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Flash to Focus on Apps for Mobile

You may or may not have heard the news that came out today about how we will be stopping further work on the version of the Flash Player that runs inside of mobile browsers. Our VP of Interactive Development, Danny Winokur, posted the announcement over on the Adobe blog earlier today.

So the big question I’m sure you have is, why did we do this? The decision reflects the reality that the kind of highly-interactive content people build with Flash, games being a great example, are much-better suited to run as mobile apps. Also there is the fact that Flash is not nearly as ubiquitous on mobile browsers as it is on the desktop. Because of these things we have decided to focus all our efforts on taking the AIR runtime to the next level on mobile in addition to new development areas with HTML5 like PhoneGap. No longer having to support the mobile browser version of Flash frees up valuable resources that we can redirect to these more important areas.

Over the last few years I have seen the mobile browser become the place for clean, mobile-optimized HTML sites. Apps are where people go to play games and enjoy interactive content. This is not only true for Flash but also for HTML5. Many are predicting that apps will soon give way to browser-based apps on mobile. I personally don’t see that happening anytime soon. Apps have proven themselves to be great for users and offer clear monetization opportunities for developers.

There is of course lots of inflammatory discussion going on today surrounding this news. I would caution everyone from feeding into this. If you look at this rationally I think you will see that this is actually the right move for Flash.

So basically nothing has really changed for Flash developers, as I’m pretty sure not many people were creating mobile-specific Flash websites anyway. The real challenge moving forward will be to combat the misinformation and confusion that an announcement like this brings. Stay tuned for exciting news about how we plan to take AIR to the next level on mobile to complement the work we’ve already begun for Flash Player 12 for PC browsers.

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  1. You’re absolutely right that this really doesn’t impact our day-to-day work. Few/any were making mobile websites. And it isn’t like everyone is going to have to go and uninstall their existing Flash Player on their devices. Still works today and tomorrow and next year.

    My main concern is that the suits – idiots – at Adobe seem to make these decisions without regard to the fallout and impact on the community. Now our job is harder. We have more educating to do for our clients. And we have to convince them that AIR or Flex isn’t next on the chopping block. Would anyone be surprised if Adobe said, “You know, we’re going to stop working on Flex. It’s just not making enough money for us.”

    How is Adobe going to ease our concerns about these things?

  2. @polyGeek – I totally agree and this needs to be addressed quickly. I already have clients putting projects on hold because of this. News travels fast.

  3. When I first heard this I was a little worried, but after having time to get to grips with it I’m really not that worried…

    It just means the mobile version for mobile browsers isn’t going to be developed any further right? Well the version we have at the moment will last us a few years or until we get HTML5 to pick up the slack.

    We can all still use Air to get our flash apps out to Android / iOS / Windows Phone? / Blackberry 😀 Also with PhoneGap it means we can make apps that get the best of both worlds.

  4. After I recovered from my knee jerk reaction I can see that this is a progressive, smart and sensible decision from Adobe. Fact is none of us are making Flash for mobile websites anyway, everyone goes to the mobile versions.

    Looking forward to seeing what good things come from Air.

  5. @polygeek I totally understand your frustration but it isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. First there are no robotic suits that go around looking for ways to make your life harder. Also being a publicly traded means we often have to wait to fill in the community about certain things because of legal stuff. I’m not making excuses just letting you know that there is sometimes more to the story.

    • You’re right the robots don’t do this to make to make our life harder. The robots only talk to the shareholders who are only interested in money. They are not interested in lifes.So why do the robots listen to the shareholders? Because the shareholders give big bonuses to the robots (read upper management). I wonder how long it will take before the Flash technology will be bought by some investment group that doesn’t know anything about technology. And then Adobe can forget about the Macromedia nightmare…

  6. Hi have said this before I think this is a great move I was never sure where the idea for Flash mobile came from and thought this was a wrong movie.

    My only issue is the following “combat the misinformation and confusion that an announcement like this brings”

    Why should I combat this when Adobe to be honest is doing a crap job of this. I only had one class in marketing but I would have done it a bit differently at least over time so the impact is limited. And there is the fact that Adobe just laid off 750 Adobe employees that’s the bigger question.

  7. Feels like another reason I should go back to C programming.

    Hard to continue being supportive of Flash and the “build once, deploy everywhere” when it’s dropping platforms instead of expanding…

    Luckily all I’m doing these days is AIR development so I’ll stay for a little longer.. Stage3D on mobile AIR better be coming soon? :)

  8. I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty hard for agencies to sell brands on any sort of mobile ap. It’s still pretty easy to sell them on web pages. I don’t think this will change much because most brands we have just want to get the word out about their product. That content is succinctly described on their site, no need for an ap. True you may have one off executions that could result in a mobile ap supporting a campaign, but for most consumer brands that are shampoos and razors and every day household products… you gonna just want to put it on their website.

    And if you want to animate your website? Well that was Flash. But our clients don’t want to pay for two separate experiences for mobile and desktop. So they request HTML5.

    But they can’t have HTML5 just yet because it isn’t ready for desktops… (mobile is moving along although still has problems cross-browser) so until then we have been resorting to DHTML and JQuery.

    Because there is no choice now, and because brands don’t want to pay to have multiple sites, you are going to find that no one, even on desktop will want to use Flash. 3D won’t help you either. Our brands wont be making games any time soon or finding a use for 3D. Cause no one cares to see 3D deodorant.

    The web is going to be a really lame place.

  9. Thanks and appreciate

    I absolutely agree with you if Adobe really do best job to take AIR to next level and best innovation for Flash in PCs.

  10. @Elliot I think a lot of it has to do with the mobile explosion that happened. Soon more traffic will come to your sites from mobile devices than from the desktop. This means that the type of content you build will change as well. But I think this is true for any technology, not just Flash. I mean how many interactive experiences do you see in the mobile browser built in HTML5?

  11. Sorry kids, Flash killed itself:

    Of all the things people wanted to do in Flash, barring viewing web video (an activity that is better in dedicated apps anyway) – play Flash games, view flash animations (why?), and, I assume, see Flash advertisements – are poorly served by these laggy implementations. Flash made Flash look bad.

    • Do you really think that killing flash you will have no animations and no advertisment on the web? Guess what, no plug in = more html made by not experience developers in Edge, which consumes equal or more cpu and battery than Flash. This problem why you dislike such a nice technology will move to pure free plug in/ standardized web, and then, are you gonna blame html5/6 of that?

  12. It’s time to learn Java! 😀
    The king is dead!!!…. long life the king!!!

    Lee, we’ve a proverb in Spain: When you see your neighbor’s beard cut, put yours to soak

    Hugs to ever Flash programmers!…

  13. @Lee Our clients want to support their brands with interesting, engaging experiences. Because our client’s products don’t really have a place in mobile aps, it means they will always need an outlet for that kind of content on the web.

    Because of cost of developing two sites, they aren’t going to build one experience for mobile and one for desktop. They bring everything down to the lowest common denominator to save money. Read.. they wont even be using HTML5.

    And no, I do not see that kind of stuff being built with HTML5 anytime soon. Edge and Muse are great tools, but they don’t satisfy our creative need the way Flash did. Not even close. We need filters, blendmodes, masking, actions. Interactivity. Anti-aliasing. Music, sound effects, video, ect. Largely HTML5 will not be able to handle all these for some time.

    Wallaby was unusable. If that is Adobe’s enhancement for the Flash IDE… then Adobe doesn’t know the power of the tools they have right now.

  14. @Elliot yeah that makes total sense. I guess what I am saying is that if brands want a single experience to work everywhere then it will have to be scaled back from what is possible with Flash on the desktop. I am honestly pretty excited about Edge though. With more work I think it allow the creation of some pretty cool stuff.

  15. I understand the move. In addition to that, this move may end up making Flash able to “code once and deliver everywhere” if it can export Flash/AS3 to HTML5/JavaScript to some extend. The CSS shaders, and other efforts from Adobes hand to port Flash to HMTL5 shows signs in that direction.

    Developers have to think what they want to preserve … plug-in or possibilities and reach with existing tools.

  16. Hi Lee,

    You talk about FP12 for “PC” browsers at the end of your post and not “desktop” ? Is it including Windows Linux and Mac browsers? In France, geeks make différence between PC (win / linux) and Mac…

    Thx for your reply !


  17. @lee not to mention the bloat that HTML Javascript and CSS bring to the table. Flash was amazing in its ability to shrink file sizes down.

    The banner ad I saw built with Adobe Edge was 1.8 megs! Utterly useless – mobile futility. Who would want to browse the web with the bandwidth caps they have out their now?

    If thats what the future of the web is, count me out.

  18. There has been a lot of misinformation today. I heard a CNBC employee say that “Adobe kills the Flash Player”. Thanks for clarifying this Lee.

    This must have been a hard decision for Adobe to make. I believe it was the right move, a very forward thinking move.

    I develop kiosks/exhibits with AIR and am glad to hear that its going to get a lot more attention. (Surround sound support for desktop, not just TVs, please!)

  19. In my opinion, the problem a lot of people are having is the way the message is being conveyed. Flash developers and companies are already having a tough time selling Flash on mobile devices with the whole Apple fiasco. Whether its merited or not (and in my opinion, it definitely is not), the message is out there. Now comes the news that Flash Player for mobile devices/browsers is no longer being maintained. This just further confuses peoples perception of Flash and hurts its reputation. Companies are going to confuse AIR apps with Flash Player being discontinued on mobile devices, and truthfully, I think the damage is already done and there isn’t much Adobe can do to reverse the message that these developers and companies are having trouble with. I just think this announcement wasn’t really handled well by Adobe as a whole. Whether it be the timing of it, the actual message itself or the confusion between multiple mobile products.

  20. “this is start of the end of the Flash Story …. ” ( very sad )

    I like to work with flash but now it’s no more multiplatform ….

    If I do sam cool stuff in flash on my website i must to do this again in other technology for mobile background …. this is sad :(

    there is no more than AIR 2.6 on linux ….
    there will be no more than flash 10.1 (and some features of 11 because stage 3d etc. will not work for now or ever ) on mobile browsers … – thats is a smartphones , tablets, tv …

    I know that adobe did what could have, unfortunately, apple and microsoft very recently contributed to this. It was a little bit not equal to the fight because you simply are not allowed on the platform technology

    not change the fact that flash is not the best last look ….

    this is very confusing because the flash has become a powerful, fast and yet less available

    the problem is because now we have flash 11 for android, etc. .. but in the future, unfortunately, no technology upgrades that will be very old technology and not used, and yet mobile internet browser is an important thing

  21. I have mixed feelings on this, although I do not use Flash on my Android browser all that much, isn’t the entire point of Flash is that it is develop once and deploy everywhere? Removing devices does not instill confidence for the developers.

    I don’t necessarily develop mobile websites specifically for Flash, but why would I want to develop a PC based Flash website when I know it can no longer be viewed on the mobile device? This simply makes me not want to develop PC based Flash websites (which I have been doing for over 15 years) any longer and just switch everything over to HTML.

  22. Sorry, just another brief comment.

    Surely with what had happened with Steve Jobs and Flash, that Adobe would know the world would start bringing out all these ridiculous stories we are seeing since the announcement, in the same fashion we saw them when Jobs made his.

    The difference is Steve Jobs caused the first reaction, this time Adobe itself is at fault.

  23. @Brad well the reality is right now you can’t target everywhere with Flash. The fact that Flash doesn’t run in the iOS browser has stopped most people from building mobile-specific Flash sites. In my mind the future is clean, mobile-optimized HTML for the mobile browser and apps for things with lots of interactivity like games.

  24. @everyone k for argument sake, say adobe builds Edge into a flash like monster. When to go to compile and deliver your edge file to the web.. Will there be a way to encrypt it?.Can you really protect javascript or css from source theft? Seems like one of the advantages of flash as a plug-in is that its sort of encased and easier to protect.Also i,m no javascript master. hope classes and design patterns work as well as it does with as3.

    Does anyone know bout the code protection thing?

  25. @Danny the reality is that there are no great ways to completely protect AS code either. Someone who is determined can easily get either AS or JS. I think it is a little harder though for AS since you need a decompiler.

  26. I am one of those who sees this situation rather black than pink. Adobe sucks at marketing big time. How do you think people/devs will understand this message? First Adobe fights like crazy to get FP on mobile. All this crap with Steve Jobs and stuff. After how long? 1 year? It decides it is not suitable for mobile. Some days ago we were still waiting for Molehill for Android which was confirmed. Very confusing messages. Adobe also forgets the majority of devs are not game developers.
    Now comes the mass panic of the clients. Why should they want something in Flash when they can have it in html5 and it will be viewable from mobile?
    Let’s assume a different scenario – why should you use Air instead of native application? Air depends on a huge runtime (just see all the crying about it in the android market) and it doesn’t have access to too many things. Will there be a packager just like for iOS?

