Mike Chambers, Principal Product Manager for developer relations for the Flash Platform, recently published a blog post to help clarify some of the reasons Adobe will no longer be developing Flash for mobile devices. Instead, they are going to redirect recoursed to better focus on HTML 5.
Chambers has spent the past 13 years working with the technology as part of the Flash community, and he said that the days leading up to this decision were some of his hardest. He felt that this issue has always been politically charged.
The first reason he cited for Flash’s demise was that it was never able to “achieve the same ubiquity” on mobile devices as it has on the desktop. This is due to the fragmented market and one of the leading mobile platforms (Apple iOS) doesn’t support Flash Player, and won’t in the foreseeable future.
The second reason the was cited for the decision was the ubiquity of HTML5 on mobile browsers. Flash was just unable to compete at the same level as HTML 5.
For the third reason, Chambers pointed directly to Apple. He said that with Apple’s app store, people were more likely to look to apps, rather than the web for a lot of content. Differences in “in screen sizes, resolution and interaction models; slower and higher latency network connections; tight integration between apps and operating systems and tight integration between mobile app stores and operating systems as the reasons.”
I found this article very interesting and it has helped me to better understand the downfall of Flash and the rise of HTML 5. I think with any technology there will always be something that becomes old, and something that becomes new. It is important to know when to “throw in the towel” and focus resources on newer technology. I’m sure Apple is partially to blame for the demise of Flash on mobile devices, but it isn’t entirely.