Report: Adobe Is Finally Pulling the Plug on Mobile Flash (Updated)

Illustration for article titled Report: Adobe Is Finally Pulling the Plug on Mobile Flash (Updated)

Adobe is stopping development of its Flash Player for mobile browsers, according to an exclusive report from ZDNet. The company will continue to support existing Android and BlackBerry Playbook configurations of the player, but future development will be focused on developing HTML5 and apps.


Here's how developers were apparently briefed by Adobe about the situation:

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.

Earlier Tuesday, Adobe announced that it would be laying off 750 employees in a wider restructuring, but didn't specify which departments would be hit.

Though Flash was held up as a selling point—and a differentiating point—for Android and other devices positioned against Apple's notorious anti-Flash crusade in iOS, Adobe was never really able to smooth over performance, battery, and security issues. Meanwhile, more and more web content—once overflowing with Flash—has been migrating to HTML5, or siloing itself in mobile apps. Flash had been scheduled to come to Windows Phone at some point in the future, but that project is presumably out to pasture now too.

Somewhere, Steve Jobs must be smiling. [Adobe, ZDNet]


Update: Here's the official spin-and-damage-control update from Adobe. It reads about as expected: "We were mobile superheroes for offering Flash Player for browsers, but now HTML5 is good enough. We'll be working on apps and stuff—have you checked out Adobe AIR??" And so forth.

You can keep up with Kyle Wagner, the author of this post, on Twitter and sort of Google+.



This is pretty lame. I've been using Microsoft's Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet as a daily web browser, and at least half a dozen times a day I'm forced to switch from the Metro browser to the desktop one because there's a video that won't play without Flash. Even about a quarter of the embedded YouTube videos that I run into won't play without Flash because they've got some embedded advertisement that disables the HTML5 player.