  27. Why would Adobe want to keep AIR alive then when the new PhoneGap technology allows to achieve the same result – native apps for the same number of platforms but developed with HTML, CSS and JS? AIR is not attractive to the new developers, why it would be, they would be more keen to learn JS rather than AS3 and AIR now to me seems to be just a temporary solution for all those Flash developers that hasn’t got a chance to switch yet…
    Sad day for us Flash developers, we need to think about our future, which technology to stick with if any, nobody wants to be the last person leaving a sinking ship…

  28. @nervous AS3 Developers
    You can embrace Java for GWT and Android in your spare time, as Java and AS3 are so similar, in both syntax and concept.

    There are so many non-tech people using expensive dummy gadgets will pretend they know technology, and they will often use and speak over-hyped buzz words, such as HTML5, most of them don’t have idea what HTML is, not to say the stuttering JavaScript, which is over 95% of the code behind the buzz word HTML5 App.

    However, if you are a higher level OOP developer, you don’t have to surrender to the backward trend of web technology, which uses JavaScript for RIA programming. Instead, you can use strong-typed Java to build GWT projects that run on all major browsers. For AS3 developers, you will benefited by your current OOP skills when developing Java projects, also, it will be quite easy for you to switch to Android development using the same language and eclipse IDE. For the web, Java can carry on RIA development technologies and move forward, even without Flash.

    Here are two solutions for Flash to survive from misguided end users and bosses with buzz word HTML5:
    1. To provide a compiler that will compile FLA, AS3 to JavaScript and Canvas tag, similar to GWT compiler.
    2. To write a Flash Player in JavaScript, and name it “HTML5 Player”(to attract non-tech users). This “HTML5 Player” can be one or more .js files, just like, and it will load swf files then display the content in Canvas tag.

  29. Flash’s biggest selling point has always been its cross platform support. “Build once, deploy anywhere” motto is very attractive to companies. So the announcement that the Flash Player will no longer be developed for mobile browsers really hurts this perception.

    As it is, at my work, I am always having to try and justify Flash due to increasing pressure for development of HTML5 so that iDevices may be supported (in browser).

    This news leaves Flash as now being confined to desktop browsers and packaged as a sort of native app. Unfortunately Flash (well Air I should say) will always come off second best to a real native app on a mobile device.

    HTML5 will now be seen as the safer option, it won’t be disappearing and there will be no issues with certain devices not wanting to support it. I really think Adobe should have kept developing the Flash player for mobiles for the sole purpose of keeping it marketable as a true cross platform runtime.

  30. It seems obvious to me that there’s more to it than you guys are telling right now… hopefully.

    Will this mean Adobe will get up to speed in the app deployment front Lee?

    I’m about to start to redesign 2 big brand websites, going with Flash for desktop and html-html5 for tablets, just because we can’t really rely on a single technology for all right now.

    We really didn’t get to see the phrase “write once, deploy everywhere” become true, that’s sad, and it will be harder for me to convince the boss to upgrade Adobe apps as soon as they come out now :( I guess the tie guys at Adobe didn’t thought about that uh?

  31. Hi Lee,

    I can understand the strategy behind all that, but I really think it is a big communication error. Even if Flash was not perfectly suited to mobile browsing and / or ergonomy, it was until now accepted by most people that it was the choice of Apple (and Microsoft lately) not to allow Flash to be present on their mobile devices, and beyond their arguments (…), everybody could see that there was a problem, let’s say, of big money (Flash was a threate for their app stores). This communication saying that finally HTML5 is the “holy grail” of the future of mobile web and, worse, that Flash, maybe, after deep analysis, was not so adapted (or even good?!!!…) seems to me like strongly deteriorating, for a while, the IMAGE of Flash (and maybe Adobe), exactly like Mr Jobs was dreaming of… It is very frustrating and even humiliating, I think for lots of Flash / Flex developers to be confronted to the laughs / the irony of people that were waiting for the first opportunity to destroy the image of Flash… And you can read this on lots of forums tonight. I think it is going to be very difficult now to convince customers that Flash is still the good choice and is not an “obsolete” technology. Sorry for my English, I’m not a native speaker. But I wanted to share my point of view with you.


    By the way, thanks for your great job providing us very good tutorials and examples, source of great inspiration.

  32. Hi Lee,

    I agree with you and laid out some of the same arguments at

    This perception thing is killing us though – near slanderous article titles like the Wired, “Adobe Abandons Flash on Mobile” have to be dealt with at least with your marketing or possibly by your legal. Hopefully we can all move towards a positive place. I’ve been fighting for it for a few years now, and will continue to do so as I launch three or four Flash AIR projects across iOS, Android and Playbook. (Ported perfectly in one hour)

  33. @Lee its not the “building mobile-specific Flash sites” that I am worried about. As I mentioned I don’t really do that anyways. But its the fact that Adobe just forced me to build HTML for Android and Playbook, when I didn’t have to before, I may as well just build HTML everywhere, including for apps.

    I had an event happen not too long ago that made a couple people I know drop their Apple devices all together because of the lack of Flash. It was during the Tsunami that happened in Japan. It was in the evening and I was out with some people when I started seeing the tweets….so I clicked on links and was able to see the videos of it happening not too long after it happened. My friends at the same time on iOS devices clicked on the links and saw absolutely nothing….the video was in Flash. They searched and searched for other videos and found nothing until the next day.

    HTML 5 is not even a completed standard until 2014, and many of the features are simply not there in all the browsers. So now, in the meantime, we have lost Flash on the mobile browsers….so neither HTML5 nor Flash are completely usable in all browsers.

    How is this a good thing at all for developers or users of the Web? And why would I want to continue to develop Flash for desktop or apps when Adobe themselves are saying that HTML5 is the better option?

  34. @Poco I completely agree. I have been using Flash since day 1, and this may have just forced my hand to HTML5. I build websites and games in Flash for the browser and for mobile apps.

    But it looks like I am being forced to use HTML5 now for mobile even though I have been resisting the temptations for quite a while. If I have to learn HTML5 for the mobile browser, I may as well use it for desktop sites and for mobile apps and games as well. Why would I want to learn and use 2 technologies when I can learn and use 1? That was Flash’s whole game all along and they are simply throwing it all away.

  35. Adobe communication on this sucks and is downright dangerous. I completely agree with the strategy to stop Flash Mobile and focus on AIR for mobile, but I watched the financial analyst call, there was at most a feeble reference to AIR for Mobile, by David/Kevin. It should have been more emphatic, like “here is blah blah we are doing for HTML5 and at the same time want to underscore that AIR for mobile remains a #1 priority”

    As it stands I see no motivation to take AIR for mobile seriously, since the message I got is…Flash (and maybe AIR) support will be around till browsers catch up. Well in that case I might as well invest in HTML/JS solution completely (which opens up a whole non-Adobe, non-PhoneGap) world and wait for browsers to catch up. Why bother with an intermediate technology with a short shelf-life

  36. Does this mean that Flash created content will eventually be limited to apps? It makes sense that if there’s no need for a Flash Player on mobile, there’s no need for one desktop. Sounds like you guys are betting on AIR being your software-developer outlet.

  37. And if AIR is the only future a Flash developer has, why would he choose AIR when there are technologies that publish to both the browser, and apps, such as Appcelerator?

  38. First, this will very likely sound like a rant. Now that you’ve been warned >.>

    I see no wisdom in this move at all. For years Flash Player has been essentially ubiquitous for Internet connected machines, and the popularity of Android made it a major player in the mobile space. Yes, the Ascended One felt that having Flash on his shiny iToys would mean less Mac’s were sold, and that he would not have complete control over the ecosystem. Interesting that during the iPhone 4S press event, Tim Cook revealed that iOS actually represents ~4.5% of the mobile market. Yet we’re expected to bend over backwards for such a marginal number?

    I’ve been a professional web developer for 11 years now, I see no evidence whatsoever that mobile browsing has “exploded” on any stats report for any of my clients. Of the mobile devices used to connect to any of my clients sites, iOS is consistently the lowest percentage point with Android tripling or quadrupling its totals. So essentially, because the Ascended One wrote a letter, and the masses cannot help but follow as sheep – even tho there is statistical proof to highlight the fact that Apple iOS devices are not the force to be reckoned with that Apple’s marketing team would have us believe, Adobe is simply going to walk away?

    I see HTML5 branded around quite a bit as the way of the future. When? The vast majority of viewers to my clients sites are still using IE8 – no HTML5 support. Each browser on the desktop has varying degrees of HTML5 support. I gather that, to varying degrees of success, browsers on smart phones / tablets have a little more support for HTML5 – but at what cost to performance? Look at how pathetically slow Safari Mobile is on an iPad or iPod Touch when you start throwing Javascript or CSS at it. This is supposed to be better than running Flash on Android?

    Look what today’s announcement has brought? Tech “journalists” proclaiming Adobe is giving up on Flash, Apple was right, death to plugins! (oh, unless you’re talking about the Quicktime plugin Apple has running in Mobile Safari … it’s ok to run our plugin, just not anyone elses!). Yes, the vast majority of tech “journalists” are Apple fanbois; yes, running ‘Adobe kills Flash’ headlines will get them more traffic for readers to start flame wars – how does any of that help Adobe? We must be fairly close to the height of the misinformation age now – releasing such a press release, in the eyes of a vocal minority, but a final nail in the coffin of Flash.

    Since this morning, I too have had clients contact me with concern. I can calmly explain the situation to them until I’m blue in the face – what they still see is news media running stories that Flash is dead. The fact that Adobe is dropping support of Flash on Android and Blackberry is completely lost in this message. To make the matter more confusing, moments after the Adobe announcement, RIM comes out with their own announcement stating that they’ll continue to develop Flash Player for their platform.

    Tuesday let 750 people go, Wednesday announce Flash is dead on mobile, dare I ask what is planned for Thursday? Maybe we can do away with server side support for Dreamweaver? Perhaps Adobe would like to remove our option to purchase Creative Suites in favor of simply renting them monthly?

    In no way do I mean this as a personal attack against anyone, I value Lee’s contributions to the Flash community and eagerly check weekly in this hopes of finding new tutorials posted. I am mostly dismayed at the faceless corporation here. Now excuse me, I think I’ll spend the rest of this evening seeing how difficult it will be to port an application I’ve been working on the last few weeks in Flash Builder to Java -.-

  39. Abandoning Flash in mobile browsers fundamentally means abandoning Flash in desktop browsers in the long term. There are some major Flash free web application deployments starting to roll out, such as Google Maps:

    On my system, I find that WebGL delivers an improved user experience for Google Maps over what Flash ever did.

  40. This is probably the best writeup on this I’ve seen from anyone in or out of Adobe. It’s a sensible thing to do, but I’m really not sure why Adobe PR didn’t set this framework up before announcing as drastic a change as dropping an entire class of platforms from Flash’s support roster. It was possible to see it coming, but Adobe PR needs to do a much better job of getting out in front of this kind of thing (instead of bringing up the rear, which is what this post amounts to). Adobe is asking people to build their livelihoods on their Flash Platform, and announcements like this, that seem come out of the blue, with very little in the way of framing, creates a lot of uncertainty.

    Now back to playing with Starling. :-)

  41. I bet Flex is done after the next minor release and within 12 months, AIR for mobile (and potentially desktop) will be done as well. Adobe will put its efforts into PhoneGap and html5. How long do you think Adobe will support two frameworks to do similar features? Goodbye Flash Platform

  42. Wow Lee – Im so shocked at your apathy towards this decision – it is the most absurd decision Adobe has ever made on the product and means one thing and one thing only – Flash is Dead.

    There is absolutely no other way of putting it. Flash will not survive this – and that means Adobe has put not just 750 of their own employees on unemployment lines, but flash developers all over the world. It is not just tragic, but quite disgusting. Their entire marketing platform for years has been to push flash to mobile.

    No one, Absolutely no one will be creating flash content that ONLY plays on desktops except gamers using molehill, and lets face it this space will be occupied by Unity – I can see them firing their flash dev team over there as we speak because they know as well as everyone else flash is dead.

    So no flash on mobile, which provides a strong and insurmountable argument not to develop for flash on the desktop leaves only flash as an Air App – basically flash going head to head with native code as its primary focus – um, please, are you absolutely kidding me ? Is Adobe really saying this with a straight face ?

