The Flash platform is really a great platform and this sends exactly the wrong message at the wrong time. I was really impressed by what I saw at MAX this year even in the face of so much negative press that was pretty unfounded. I feel horrible not only because I have loved using the Flash platform for many years but because I know there are many other developers and engineers out there who will be negatively effected by this as well.

    Definitely a very, very sad day today. I really hope that Adobe will reconsider this as the dust settles.

  93. David H.

    I also think that Adobe really needs to do a better job defending it’s Flash platform. The developers are strongly supportive of the platform and they really need for Adobe to stick up for them and not just create these PR fiasco scenarios. It’s really a terrible shot right in the gut for so many hard working developers out there who love the platform.

    Come on Adobe, stick up for your platform!

  94. Cliff Fong

    Yes, kudos to Adobe for realizing that it needs to (slowly) shift away from the Flash Platform or embrace HTML5. Perhaps they need to incorporate Flash methodologies with HTML5, in the web application development process. I’ve been a Flex developer for the last 5 years and I think Flash/Flex still kicks @ss when it comes to building a feature rich web application. HTML5 can’t even replicate half the things that are currently capable with Flash…as of now.

    But while web application developers have to wait until HTML5 is fully up to spec, the question right now is really what platform is going to fill in that gap untill HTML5 gets up to speed? Fortunately or unfortunately, it is Flash and the market really can’t afford to wait years until HTML5 is in full swing. So perhaps Adobe needs to focus on Flash and HTML5 in tandem, slowly bridging the two technologies together, from bought a developer and consumer point of view.

    Personally, I’d love to be able to write Flex/Actionscript code and have it converted to HTML5 code…but how realistic or optimal is that? I think what the industry needs to realize is what Adobe has done for the web applications community. Despite the negatives surrounding Flash, it has really set the standards on what HTML5 should try to mimic and what it should be capable of.

  95. winteriscomming

    This makes the Flex community very nervous. You are saying the story is Mobile native apps via AIR, but since AIR is basically a Flash runtime, and it has to target all the mobile platforms, this move is not encouraging for someone starting a mobile project. Why choose AIR if you are likely to make a similar move in the future? Why bail on the browser based runtime but keep the AIR one?