    I have just spent eight months developing a flash library which allows interactive resizing and skinning between mobile, desktop, tv and tablets – allowing users to create sites which will overcome the issues facing small business in dealing with all the variations in devices, allowing small businesses to simply plug in modules which will work on any device. Wow – just cost me my entire lifes work, I had leveraged pretty much everything.

    The simple fact is that phones are now appearing with Quad cores (HTC), many have dual cores and within two years phones will be capable of playing what any desktop can deliver now. The recent announcements of breakthoughs by ARM and nVidia were incredibly exciting. Flash is perfectly suited to the mobile, far more than html as it is responsive to layouts, far more interactive, and is a specialist multi-media delivery system – and flash is beyond anything else a multimedia platform. Flash is a perfect fit for interactive gaming on the web, and with stage3d delivering massive benefits in performance which would have been quickly realised on mobiles providing a mobile gaming platform of unparalleled opportunity – I think Thibault Imberts Max presentation graphic of Donkey Kong made that pretty clear.

    I have not heard one, single reason why this has happened – not one which has even a shred of honesty or credibility to it.

    Your reasons are that flash is not ubiquitous on the mobile and flash is not suited to mobile – unless its an App. Both of these are not reasons, they are belated after the fact justifications for a crap, crap, crap decision which just wreaks of profit motive, cost cutting and hand wringing.

    This move by Adobe means that after 15 years of devotion, of defending and promoting this product, a product which lived, breathed, survived and flourished exclusively due to the devoted community of users has now been flushed down the toilet with a gigantic F*** You from Adobe.

    If there is an honest bone in anyone’s body down at Adobe lets have the truth – and at least something more from your good self beyond this weak as “Bear Grylls Gatorade” response.

    Right now I have lost all respect for Adobe as a company – completely. If I continue as a developer I will be moving into core languages and leaving flash entirely, however a gut wrenching decision like this leaves me wanting to leave my profession entirely. 5 years of study, 15 years in the field and this is the conclusion – “Adobe can make more money from html5 tools than flash tools because there is a seething market of html5 wannabe flash developers who need tools and Ecplise and IntelliJ have stolen our market share in flash.”

    To salvage anything from my work, and for flash in the future I have to tell my clients that I can build something for them for the web, and then for mobile it will be in html and / or they can put the site into the App Stores as a purchaseable app.

    Or, I can simply specialise in Apps – which means I would not in a pink fit be using Adobe Air as a native app specialist (you have to be kidding me).

    I can see this hurting Adobe in more than just Flash – i will be using any alternative tool I can to any Adobe Product at every single opportunity and will be promoting any and all alternatives, and will be just as devoted to my anti Adobe position as I was a dedicated flash community member.

    Completely betrayed by Adobe – completely.

  43. @JB
    “Does this mean that Flash created content will eventually be limited to apps?” Absolutely not. The goal here is to put our resources on taking the desktop version of the Flash Player to the next level, particularly around gaming. There really was no new content being developed for Flash in the mobile browser so it doesn’t make sense to continue with it.

    Another thing that is important to mention is that we are trying to get people away from thinking of Flash as simply a plugin. People love to develop in Flash because of the language, the tools, and the community. What container that content ends up playing in really doesn’t matter. So maybe in the future we will be able to develop in Flash and export for HTML5, AIR, mobile native, etc.

  44. @Aristophrenia I respect your viewpoint but you are completely buying into the hysteria. I don’t have apathy towards this decision at all. In fact I have been hoping we would do this for a while now. Remember folks, this is a runtime that nobody was creating new content for. It’s much better to focus those resources on areas that have the most potential.

  45. “The goal here is to put our resources on taking the desktop version of the Flash Player to the next level, particularly around gaming.”

    What is the next level though? It seems to me that one of the most significant problems of the Flash plugin is that it doesn’t integrate seamlessly with the rest of the page. I don’t think that’s solvable.

    And what’s the timetable? Adobe promised WebM support in Flash about a year and a half ago. In that time Mozilla, Opera, Google and even Microsoft have released browsers capable of playing WebM in the HTML5 video element. When will WebM arrive for Flash? Or is it more a question of “if” than “when” now?

    “So maybe in the future we will be able to develop in Flash and export for HTML5, AIR, mobile native, etc.”

    Yes, I agree Flash can live on as an IDE, but the Flash plugin in browsers is dead on mobile now and will likely die off soon on the desktop as you seem to be suggesting here.

  46. I develop mostly eLearning content. I used to argue strongly for Flash as a single-source content strategy. But I can’t do Air apps for each course on a Learning Management System. I now recommend a strategy based on other technologies, which might include Flash, Flex or Flash Player. I expect this aspect will increasingly be labeled as “legacy content” as opposed to “cool new stuff.” I don’t expect to have to argue anymore.

  47. It would have been a wise move for Adobe to extend the support for deploying native apps using air but that could only work out if Adobe also kept supporting having flash player for the browser on as many platforms as possible.
    Why? Because that was the one single main selling point of flash/air.
    Without that, html5 becomes the one solution which comes closest to that thought (in the future) of develop once deploy everywhere.

    Without it, no matter what Adobe people now say, the flash plugin is dead, also for desktops. It will take a while, but today you put a big nail in the coffin.
    Why would any company want to use flash even for desktop machines if they know there´s no support from Adobe that it also runs on most mobiles?
    Why would a game company continue to make games in flash for the web?
    How to trust a company in anything they say when they do the polar opposite of what they announced less than 6 months ago.
    How will all the partners, content creators and possible clients feel after gaining just a bit of “anting to believe” back in Adobe after the Apple fiasco once Adobe showed they are finally getting a runtime going which makes proper use of the gpu for all graphical operations?

    Adobe may and does jump on the bandwagon of those hyping “the open web with html5” but those in the know of course know that its just touting the open web (of “open”) web standards but in reality the aim is to turn the web into just a data pool while the actual interactive content is tucked into more and more walled garden closed shop systems, so the content is actually less open than ever.

    I like doing apps for mobile devices in cases native apps definitely make more sense, but supporting the idea of giving up all more in depth media mashups on the web in general?
    To have all go to native apps?
    Not so much.

    On smartphones, yes, flash made few sense in the browser there, but giving up on tablets, too?
    Weak sauce.

    One thing that´s fascinating in this overall sad story of cowardnes and misguided company “lead”
    (This today was truly a Leo Apotheker move, announcing the end of a product line and giving up on something without having an at least equally good alternative ready) :
    This is a best in class example for the term self fulfilling prophecy:
    A few tamed up and wanted flash to be dead.
    HTML5 is nowhere close in terms of what one can do with it, but hey, hype it up like the next coming.
    Talk flash down as old outdated closed crap, if enough people believe in it, it will turn true, right?

    It hadn´t worked back then when the first dhtml stuff was introduced and hyped up to kill flash because it was limited and lame and no good tools were available for letting designers make as nice stuff as with flash in visual workflow.

    With Adobe giving in this time though (cause Adobe cares about selling tools, no matter for which language/platform, not about supporting their own Flash), Adobe is now the biggest supporters of the kill flash asap move:
    They will create the tools needed to let flash be replaced as fast as possible also for the more in depth media mashups and dropping support for the mobile browser flash player is also the best first step of killing the one for desktops or the support by clients and content creators for it asap since the flash catchphrase deploy everywhere is now a lie.

    Well played Leo, erm.. Adobe Lead.

  48. Why doesn’t Adobe use some of those resources making a better version of Wallaby? Make it possible to CREATE and export an HTML5 version of a project from within Flash Pro. Obviously a lot of things from Flash aren’t going to translate but give the abilities that Edge has into Flash. Like possibly having a code snippet panel that gives the ActionScript and JavaScript equivalent. Give the option to write JavaScript in Flash. Animation is easy in Flash, why recreate the wheel with Edge. I think the idea of Edge is great but there are already TONS of Flash designers, animators, and developers out there already familiar with Flash Pro. These developers are already likely getting ready to transition over to HTML5 related technologies. Give those folks the option for both in one app, make it an easier transition while still being able to produce Flash. Then we’d really be developing in one app and deploying to many. Just some thoughts.

    Or…Adobe should make their own browser. Wouldn’t that be fun.

  49. Nothing has changed for Flash developers, you mean, except the absolute clusterf* of a PR announcement that has everyone claiming that Adobe has abandoned Flash on mobile, and some f*tard article claiming that Adobe is abandoning Flash altogether.

    Way to go Adobe, you’ve just made my ability to feed my family as a freelance Flash developer that much harder. Brilliant.

  50. “you are completely buying into the hysteria” – really? …..T

    I have understood the market and trends for a long time Lee. I have degrees in economics, fine art, music, a masters in politics and international relations – yep all five of em, so I’m not an hysterical idiot. But that level of patronization is exactly what Im feeling from Adobe right now.

    Flash player is dead and everyone knows it Lee – sugar coat it however you want. Flash IDE can not survive as anything but an animation tool for html developers and you and everyone else on this planet knows that. More importantly Adobe wants that – as you have said.

    Because flash player will no longer exist on the mobile or tablet, and obviously has absolutely no place on the desktop. The only possible use for flash on the desktop will be 3D gaming which puts it head to head with Unity, which means all game developers who came back to flash will now be returning to Unity as the two products will be competing for the same space (desktop games) which Unity will EASILY win. Any other outcome is pure self denial.

    This means flash will quickly die as a player not just in the mobile and tablet but also the desktop world.

    This leaves Adobe Air as the only place that Actionscript has any real world presence – even then Air simply converts to native code, meaning actionscript will not actually exist anywhere. No new developer, nor school nor anything will learn or teach a language that is dead. They will learn native languages for delivering Apps. All the apps which have done well as ports to Air were originally flash projects – this will no longer be the case as flash will no longer exist.

    It blows my mind that you genuinely think that flash player can survive if it is not available on tablets and mobiles. It can not. No chance, no way, no how.

    No flash player – no actionscript.

    It blows my mind that Adobe thinks the entire flash community wont be picking up their belongings and walking away – they will.

    I am a life long Flash Addict – I represent perfectly the typical flash user – I am out of here, I am utterly betrayed.

    Adobe needs to rethink this – it is going to hurt them in so many more ways than they imagine. There was a lot of reason for me to hate Apple – will be going out and purchasing all their products and developing solely for Apple going forward and porting back to Android / Windows and avoiding all non ubiquitous features.

    The web just became a really, really sad and boring place.

  51. I’ve often described the awesome capabilities of AIR as Adobe’s best kept secret. Mostly diluted and served inside fatty layers of bloated Flex. If the axe is going to fall, let it fall on Flex for mobile! Adobe needs to build a better mobile development IDE for (lightweight) AIR to replace Flex, and they need to build it fit-for-purpose from the ground-up. Also on my wish-list are AIR on WP7, and a smaller captive runtime (only include the bits you need).

  52. The strategy behind this move is brilliant. Essentially Adobe is gearing itself to move banner ad development to HTML5. This is a wonderful thing because it means all of the negative aspects of banner ads will now be associated with HTML5 and not Flash. Since Adobe doesn’t own HTML5, snooty tech journalist won’t blame Adobe for HTML5 banner ads that are too intrusive or resource intensive.

    Seperating Flash from the banner ad space means that Flash will be able to get some of it’s reputation back and the HTML5 community will have to deal with the minutia that is banner ads (In the not to distant future I can imagine people reflecting back with nostalgia when they could block banner ads with flash block).

    It also seems Adobe is distancing themselves from the RIA term ( since the JS kiddies have co-opted it ) and our now embracing the term HD as in High Definition Experiences. Another brilliant move since that is a space HTML5/JS just can’t compete in because of technical restraints. Plus it is a marketing buzz word that conjures up positive feelings to the product associated to it. From a marketing perspective this means; use HTML5/JS for RIAs and use Flash/AS3 for HD Apps/Games.

    That being said, the announcement, press release and timing was just aweful and inexcusable. End of story! This was so terribly bungled that I’m sure that stock price relfected today is a direct result of all of the fear and uncertainty behind the amibiguity of this press release.

    Words matter and the brass at Adobe need to realize that their words have consequences and can reveberate deep into the industry echo chamber. This announcement seems rushed, poorly thought out and atrociously executed. As a shareholder, I stand disappointed.

  53. Thanks dude for clear to me,Adobe direction and I’m totally agree “I’m pretty sure not many people were creating mobile-specific Flash websites anyway”

    AIR is the key player.

  54. It’s been said before, but it’s such a glaringly obvious observation I need to reiterate.

    When building content for the pc and mobile experiences clients only want to pay to develop once, this is where flash has always shone.

    However if there is no longer the chance of developing with flash and have it run on both pc and at least the largest mobile os (android) clients just aren’t going to want to use flash at all, and lets face it, mobile is becoming a bigger and bigger focus as more and more people graduate to the smartphone market.

    This, coupled with the bad publicity surrounding this latest news is going to lead to an even greater exodus away from flash. I understand that tough decisions need to be made, but I really think this is a huge and short-sighted mistake on adobes behalf. I’ve always stuck by flash through thick and thin, but I truly feel let down by adobe on this one.

  55. Hi Lee,
    My concern also is about the Adobe Flash mobile developers who lost their jobs? Are they just being redeployed?

  56. There’s been a lot of negative publicity about this announcement, but to be honest; I think Adobe has done the right thing.

    Trying to support the Flash Player in mobile browsers only makes sense if you can support ALL browsers on ALL suitable platforms (and all version), which is a moving target and simply isn’t practical for a cost and resource perspective. Killing the mobile player and focusing on AIR apps is the only sensible thing to do.

    As far as the nature of the announcement goes, Adobe did the best they could. No matter how it was worded it was always going to be misinterpreted (either by mistake or deliberately) to mean Flash is dead (reporters and managers don’t seem to understand “evolution”. Management types will always read a few words in the title and make the rest up anyway.

    So, my opinion is: This is a smart move and should have been done long ago. Just hurry up and add Stage3D (and Starling) support to AIR Mobile and we’re away.

  57. is the worst idea ever … adobe committed suicide …. is clear that we all have to emigrate to html5 which means we’ve to restart to count with the fingers instead of using the magnificent scientific calculator that we had … you should have continued with the good job what had already been
    flash was getting enough support by several tablets and phones and soon all these devices will have better hardware to run flash damn adobe ruined it

  58. @hellrider I don’t know the numbers, but I have a number of non-Flash Adobe products that aren’t going away:


    Also, I really really didn’t like HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript etc when I first started playing with it, but it is growing on me and very good for the things it should be used for. The real issue is the tooling sucks, which is exactly why Adobe is targeting that market. Have a look at Muse and Edge – they’re a little rough but I really like the direction that Adobe is taking with them.

  59. As with most, I never targeted the mobile browser with Flash. I primarily build AIR applications and target desktop browsers with Flex. However, what scares me most about this decision is… what if I was making a living building Flash based content for mobile browsers? Now it makes more sense when all the anti-flash/apple fanboys claim that it’s too risky to rely on proprietary (Adobe) technologies instead of open standards.

    This decision from Adobe could very well have been about dropping Flex… or AIR (in which I really would be in trouble right now). I would have never thought that in past… but then again, I never saw this mobile browser decision coming either.

  60. I’m angry at Adobe for failing to control the message. Perception matters. Apple wins, beats Adobe, Steve was right, Flash is dead. How is it that a company with 1.2 billion in revenue can’t hire a decent PR team? I spent the whole day explaining to colleagues in my e-learning company that Flash is not dead and we shouldn’t abandon ship. I’m tired of defending Flash and doing Adobe’s job. I feel like Adobe hasn’t shown any leadership and doesn’t deserve to be piloting this ship. “We ‘heart’ Apple” it’s like some kind of twisted love for your abuser.

  61. As a Flash developer for over 10 years, I have to say this was a bad move from Adobe.
    It will be hard to create web sites with Flash for clients now, too much cost for no exposure on Android tablets, and mobiles.
    There is no incentive in creating mobile apps using AIR, if I have to spend most of my time creating HTML/HTML5, JS apps and web sites. Most likely now, the developers will choose the native code for idevices and Android devices.
    Unity3D is by far more popular, then Flash 3D at this stage. And as many had said, whos to say in 6 months Adobe will give up from AIR or Flash on desktop. At the end of the day all developers want to know what future brings and what tools and languages to learn.
    From so many useless Adobe tools, Adobe choose to kill Flash on mobiles?!? Am I missing something here?

  62. im not sure whare this is going, after Jobs cruciate so many fanboys atacked flash, but i remember mac or win pointes afords.
    In all media i have “adobe kills flash” how i sell anything now ?
    About year ago i try to migrate to air, but the market is still to small.
    First Linux now moblie.
    Im in fla since macromedia flash 5, begining of my studys, 4 years leyter i had to decide java or php or as3 and i chose as3, it was pure decision.
    im from Poland and its 6 in the morning, i cant sleep, im thinking:
    -go to java as junior dev
    -html5, i dont thing i can compite with people who have js, css expirience
    -android, ios, wp7 ?

  63. Nobody was developing Flash content for the mobile browser, true. For all the same reasons, lots of us are looking for a Flash-free way to develop for any browser, and we aren’t looking in Adobe’s direction. Doesn’t mean a truly enabling development environment couldn’t win us back, but it would have to be damned good.

    Nothing in this business lasts forever, and Flash gave me a good, long ride, but the credit doesn’t belong to Adobe. The best part of that ride was delivered by Macromedia.

  64. Well. bummer. I’ve been at this for 15 years now. When Apple announced that it wouldn’t support the flash plugin, Adobe came out swinging and we all lined up behind Adobe. Adobe said, “Don’t go away! We have a vision for write once, run anywhere which will be realized on mobile. Wait and see!” So we lined up and waited. And now… rather than continuing forward … the for-sale sign hangs on the door and we are all standing out in the cold. Ouch Adobe!

    When we all lined up behind Adobe, we were siding with Adobe doing all that it could to keep up the good fight and win Apple partnership with the Flash player in the long run. Now that you are saying that isn’t going to happen, here is my simple response:

    I don’t build many mobile apps for clients … and if I did, most aren’t looking to make games. They are looking to make apps that perform like jQuery Mobile (which acts somewhat like iOS and Android native apps). And here is the thing, I don’t have to buy xcode dev tools or eclipse java IDEs to build native apps. I don’t have to buy Appcelerator to write it once and run it everywhere? it’s all free. Why in the world would I keep investing in Flash? My clients wanted to believe Adobe was ALL-IN on Flash for mobile … the promise of what was to come. Now they are questioning it on the desktop. And I get it! I am not going to keep educating clients to simply have Adobe tug the rug out from under me again? If the client says “HTML5” I am going to say “Yes ma’am!” And if they say “What tools will you use to create HTML5?” I wouldn’t be able to justify paying for tools when other open-source competition full on beats the pants off of paying too much for Dreamweaver to poorly attempt to WYSIWYG my HTML5.

    It isn’t an emotional decision. It’s a solid business decision. Adobe is taking flash and turning it into a game tool … which competes with yet another free-for-single-user-license game dev platform, Unity (which out performs Adobe’s GPU rendering … I am now waiting for Unity to discontinue Unity for Adobe Flash).

    It kinda feels like Adobe took their advantage, dumbed it down to their competition’s lowest common denominator, and then immediately priced themselves out of the market. Oh, but it doesn’t perform well enough or create a good enough experience on mobile? Make it better. No, you are giving up on Flash for mobile? Well, it only makes sense that your 15 year devoted developers are ready to give up on Adobe completely.

    I have been one of those developers, and I can now say, somewhere between the worst customer service for any products I have ever had, now coupled with this decision, I simply have to replace Photoshop, and I will be able to imagine a future sans Adobe. And Adobe did this to itself!? (I used to edit video in Final Cut, and then I switched to Premiere … I see no reason to move on to for free open-source video editing while I am learning new things! )

    You have to remember that the cost of doing business includes accounting for the opportunities that are lost. Lee, we were waiting for Adobe to win the plugin battle. We were hoping! Giving in on that makes it easy (if not completely painful) to give up on Flash altogether.

    The real winners here are Appcelerator and Unity. For those who are still paying attention, Appcelerator uses JavaScript (something you all likely already know) to build native mobile apps and it is free and keeps up with mobile APIs the quickest. And Unity lets you develop in either JavaScript or (Microsoft’s) C# or their proprietary language. All of the cost of … $0.

    Just think of the money I will save (and the years I will have lost investing in the wrong tools … I feel like Flash is the new Cobol.)

    Again, nothing person (or … at least … nothing more personal than the decisions Adobe is making for their company at the expense of their current developer base.)

    I hope you find your new audience. Good luck.

  65. @Lee … they are reacting, not overreacting. If they seem emotional, it is simply because Adobe wasn’t the only one investing in a ubiquitous future for Flash. Now that Flash is giving up on that vision, Flash for the web is done. That was your big sell! That was the future. Adobe killed it, and like it’s detractors said, why would we continue to invest in Flash if that is the future? When did throwing in the towel become a good business decision?

    Above this you stated that the reason they wont invest in mobile flash is because nobody is developing for mobile flash … ding ding ding! Right-o! Didn’t Adobe say the vision was that we shouldn’t HAVE to develop special mobile Flash versions of stuff? That the hover problem on touch devices wasn’t really a big problem?

    Erg! At this point enough bad press will surely kill a clients willingness to invest in much other than a game with Flash … sad day.

  66. It’s great to see this post by you Lee, but unfortunately your reasonable view of things did not come across in the official blog post, nor in the hundreds or thousands of news posts around the world.

    It is true that few people make apps for mobile browsers, because up until recently, there have been performance, memory, and usability issues. But, these were close to being resolved with Flash 11.2 for mobile (which will now never happen) and upcoming newer hardware (which is changing at incredible speed). No-one believes that html5 is going to be more advanced or faster than flash.

    By abandoning the flash player in all mobile devices, for all time, Adobe has declared that flash is dead for the web. Why do I say that? Because most web browsing will be done on mobile in the future, and no flash players means no flash web content. Will people want to deal with app download for the next 20 years from stores that charge developers 30%, just to get enhanced content on every web site they view? Is there no other solution? HTML5 is our only hope?

    The flash platform innovated faster than open standards. It is far above html5 with Flash 11. You got caught flat-footed a bit with the whole explosion of the mobile world, but what you have achieved in the last year is nothing short of incredible. Flash could have led the web. Instead, it will be just another plug-in for a PC or Mac.

    I am an enterprise app developer. My customers have to know that my apps will work at every existing desktop with no install, as well as run well on mobile. The apps are critical to the customer — they aren’t games or advertising. In fact, they compete well with native desktop apps, yet run in the browser. If flash loses it’s ubiquitous desktop presence, all of the flash and AIR infrastructure is useless to me. Even now, we are going to lose customers who will be scared off by flash’s future. I can’t afford to write separate mobile and desktop code, and html5 is not up to the task of delivering the experience I can create today in flash. I will now have to work on HTML5 anyway, just to placate customers who worry we could go out of business if flash dies.

    This is very risky time for the entire flash/AIR ecosystem. You need to keep AIR and flash evangelism in the news, and you need to keep innovating. It will only take one executive to say too many times that “html5 is the future”, and flash/AIR could be doomed. It may have already happened.

  67. Few days before i saw, Danny Winokur’ statement. He said we are working with microsoft, apple and google to improve flash player.
    But now they stopped flashplayer in mobile browsers. soon this will happen for pc as well.
    What a developer will do with the AIR support?

  68. @Aristophrenia

    If you think the only viable future for Flash on the desktop and browsers, then you have no sense of imagination.

    Dream a little… get inspired… stop b****hing & make something cool.

  69. Lee, perhaps I’m ignorant, but AIR is part of the Flash platform, so I don’t see how much has really changed at least coming from a game development perspective? Instead of publishing a .swf, a developer would publish an .air.

    It may not be quite that simple, but I’ve made AIR apps and standard Flash as well, very transferable and at times almost the same thing. Am I wrong?

    * Sorry, I’ve made same comment is in the previous post, but it was meant for this post. *

  70. I’ll be offline for about 24 hours. Traveling to Colombia. Keep up the good discussion and I will moderate more comments when I can. Thanks!

  71. One big problem in this discussion is that Adobe is only a regular company without the religious following that Apple has. Apple can claim they invented video calls and say no to flash – and the heard follows. I think Adobe is doing a good job keeping up on an uneven playingfield. But with the timing of this announcement it seems to be used to please the investors more than anything else.

  72. Sometimes I just want to have the same desktop experience with no compromise on dumd down sub $500 tablets. That includes viewing interactive Flash websites and content that is already out there! We dont want to have reformat every piece of Flash content created in the last ten years you idiots!!!

  73. What we are sure that Adobe will not say for some time that the development of AIR is not viable or does not make sense …. ?
    I guess it’s time to really take for HTML 5.

    And on the adobe max exactly RIA stated that the future belongs to the HTML 5 – adobe so said

    very much like a flash but I fear that engaging in a flash and the AIR is now very risky, because it may be that developers will flash and the air will be useless because of human fear of the technology (not sure about the future)

  74. @Lee – “See this for an idea of where Flash is going >

    I’d love to see where ‘Flash is going’, but I can’t, because to do that I need Flash Player 11, which I’m unable to install because my not-so-old operating system (mac osx 10.5) doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. Seriously, I’m not going to upgrade my entire os for the sake of the flash player, and neither are other people. Another foolish and disappointing decision from Adobe which makes me fear for the future.

  75. “I’ll be offline for about 24 hours. Traveling to Colombia. Keep up the good discussion and I will moderate more comments when I can. Thanks!”

    i see you allready find god paying job, im still woried about mine

  76. I don’t understand this sentence “I’m pretty sure not many people were creating mobile-specific Flash websites anyway”. The whole goal was to not create for mobile but be able to experience on mobile what was on desktop. I’ve never been a fan of Apple devices, to me this is just a pop culture rather than just the only best technology available. I used to be a Nokia Symbian smarpthone user before I switched to Android 3 years ago. Nokia had Flash Lite and Android had Flash lite and then FP10 and up. So I have always been able to see the full web content, many websites with flash games, videos (including Adobe TV where there is still so much videos that require FP to watch), interactive presentations, simulations and others. And for last Christmas I’ve got an iPad, and I found it useless as I couldn’t browse web the way I used to anymore. So I started using LogMeIn for iPad to connect to my PC and this way I could browse the web the way I wanted again. In the meantime I switched to one of the Honeycomb tablets and again I was able to have the same rich web experience as on my desktop computer. When reading all Adobe evangelists explanation to the current situation I’m thing are you told to say something like in the quoted sentence or you are just hardcore iPhone users or you really don’t miss Flash on your smarpthones?
    So I don’t understand that decision, especially now when market estimations clearly show that the future belongs to Android and Apple will hopefully become a niche producer of golden devices to give their owners a feeling of being better than others because they have something more expensive than it’s worth. I’m sick of Apple and their devices being presented in every Hollywood movie (product placement that everybody got used to already), calling all smartphones iPhones, mp3 players iPods and tablets iPads. And the worst are all these fanbois not knowing the technology and repeating without thinking words of their prophet.

  77. I just released an isometric puzzle game for a client yesterday that happens to be a major player in the telecom industry. The irony :)

    I spent one week researching my options. I saw a lot of vaporware and proof-of-concepts but in the end I came to the conclusion that to make it with HTML/CSS/JS made no sense at all.

    Yes, I probably could have done my game that way but what would be the point if I got served 5 fps on mobile, no sound and cross platform issues on the side. My game would basically be as useful as a text saying “this game requires flash player”. We just have to face the fact that there is no technology, NONE, to deliver rich experiences that works on all browsers.

    Just because you can steer a car with your feet doesn’t make it a good idea. Sometimes I wonder if people who scream buzzwords actually try them out.

    That being said, Adobe has to do something regarding the Flash-stigma. Everyone and their grandma is hating on Flash. If Adobe didn’t realise that Gruber et al would reach gloating-nirvana with this news you really need to sack your PR-people.

  78. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lee.
    I totally agree with polyGeek and I’m excited how Adobe will position the Flash Platform in the near future. The Flash Player on the Desktop and AIR for mobile are really great technologies and they are more mature than all the HTML/JavaScript Tools (today). But I personally think, that Adobe is simply sending a wrong and dangerous message here. The arguments are shifting more and more from a technology pov to a political discussion. The concerns of clients/agencies are getting bigger and bigger, because of the uncertain future of Flash Platform. I was talking to lots of clients regarding workshops etc. and user groups and the feedback I got was, that many clients don’t want to invest in Flash Platform/AIR because there is a fear that it might become a dead technology soon. In my point of view we CANNOT simply draw a line between Flash Platform in generall an Flash Player on mobile in particular. In the end it’s all about the big picture and that is availability. And the contra argument #1 “Flash doesn’t run in the Browser of iOS devices” will soon become “Flash won’t run on mobile devices at all”. So I don’t only see the client’s concerns are increasing, but the developers are getting more and more sceptical, too. The people that are not as close to the technologies as we are, are getting the impression that Flash will ONLY be usefull for games in the future. And the Flex Framework was never ment to be for games. So I ask my self: What is the future of flex? I was really a little surprised about Adobe’s statement at the MAX this year: HTML5 for Data-driven Websites and Flash for Games. Where does Flex fit into that picture?

    I’m loving the HTML5 commitment of Adobe and all the new exciting Tools. But we have to act in concert to keep the amazing Flash Platform alive. And that is really hard if Adobe sends these kind of messages…

  79. The reaction to this news from the masses was simple to predict, its simply destructive to flash’s already tarnished name. “If they cant make it work on mobile people will think maybe jobs was right flash is crap everywhere!”

    Why say this now?
    “Stay tuned for exciting news about how we plan to take AIR to the next level on mobile”

    Come on Adobe at least have something like this ready while releasing this news, it may have softened the blow. It is a very frustrating time for someone to love developing in as3. Developer’s shouldn’t have to be doing Adobe’s PR work, Developers have their own business’s PR to worry about not yours.

    What Adobe needs to do now is go on a promotion rampage! Showcasing flash at its best, everyone should know the most popular iphone games are created with flash / air because today know body outside of the flash community actually does! Flash needs to be a stable trusted platform for people to invest.

    Also get that Unreal Engine demo out to the masses, there needs to be something to show off in the office ASAP! we need people saying “wow I didn’t know flash could do that” instead of “eww flash, why aren’t you using html5?”

  80. I think this is good news!

    Having had a android mobile for a while now I even switched browser so that I didn’t have the flash plugin activated. Why? Because there are so many unoptimized flash swf running that it seriously diminishes the experience. And for interactive content and games I never saw the browser doing this for me on either my mobile or iPad. Apps is where I go for that…

    The main problem I see is the general audience seems to read these news as flash being dead, which couldn’t be further from the truth…

  81. Imho Flash just committed suicide. By not supporting the mobile webbrowsers anymore (and thus blowing up it’s openscreenproject’s promise, “Enable consumers to engage with rich Internet experiences seamlessly across any device, anywhere”) in a way flash is leaving the desktop browser behind as well. I never felt compelled to write completely optimized separate pages for mobile browsers, because the modern version were capable of rendering normal pages just as well. Including the flash. Now it was already a hard bargain the last couple of years to sell flash projects within my company, but now it is just over. It will affect my day to days work, since I have yet to see the first customer that wants a non native air app over a couple of more expensive native versions. Frankly, there won’t be a reason to get the new flash version(s) at all anymore it looks like. A real shame since I still saw good value for it in the desktop browser while the whole webGL thing is progressing as slowly as it is.

  82. “Adobe abandoning Flash Player for TVs as well” /Engadget/- seriously, with every morning I feel more and more happy. Not that I would ever plan to do something for TV’s but this is just an avalanche. Well, time to learn to some HTML5, I guess, even tho I was always more into Java and AS.

    I thought that with Molehill Flash will get a second breath, seems like no. What a shame. Adobe can also kiss my $ goodbye. I am not going to waste anymore of my hard-earned cash on something I see less and less future in. Plus it always used to get to my nerves so much how just Adobe stops the support for its current products. Let’s better put out CS5.5 and milk the devs again. Now with all the fuzz about flash player this just sums up.

    So much money for Macromedia wasted. Adobe did nothing to popularize Flash. Its PR team is a joke, its CEO is a joke, too. People who cannot stand behind their own products. Where is the positive news about Flash? I don’t remember anything else but Molehill. And even that was not presented enough to an average person; sure us devs know but that’s not enough – go out to a pub and ask some fellas what they think of Flash and whether they know what is Molehill or Stage3D. Adobe just needs to push the positive about Flash and push push push, exaggerate a bit and push. Make small things big. Look at Jobs, look at Apple. Every freakin product was/is magical, filled with unicorn blood and caressed with phoenix feather before it left the assembly line. That’s what the crowd needs. Make demos, make lots of demos. Make demos that blow the user away, that have minimum CPU load and memory usage, that cannot be accomplished by html5 or any other technology and present them big time.

    AIR is not enough. If Flash will be only about AIR, it will disappear unless you make it really kickass. And without offence, I don’t think that will happen. It won’t stand a chance against Unity.

    Btw, I hope you had a nice and pleasant flight, Lee. Welcome to the more noisy part of the world, hehe.

  83. I really hope they pull flash and dreamweaver out of the creative bundles and into a new game app designer bundle. At this point, I can still see investing in Illustrator and Photoshop and Premiere and After Effects and inDesign. For those of us who are either producing multimedia and/or for the whole web, those tools will be valuable.

    At this point I spend more time writing around Dreamweaver that using it’s features. Too many good open source tools that help you write HTML or PHP or JS that are cheep or free.

    Flash and Dreamweaver feel like they are now going for a developer demographic that is not me.

    I cannot see the point of putting all of that together with flash and dreamweaver when the open source competition is too good.

    (Lays down 15 years of flash development on the side of the road and keeps walking.)

    @S Like with most open source, the tools are free, support costs something. From what I have read, you can still download Titanium and get started for $0 investment.

    But that isn’t the end of it. There is also which is another phonegap type solution.

    It is Adobe who will benefit in this move, not me. I get that. I am OK with it. At this point I see devoting the remainder of my career to shared evolving industry standards than to a bunch of closed proprietary tools (I can’t believe I am saying that .. I was one of the people who defended flash against Steve Jobs lies and Adobe even forward my response to Steve Jobs around their offices. I got emails from leadership staff at Omniture telling me about it.) I just don’t want to get caught in this situation again.

    At the moment I am a little irrationally worried about what/if they do this to Premiere in some manner. Switching NLE video editors is a fairly big learning curve too. I don’t know if I am up for seeing Adobe abandon efforts on that end.

    I am starting to feel like I have too many eggs in one basket. You would think that Adobe would love that. But when they abandon stuff, this is the intuitive response. Apple did the same thing with their NLE this last year (abandoning their audience). The only stable platforms/companies at this point feel like Sony’s Vegas Video and Avid.

    I hate that this decision has happened i just cant afford to go through this again in 6 months with the desktop player. I recall when adobe announced the GPU accelerated version of Flash with gaming capabilities and Unity3D said they would target it with their dev tool. Then a few months later they said ‘Well, you can target some types of games for this version of the Flash Player, but if you need better performance in other areas, stick with the Unity plugin.” So basically, Unity3D backed down a little bit on the Flash (Game) Player. If, like the mobile player, Adobe cannot get the performance where it needs to be, do we see a new roadmap where adobe will suddenly abandon Flash and Lee will suddenly tell us about how that was a good decision for the company?

    I just can’t do this again.

  84. Lee,

    It’s bad enough that this recent announcement translates to the upcoming death of Flash in general, Adobe now needs to send out clear messages on the future. For our sake (the developers) as well as to educate the common internet user.

    The way the general media displays Flash is that it seems to marvel at the fact that it will go down soon, and all you read in the comments is that the combined internet world will organize one big virtual party to celebrate the day this finally happens…

    How do you expect us developers to deal with this?

    Further, Adobe seems to steer in the direction that future Flash will be targeting gaming and advanced video, what about Flex then? Is 4.6 going to be the last version? Will we ever see good Spark performance? etc etc…

    I agree wholeheartedly that AIR on mobile makes a lot more sense than the mobile browser plugin, but this total mess could have been avoided.

    Please release some road maps to back us up and clear the confusion.

  85. “So basically nothing has really changed for Flash developers…”

    I’m really sorry Lee, but if you’re making this statement in any sort of ‘official’ capacity, then I’d have to say it’s symptomatic of the total insensitivity and overall clumsiness of Adobe’s announcement. If you can’t see that this sounds the death-knell for the vast majority of Flash developers over the entire world, then I’m not really sure what brand you’re smoking.

    I’ve worked with Flash since the very start (FutureSplash), and it’s mostly been a great ride. Somewhere along the line it felt like Adobe forgot how cool Flash could potentially be. But even so the end has come much, much faster than I could’ve guessed.

    Online news services here in Europe are mostly presenting the news as Adobe stopping development of Flash, and the talk at my company is that there’s really no point in developing anything new with Flash content. The tone for a few months has been that Flash should always be avoided whenever possible, but this latest blow brought down the house, and quite frankly, I’m not gonna stand up and fight the misinformation this time – I’ve done it way too many times before, only to be betrayed by Adobe’s lack of long-term commitment.

    The hardest thing right now is that I just had my second kid a couple weeks ago – that’s the real, personal, lowdown on these ‘corporate’ situations. I’m looking at my two great kids and thinking that I’ll either be clawing my way through some crappy javascript in six month’s time, or out of a job, and looking to lose my (and their) home.

    Thanks for the ride, anyway.

  86. Working for a big company , you know good flex job is really hard get , now with your latest message lot of people are disapointed , i’v see video just 2days ago showing their application in iPad/Android device , company was really excited about it , i’m really disappointed about this situation . Adobe should do something positive or everybody will leave you , at least flex developers.

  87. Between putting 750 people out of work, and handling the PR in such a cack handed way that the mainstream media are running the story as Flash is dead, Adobe are going to have to apply a damn sight more lube to spin this to a positive.

    Talk of refocusing technology in the market place isn’t really relevant under the weight of such bad press.

    I wonder if they gave their foot a decent head start before they shot it.

  88. For Adobe lead this may seem like a great move, keep the flash content creators as much tied as possible for a while while really focussing on html5 content creation tools creation and get those ready asap for a hungry audience and having really killed of pretty much all future flash player dev.
    And hooray, with those new html5 tools one will be able to do less than with flash 3 but all will buy them, sweet, no?.
    I was laughing the other day when someone who had some custom font support going in html+js+css on his blog and wondered on a podcast that it looked jaggy on some devices and then the other guy on the podcast said: yeah, sure, that´s annoying, but that´s childhood day issues, it will advance, after all we´re talking about custom font support there, that´s cutting edge technology in the browser.
    Haha, cutting edge. custom font support. in 2011.
    Flash had that for how many years working cross browser?
    But yes, Adobe signs the deal for it going that way by believing in it and jumping on the bandwagon.
    Back to square one, redo all in more stripped down limited options, hooray, the content or liimitations or ts creators is not important there anymore, the only thing counting is that its made in open standards html5, hooray.

    Where the big mistake is is in the way Adobe looks at the current landscape and based on that the future.
    And based on that look Adobe is helping shape the future that way instead of into a maybe nicer way.
    Most users on mobile devices are using websites for quick reading/access of data/ communication and native apps for more in depth stuff often.
    Hence that is portrayed as a new trend and the wave of the future.
    Adobe sees it that way and pushes into html5 for websites and native apps (if anything) for flash/air.

    But is and would that have to be the wave of the future or would it just be a temporary thing?

    Let´s look back at the past, back to earlier www days, before internet access speeds for desktop users were fast, while html +js and image formats etc were even more in infancy and desktop computers were way slower and before there was the flash plugin and other plugins.
    What was it like?
    One would use the web similar to how one uses it now on mobiles and for more in depth functionality use native apps on the machine.

    See some similarities to what its like on smartphones, tablets etc?

    Yes, then internet access speeds raised for desktop users, the performance and various capabilities of average desktop machines raised and plugins like flash came along adding way more functionality to browsers hence leading to way more in depth content one could use in the browser.

    Where is the trend going with mobile device?
    Way higher system specs every year and also spreading of faster connection types.

    Anyway, you see and want a different future for the web, a “future” back to www 1.0 days before flash etc, no plugins anymore, touting open standards while working with stone age tools and Adobe can then sell many html5 tools to people still wanting to buy stuff from them, so yeah, go ahead.

    But yeah, don´t try to sell it as big new future while its a step towards a more restrictive past.

  89. Hey Lee, I heard the news yesterday via a department wide email broadcast, and decided the best course of action was to reply and debrief people. The truth is that developers need a lot more in their kit than just a single platform. Companies value developers who can speak to the pros and cons of a wide variety of technologies, so to be successful we need to position ourselves as what we are – technologists. Anyway – minus some formatting – below is what I sent out.

    This is about Mobile Browsers versus Mobile App experiences.
    The short version of Adobe’s press release is that you still have to decide on development platform based on the required functionalities, Adobe is rightly continuing to evolve to meet market needs.

    Flash will continue as a Mobile App development platform.
    Flash is a great platform for developing stand alone apps for mobile and deploying them across iOS, Android and Blackberry with a minimum of rework. Apps give us the most control over the complete user experience rather than occupying a space inside of a mobile browser window. Flash isn’t the only pathway by any means – but is completely viable, and does keep rework to a minimum.

    As of June, App use has actually surpassed browser use for mobile platforms. Information about that available here:

    For myself I greatly prefer the app versions of Facebook, and LinkedIn*, I refuse to use the mobile browser versions. *HTML5 also offers some great benefits in this arena – the LinkedIn app is html5. The solution should ideally be chosen based on the required feature set.

    Javascript and HTML 5 frameworks are better suited for Mobile browser development HTML5 standards are being embraced by the majority of mobile browsers, it makes more sense for Adobe to focus on HTML5 solutions for mobile browsers. This makes more sense than continuing to have their developers modify the mobile flash plugin to work with new chipsets and phones. For people who like the techy details, a great site to find out more about what features are supported on which browser and platform is:

    There are times you need Flash, and we need to embrace that.
    There are some areas where flash remains far superior. These are high end desktop browser experiences, and fully immersive gaming. For instance sites like Planet Zero for instance just aren’t possible in html5.

  90. Well, that’s it then Adobe. Shutter down as far as I’m concerned. From the very point of acquiring MM all the wrong moves have been made.

    Flex? Really?? You let the Java “enterprise devs” take over and destroy Flash magic by creating the most bloated, unresponsive, badly designed, non performant UI framework in the history of computing.

    Flex was the death of Flash, instead of focusing on improving a compiler and a runtime, and giving as slim UI framework that could easily run on mobile, you created Flex.

    And greed. 5.5? Yes, thank you very much I’d rather buy a new MacBook Pro.

  91. @ Bilal: Narayen is just a typical sales CEO, clueless about what he’s saying. If you took his words for granted, it’s your fault for not seeing through the guys like him. In fact is was Narayen and Steve Jobs together that killed Flash.

  92. To me, the decision to kill the mobile flash player is a non-issue. Maybe because I’m happy with my iPhone.. or maybe that I just didn’t see myself using mobile web that much where Flash was required. Apps is where its at for mobile, and Flash and Flex have a good hold (at least w/ my clients) in the corporate space on the desktop and embedded systems.

    Where I’m a little upset with Adobe is that if this was coming, and I have to believe this plan to dump Flash on mobile wasn’t just hatched overnight, that Adobe should have put 1000% more resources on Stage3d for mobile. If the new focus for Flash is games than the lack of GPU acceleration on mobile really puts the Flash developer behind the ball. Sure, we can use blitting, but we’ll never get the performance that GPU will provide, and that still leaves us with just 2d stuff as well. I’m also not that thrilled that Starling, which is supposed to have Adobe support, is moving at a snails pace. At this point, if I was asked to build a game for a client, I’d have a hard time recommending using AIR over Corona or Cocos2d. I WANT to build in Flash and ActionScript, but the lack of GPU acceleration, no native box2d, no in-app purchase support makes it a tough sell to both me and my clients. I hope with Adobes renewed focus after these layoffs and focus on digital media that these become a higher priority. Oh.. and maybe threading soon?

  93. Adobe should be more forthcoming. They have bifurcated the development space. There will be Flash within AIR packages only and HTML5 for web delivery. Notice Plug-ins will be banned on IE, so there will be no universal delivery channel for ActionScript content on the desktop in the future.

    There are two cohesive options:
    The first is to Open-Source Flash Player so it may live on in WebKit etc. This maintains the status quo, but removes the burden of Flash maintenance from Adobe.

    The second is to abandon ActionScript and reengineer around HTML5 by extending PhoneGap to support the desktop as well. The downsides to this are many, as PhoneGap+JQuery+JavaScript+HTML5 != ActionScript.

    Adobe needs to articulate its vision of the Flash ecosystem going forward. Everyone seems to be looking at this from their own corner of the hypercube. “I use it for games” or “I use it for business apps” etc.etc.etc. That was the potential beauty of Flash and AIR… the write once, run anywhere do anything promise. If we don’t move fast this will be lost and we’ll be back to chrome.html5 + ie.html5 + firefox.html5 + PhoneGap + JQuery + JavaScript + AJAX + ……….

  94. Really, I’m in shock…..people so sad….

    THIS IS THE END……………..




  95. Completely bad PR. This just fed int Job’s initial propaganda. It is not easy falling for the hysteria when the hysterical people are the ones potentially making the decisions to use Flash or not.

    This has moved Flash from a pervasive web presence to a compartmentalized corner.

    Although this move will not affect all Flash developers, it has cut 50, maybe even more percent of the available and potential flash projects out there.

    So what was once a eclectic means to deliver any type of web/desktop content can only be delivered to niche companies and clients.

    I definitely feel betrayed although this should come to no surprise given the eclectic nature of web technologies. It’s just hard having stayed devoted, loyal and proud to be a Flash developer for over 10 years. This includes advocating and fighting for the justification of the use of Flash in any project. Now this statement by the business side of Adobe has completely shattered that pride and confidence in a product that most of us have posting have staked our livelihood and careers on.

    I will keep as positive as I can, reading between the lines and hoping that this strategy is not completely business oriented, and that technologically Flash will integrate into html5 in some form and surprise everyone out there.

  96. The main reasoning behind this decision is that anything a developer would want to build or, more importantly, anything that a user would want to experience in a mobile browser can be done just as well, if not better, with HTML5/CSS3/JS. As legacy browser versions fade away this will also be a fact for desktop browsers. Additionally, what percentage of those developing for Android/iOS/Windows Mobile are doing so with Flex? Probably only a small amount. So where does that leave Flash as a development platform? It leaves it as a niche technology used by a niche group within the development community used to build niche content. Is Adobe really willing to invest in a niche technology for the long haul? I have my doubts. Maybe Adobe should open source it like some have suggested.

    I am a Flash developer but have always considered myself a front end web developer first. I also believe that in the long run the web is where everything will run from what you play to what you watch to what you use digitally. Web standards are also becoming a decent alternative to developing some native content. So looking at my career from the perspective of the next decade web standards are the best bet for ensuring my employability. Flash did a great job at helping me pay the bills for almost a decade while allowing me to have fun creating very rich content. But it’s time to move on.

    Web standards are still a huge pain to develop with. So as Lee alluded to, I hope this will allow Adobe to focus its energy on creating tools that will facilitate developing for the web using web standards. Dreamweaver, PhoneGap, Edge, CSS Regions, etc., give Adobe a great collection of tools to build on to make them the go to provider of web standards development tools. That coupled with the fact that they are still the de facto provider of creative/design tools and they are in a great position to continue to lead and push the boundaries of the web.

    Develop once and deploy everywhere can still be an achievable goal…it just doesn’t have to include Flash.

  97. I’m working for an iGaming company, and I do find it somewhat offensive when Lee states that no-one is developing content for the mobile Flash Player. Why am I no-one?
    Since app markets does not allow iGaming, AIR is not an option.
    HTML5 takes a lot longer to develop and test, but it will probably be the only option now.
    Of course the question now is how to go forward. The main focus is still on the desktop, but does it make sense to continue using Flash if it means having to rewrite using another platform for mobile?
    It’s somewhat of and edge case, but don’t pretend that no-one is affected.
    While the number of developers and companies directly affected is not very high, it seems obvious that halo effect and perception of the platform will have a very big impact. I can’t see how the timing and the way the announcement was made could have been any worse.

    I have been a very dedicated supporter of Flash for over 10 years, but I just feel that one simply cannot invest any more time and effort in the platform considering the way this has been handled by Adobe.
    From a business perspective it’s very hard to justify investing in the Flash platform any more since it’s not possible to have any faith in the long term viability of neither AIR or the Flash Player for PC.

    Maybe if you are doing small and short-lived projects, where you don’t need to worry if you have to rewrite everything in a couple of years, it is not an issue, but unless Adobe manages to do something to restore confidence in their commitment to the platform it’s just not an option to make any large investments into the platform any more.
    But right now Adobe comes across as incompetent and lacking commitment and interest in the platform.

  98. Thanks Lee for speaking out to the community and attempting to describe a balanced perspective in this major shift from Adobe.

    We’ve been waiting for the move for some time now and I think it, ultimately, is a very positive direction for Flash and web development in general. It is a small step forward in providing some clarity and perspective for developers in what technologies to use when building websites, games, simple apps versus even moderately complex applications.

    I hope that Adobe is listening very carefully to their developer community – those with the knowledge and understanding of where we “think” Adobe is heading. They have a real struggle with public relations and offering clear communications. One of the problems is that they just never seem to give developers – or mainstream media – any solid, clearly articulated vision for the future of Flash. Consequently, it comes across as if they “don’t really know” or that they are simply sitting on the fence on their commitment to Flash. They talk about it at Adobe Max (which I’m trying to catch up watching everything as I wasn’t able to go) but it’s always over-shadowed by Adobe’s need to reassure to mainstream media, their emphasis on HTML 5. If they don’t see that, are they truly listening? They need to become a populist educator of the technology. Paint The Adobe Vision with clear emphasis on where they are taking BOTH HTML 5 and Actionscript. They have simply done an abysmal job at promoting the concept of AIR – most non-technical people and many web developers haven’t a clue what it means.

    If Adobe’s recent restructuring is about shifting their company towards a strong focus in offering cloud-based content consumption – offering the tools and platforms for creating and deploying these services – then continue to do everything in your power as a very influential and respected company to communicate the complete Adobe vision of this on every media channel out there.

    We know their vision includes game development, but where do they sit on even moderately complex applications that run on a smartphone or tablet? Where is their vision for enterprise applications or complex , data-driven software that would be very difficult to build using existing Javascript technology? If they don’t like the use of Flash for these objectives, then say so. Tell us where you think it should go. Give us the opinion and listen if the developer community agrees or not.

    How do they truly position the AIR platform against other options for developers? I strongly urge Adobe to speak vocally about these things : engage…engage…engage – they must stand up and defend their choices, cut through the bullshit….and back up their moves if they want developers (and their developers’ clients) to understand, let alone commit, to using their tools. And they must do it quickly and constantly.
    Here’s to healthy dialogue.

  99. Bring it back. Just bcos ios won’t allow the player doesn’t mean the player should be dead for the mobile and tablet browsers. Just bring it back and we won’t even mention this stupid decision again. Just bring it back.

  100. am I in the twilight zone? Am I the only one that read “monetization opportunities” and connected it with Adobe’s stocks suffering and laying off 750 people.

    Meanwhile at Apple. Millions are made for apple in the app store.

    Simply put! Flash on the mobile browser competes with the income stream of app stores. It can’t be controlled in the interest of STOCK HOLDERS.

    AIR is simply about Adobe trying to wedge itself into that market.

    Adobe shows lack of respect for its clients and supporters. Just a Wallstreet puppet.

  101. What about flash ad banners? There sure are plenty of them still.
    Isn’t this a bigger market than web games? What’s the future for web advertising?


  102. “The real challenge moving forward will be to combat the misinformation and confusion that an announcement like this brings.”

    That’s Exactly RIGHT! Good luck to all of us Flash Developers finding jobs in the next year… wasn’t it hard enough when Steve Jobs opened his big fat mouth!?! Even you spoke against this move at AdobeMax 2010 and how it hurt so many of our Flash jobs.

    I’m glad I started learning C++. My colleagues have all done the same to learn similar languages (C#, Obj-C & JAVA) in an effort to secure our futures as developers. The truth is with a blow like this clients and project managers will run with it no matter what any of us say and will demand their projects be developed using native programming languages.

    I give it one year before Flash jobs become far and few between like lingo and Director. Adobe has presented too large a risk for me to put my family’s well being in a Flash Career.

    This is one fan boy adobe has lost for good…

  103. I guess you can now pack up gotoAndLearn since most of the tutorials doesn’t involve AIR. Go ahead and drop all the tutorials if you REALLY believe in Adobe’s Statement.

  104. how many people actually use a mobile browser very often? i don’t.. i’ve got 2 mobiles devices, a htc desire and an ipad. all the things i use regularly i have in app form.. news, maps, mail, games etc.. by far most of the browsing i do is with my laptop. we always here about how more and more people are connecting to the internet through mobile devices but are they using their devices web browser to do that? maybe they are, what’s everyone think? adobe focusing on app publishing with air and the desktop browser version of flash is a good decision in my mind.

  105. Adobe needs to work NOW to circumvent the faulty and simplistic logic that says, ‘no mobile flash plugin= A Flash-less desktop future’ and all the other myths perpetrated by HTML5 only fanboys(ie all the devs that either were never capable or motivated enough to master advanced actionscripting).

  106. Lee long time ago and saw this coming and is the right move for Flash.

    Since the begin of AIR (Formerly Apollo), 2008 I saw the tremendous potential of this client. So from now we have to looking forward to seeing what good things come from AIR.

    Best Regards from Costa Rica

  107. Our main client just asked us to stop developing his products in Flash and move to HTML 5. As Flash won’t work on mobile and mobile is the future.
    That’s the message they get: flash old evil no-mobile vs html5 new open runs everywhere

  108. So I think all would agree mobile devices are the future, or a massive part of it, right?

    And Flash isn’t supporting mobile devices anymore..

    And “..this is actually the right move for Flash…”

    What a load of hot AIR.

    If Air had any future in mobile devices, Adobe would have announced “Air will now be replacing Flash on mobile devices, but Flash will be supported through Air’s new fandangled xyz version…”

  109. @lee
    I think no one here is going crazy about the death of “flash on mobile browsers”. Apple already killed it. And mobile visitors are still a few %.
    The problem is how this is percived by our clients. We do not develop videgames, but e-learning and multimedia websites. Saying “oh, but we have stage3d now” won’t change things.
    At the early stage of a new project a very common question is going to be “can this be done using html5?” And the answer will be yes in most cases. So we should start doing that in html5 before our competitors do.

  110. I’ve been using flash since version 3, have contributed to some flash programming books and have been working as flash developer for most of a decade. And yet I feel that this is sadly the start of the end for flash.

    Ive defended flash against all of the recent ‘flash is dead’ attacks (siverlight, ipad etc) but this time I cant because the attack has come from Adobe. Maybe halting flash for phone development is prudent, but the PR line that has come out of this has been terrible for the flash community.

    Everyone is saying something along the lines of “flash for mobile is dead” and “mobile is the future” therefore “flash has no future”.

    It’s hard to argue against this with clients when Adobe lets this kind of negative PR happen. It’s also clear now that flash wont every be coming to the iPad as Adobe have given up on getting it right on Android. Yes, you can build apps for tablets but that’s not much of long term strategy is it.

    I knew I would eventually have to switch to HTML5/javascript, I just thought it wouldnt happen until HTML5 was a bit more advanced/stable/cross browser. And I thought Adobe would bring out some products to make it easy to transition over. Ideally something like gwt but for actionscript. What we have from Adobe is Edge – which is fine if you want to make html5 banner ads but not much beyond that.

    What should a long term flash developer do? Ultimately Adobe has made the decision for me- I have to spend the next 6 months moving away from flash, converting my interactive content to html5. Sad, but if Adobe are scaring off all the clients I have to leave too – like others I have a family to support.

    I’d just like to finish by saying thank you to Lee for the great work he has done for the flash community, your blog and gotoandlearn have been fantastic


  111. So, i’ve read many of Adobe’s statements over this, and i DO understand the point here. HOWEVER, i think this is a step in the WRONG direction. This will eventually lead to less acceptance of using Flash. Not just for mobile, but even for desktop. And that leads us down a very dark path…

  112. Flash as a platform is toast. Like another poster said earlier it was a fun ride. Mostly due to Macromedia. Looks like Objective C training is my future.

  113. Is this a mean I am not going to get a flash player12(or the any prior.) update on tablet device may be running honeycomb /icecream sandwich with debatable resources to run a flash powered website in abrowser?……… I am not talking about any handset, just tablets its configurations are incresasing day by day.

  114. FWIW it was stupid of me to say that nothing has really changed for Flash developers. What I meant was that Flash in the mobile browser was not a target of any new work anyway. But I didn’t factor in the reaction from clients.

  115. @Russell Touche!

    I have also been teaching Flash for over 11 years at a post secondary school. And I just know that when I show up to work next week, my bosses are going to ask me about this…what am I to say? Most likely I will just tell them to dump Flash and go all HTML5 and native coding for apps.

    Such a sad day. I even had 4 of my students go to MAX this year, and it will probably be the last time for me and them.

  116. Lee,

    this is an appalling decision –

    The day before this was announced I showed a designer that I work with, his flash website running on my new galaxy note. It wasn’t flash ‘developed for mobile’, it was flash running in a browser on a mobile phone. He was BLOWN AWAY!

    The next day I am laughed out by all the java developers because Flex is now dead! I didn’t ‘buy into the hysteria’, but everybody else did, including the important non-technical decision makers.

    Mobile phones and tablets are coming along on which existing, and new, flash content would work on, but the rug has been pulled from under that.

    I am now retooling my skill set in preparation for the time when, as a flex developer, I can no longer get work.

    Flash and Flex are dead – not because I say so, but because everybody else says so.

  117. Guys, be positive, if Adobe don’t do it, we do it; Let’s create more personal work at your best, to show the world how lovely a well designed flash is, let’s prove it.

  118. Guys, be positive, it looks like a funeral here, it still not that bad I think

    if Adobe don’t do it, we do it; Let’s create more personal work at your best, to show the world how lovely a well designed flash is, let’s prove it.

  119. wow, talk about making mountains out of molehills. anyone who writes good clean oop code will be fine whether flash exists or not. and it still does exist! mobile flash isn’t dead, it’s just not going to be supported in mobile browsers which no one was developing new content for anyway.

    the only problem i see is convincing clients that buy into all the flash hater hype still to use it. adobe could have released this news in a more tactical way. like.. basically saying nothing and treating mobile flash like they do shockwave player. remember shockwave? it still exists, it just doesn’t get much attention anymore :(

  120. Crap news to say at least…

    Problem here is in what exactly do we consider to be ‘mobile’!?!?

    If we are talking about devices with about 4″ screen size then arguably it isn’t a big deal. However, if under ‘mobile’ we include all the tablet devices with 7-10″ screens (not to mention TV sets!) then this is nothing short of disaster since Flash is running decently on them and with extra bit of dev time coupled with latest hardware I am sure it would eventually run perfectly.

    Adobe’s recent decision will result in lot of pain for all Flash developers and designers out there eventually leading to its death.

    Flash can’t possibly survive only with the focus on gaming and occasional app and it has to primarily be focused on ‘extraordinary’ web browsing experience in order to shine…

    In other words, Flash without Flash Player browser plugin is dead meat.

    Dead meat on mobiles, tablets and TVs will eventually mean dead meat on Desktops / Laptops too – perhaps sooner rather than later too!

    I truly hope that I am wrong though!

  121. The problem here is not a technical one, but one of perception. Clients are already avoiding Flash wherever they can. An announcement like this just reinforces that sentiment. I’ve had people saying to me ‘Have you heard about Flash…” Like they would say “Have you heard about your ex getting married…” They say it like they know its bad but its better for me to know. Truth is I haven’t written a single line of Actionscript for a year. Not because I don’t love Flash, but because it is clear that unless something huge happens, Flash is going the way of Director. Its painfully clear that Adobe are winding Flash down. There is no other language I’d rather programme in, but I would be crazy to continue to do so when the writing seems to be on the wall.

  122. This proves the steve jobs who called flash a CPU hog, only for PC and adobe engineer are lazy. Adobe flash ruins my 3 years of hard work in flash platform. I hove i can do well in other language and can develop great web and mobile apps. from today i throws flash professional and plugin from my desktop and hope other will do the same.

    Any way thanks adobe for feeding me for 3 years using your fu*king tool.

  123. @Lee Brimelow:
    You need to understand: “no Flash on iOS” could be changed in soon future. Android is growing up very fast and lot of people decide to Android only because it have Flash. So probably iOS could allow Flash. But Adobe destroy everything. Adobe lost trust of people.

    The fact is:
    – mobile is the future of www
    – no Flash on mobile browsers = dead Flash
    – performance of Flash on future mobile – no problem since there are still faster CPU

  124. Sometimes when we post things on public forums as reps for our companies we don’t get everything right – we all move fast and are required to think quickly. The props goes to you for even taking the opportunity – and i hope Adobe backs you 100%. It’s a dialogue and with something this complex everyone must give a voice for error.

    Again, i think Adobe has made major mistakes in this regard, as have others in the comments and I’d like to see Adobe jump on this quickly and not be quiet about it. Adobe is all too quiet about Flash and have been for a while now -afraid to entertain public debate with there very customers…and in some ways i think the Flash community not stepping up and engaging in genuine debate with techno-pundits who simply don’t “get the tech” is a bad thing. Do we invite Flame wars? Of course we do – it’s the nature of public forums. But we still hammer out our opinions and go after major journalists who post silly things that confuse everyone. Should Adobe not take the lead in this? Why not get on Tech Crunch, Wired, Economist, WSJ, and other major media and go after it…

  125. It seems Adobe should be laying off some PR staff. What a mess. Many astute people in the advertising agencies are dancing on Adobe Flash’s grave along with Steve Jobs. But I believe they are mistaken. From what you have been saying Lee, is that Flash is now targeting Apps and is here to stay. Can you kick your comrades is the ass to get an “APPROPRIATE” message out: FLASH NOW TARGETS APPS NOT BROWSERS ON MOBILE. Isn’t that the message you want to say? Correct me if I’m wrong cause everybody’s freaking out so much I’m starting to think the wrong message in that flash is dead (NOT). Please reclarify that Flash will continue to target Mobile and Desktop and clarify how.

    Thanks Lee!!

  126. @Brad. In my opinion, you tell them this is an interesting and most likely positive step forward in the evolution of web technologies. In somes ways, it forces things forward. Your students can focus on how to build HTML / CSS 3 / Javascript websites and simple applications – even simple animation using those technologies. If they want to go the route of application development and OOP, they can take on Actionscript, PHP and the deployment options of AIR. I’ve hired high school students that have any sign of good capabilities. It can help teach them about optimization methods in a runtime versus interpreted scripting languages. It gives you the opportunity to describe the business environment of competing platforms and the pros and cons of these. I would turn it into a great advantage for what you can deliver to high school students in preparation for the digital media and comp sci courses they’ll take in college/university.

  127. Ok, the _ONLY_ reason for this is Adobe’s ineptitude to develop good products. I don’t know when they’ve lost it, but it happened sometime between 2005 – 2010.

    Look at this:

    Corona SDK – Far superior to Flash, cross platform technology, works on Android, iOS, amazing performance, API, language, gained incredible traction for game development. Done by a startup with few smart guys. Simple and cheap.

    PhoneGap – Again, few guys in a garage did a JS / HTML packager to run as native apps. Adobe didn’t get the same idea or was struggling with development, so they actually had to acquire PhoneGap.

    Sencha Touch – How many times did Adobe promise to build a mobile framework? Well, these guys just did it. It’s free.

    jQuery – one dude did it. We all know about it, fantastic what it became with all the community contributions.

    The list could go on and on. All these companies managed, in a very short time, to achieve what Adobe couldn’t do with 15 years of advantage, ready made product, huge budget and dev team. It shows that Adobe dev team is just plain useless, period. There should be guys like Joshua Davis, Yugo Nakamura, Lee Brimelow, Brandon Hall and others driving Flash development, not the Java people with enterprise, mainframe mentality and coding style.

    Look at the hype framework –

    **THIS IS FLASH!!!!** That’s what I call Flash and that’s why I fell in love with it just looking at the cover of New Masters of Flash a decade ago. Why not doing more of that, at the same time improving performance? Why not improving the language? Why copying Java or C# which was made for completely different purpose. Actionsctipt should be more like Python or Lua. Why not even adopt a Python and have it compile for AVM, it was done with Jython for JVM so it could be done for AVM also. Imagine having Flyton, lol, as in Flash Python :D. Even Blender 3D uses Python for scripting. All this _IS_ possible, but only with creative, forward looking people, not lazy management with endless layers of middle management and 20 people in the CC for every small issue.

    So _WHAT IS_ Adobe doing? What are they doing with all their time and money? They must be doing something, right?

    Sadly, all of their efforts go into ripping you off of your hard earned cash. Their products are extremely expensive, and all they care about is how to bang together yet another interim update (CS 5.5) with some fake new features, hoping that adoption rate will force you into purchase because of file compatibility. Thanks a lot, this coming from a company that was supposed to be a ‘Rolls Royce’ in multimedia tool development.

    I’m sorry Adobe, I used to use most of your products for my day to day job for 14 years. I still do the same job, but I rarely see a need for any of those these days. I use Flash Builder, Photoshop because designers send files in it, and that’s it. For all the other stuff there are far better and far, far cheaper alternatives (PyCharm is some 60 bucks I think I don’t even count it as cost :). And now it seems I could do away with Flash Builder also very soon. Well, I guess after all, it’s good for my budget that Adobe is shooting themselves in the foot. For the price of Adobe Web Premium I get a new MacBook Pro with XCode, and I still have enough to buy some 10 other tools.

  128. Adobe is destroying the already meager value proposition of being an ActionScript dev. See Aristophrenia above for more details.
    – Do I go to Adobe for ActionScript tools? Almost certainly.
    – Do I go to Adobe for HTML5 tools? Maybe.
    – Do I got Adobe for native app tools? No.

  129. If Adobe were to have balls then they wouldn’t wait until right after Max to communicate news so important as this. And please don’t tell this was not yet decided before Max. Its not because you consider your customers to be morons that they are morons!!!

  130. mobile or no mobile, flash or no flash… you never throw away the knwoldge. The animations, the design patterns, OOP concepts, creativity you learn all these years on flash will still be usefull on other languages. For instance, java is so much similar to as3, and javascript/canvas will be a piece of cake for any as3 developer. And my knowledge of the design pattern, MVC and stuffs like this, from flash made my learning of yii much easier.

    I am looking forward for the next big thing that is happeing on the desktop flash and air on desktop/mobile.
    Now, since adobe will be face to face with Unity on 3D arena, I am already excited and it will only make things better.

    For the app development, and specially on iOS, it would be better if we can a “very smart” captive runtime and a much faster complie time. It would be awesome, if we can reduce the file size of the captive runtime by some Megabytes because it doesnot look pretty enought for a simple app to have a weight of 10+MB. I think you understand what I mean by a “very smart” captive runtime. :)

    And remember no thing lasts forever, but knowledge and experience lasts forever. All the best for flash.

  131. Just open source the player if you believe there is no market for it on the mobile and let the community take it over. Seesh, i am having to face tough questions due to this ill timed message. Will someone please email me the address of the person responsible for this. I’ve got two dogs hungry for human nuts.

  132. Hi Lee,

    Like many of the people on your site I have a large stake in the future of Flash. All things considered it has been the best technology to develop impressive websites, games, and applications that reach about a billion people on the web. Flash Player 11 also promises much more particularly for those making games. AIR 3 also has a ton of potential.

    Adobe’s decision to direct focus away from mobile plugin development does have logic to it. I know there was not much of a focus on developing Flash sites for mobile devices. Mobile devices with their touch screens are not very accommodating to anything other surfing simple text and image pages. Flash is often used for the most complex tasks and therefore demanding of resources, and many smart phones currently don’t live up to that. So I would imagine one of the major reasons for this decision was to redirect resources towards making Flash and AIR better for the remaining platforms they target.

    On the other hand I think more time is needed for developers to come up with the best practices and methods for mobile Flash site development. As Aristophrenia mentioned, some 8 months was spent working towards a Flash framework for mobiles. Smart phones are more powerful by the month, I don’t see Flash performance as an issue in the long term on smart phones either.

    This decision may well have set the course for not just the demise of Flash, but also Adobe. Besides lost respect and confidence in Adobe. This action highlights what all that Anti-Flash people have disliked about Flash, one company has all the control, can set any price, and can terminate the technology at any time without warning. I know Flash makes up a fraction of Adobe’s profits, in terms of product sales. However Flash may be be a big reason why many people opt to also buy Photoshop and other Adobe products, or the entire suite. While some people decide to ditch Flash why wouldn’t they consider ditching many other Adobe products in favor of lower cost alternatives?

    Now for the heart of the matter… I understand the idea of focusing resources so that Flash can be better on other platforms. A major problem is the way this was announced. It gave all the anti-Flash people a ton of ammo. Self-fulfilling prophecies do happen, and this just helps the Flash dead prophecy along. There may very well be many logical reasons for Adobe to focus instead on AIR and Flash on other platforms, but it was done with fantastically horrible timing and sensitivity.

    Since AS3 is OOP many skills and knowledge a Flash Developer has acquired will transfer over to a different language, the hysteria level might be higher than it should be. However it still might not be a fun ride for a Flash Developer, so it is also logical to wonder if Flash will be killed out of the blue as well. I am not going to ditch my current stake in Flash, but I am going to start hedging my bet. I still don’t believe that the demise of Flash is certain, however I can’t be certain either way.

    Now with this outcry if Adobe is having any second thoughts on this decision I strongly recommend reversing this. It can be done, Netflix and many banks recently did just that and have moved on.

    If Adobe doesn’t want a great deal of their customer base jumping ship, It is necessary for Adobe to immediately demonstrate a strong and long-term commitment to Flash.

  133. @Arindam Biswas

    Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen is ultimately responsible. Yes, the people doing PR completely dropped the ball and now there is a mess in the media (and worse, in the minds of our clients and co-workers). This is where the CEO is supposed to step in and correct the perception in the media. Make a strong and clear statement, clarify. Otherwise, the entire platform is in jeopardy.

  134. One more thing that puzzles me:

    Amazon is planning to sell 5 millions Kindle Fire Tablets before the end of the year.
    We all know flash player is not happening on iOS but why throw the towel now?

  135. Given the mass hysteria, this post may be overlooked, but I’m gonna give it a whirl, anyway.

    1. Many people are jumping to conclusion that professional Flash developers are abandoning Flash as a result of this announcement. As a Flash developer for over 10 years, I can safely tell you that that statement is greatly over-exaggerated. I, personally, have no intentions on abandoning Flash, and many other pro developers (again, pro, not amature) will follow suit. “Why?” you ask…

    2. As Lee has pointed out, we weren’t developing Flash sites for mobile BROWSERS anyway. Our focus has been, and still is, developing for: Desktop OS, Desktop Browser, Mobile & Tablet OS (Native Apps), and Smart TV Apps. So prior to this announcement, we’ve already excluded mobile BROWSER development, and after this announcement, absolutely nothing has changed.

    3. This decision made by Adobe is a tactical — and, more importantly, smart — move. Why? Because they understand the current behavior of mobile consumers. Most consumers defer to an APP first, BEFORE they consider the browser (NOTE: that’s IF there is an app version available). If/when Lee builds a mobile app version of gotoandlearn, I will defer to that first, as most others will, as well.

    BONUS: If you’re still concerned and worried about development workflow, here’s mine to use:

    a) I develop Flash/AIR-based websites/applications for: Desktop Browsers, Desktop OS, and Native Mobile, Tablet, & TV Apps.
    b) Whenever someone visits the site from a mobile or tv browser, a server-side PHP script runs that utilizes User-Agent, detects the type of device that’s running (Android, iOS, etc.), then redirected to a HTML5-based, device-specific splash page that reads: “To enjoy the full benefits of on your (device name) device, download the app for your device,” along with the linked buttons that redirects them to the app store to download the native app, either for mobile, tablet, or tv.

    In other words, I don’t bother recreating a whole mobile-based HTML5 site, when my native apps are faster, more engaging, and utilizes the devices’ native features using Adobe’s Native Extension. Not saying that HTML5 is bad; just that it has its place, and in my world, that place is to redirect them to my native apps. And most of all, this workflow is STILL far more cost-effective than developing with HTML5.

    So for those of you who are making knee-jerk decisions and jumping ship for HTML5, by all means, go right ahead…

    …because I’ll be right behind you, stealing your clients away using my cost-effective workflow methods using Flash & AIR.

  136. @Mraak

    Sorry but that’s the kinda low ball in tall grass comment that keeps people lost in the wilderness.

    All of those technologies are weak in comparison with what you can do with FP11/AIR/AS3. Are some of those technologies cheaper… yes, but do they do everything that FP11/AIR/AS3 does…. uh… no!

    As for budgets…. I hope you realize that the flash platform has an ecosystem of low cost/free tools as well. Perhaps you should do some research.

  137. @Aristoprenia

    “…I have just spent eight months developing a flash library which allows interactive resizing and skinning between mobile, desktop, tv and tablets – allowing users to create sites which will overcome the issues facing small business in dealing with all the variations in devices, allowing small businesses to simply plug in modules which will work on any device. Wow – just cost me my entire lifes work, I had leveraged pretty much everything…”

    Same here was writing in my spare time just to make all that happen and was planing to open source it. With great results and currently working on stage3D based solution. Even having HTML5 fall-back but I dropped this feature after realised HTML5 is unplayable on mobile devices. End up with HTML5 -> my solution fallback for Android ironically. Not even pointing out that from usability point of view all existing web content is a joke on small screen factor. In flash you had opportunity to get close to native look and feel of web based website.

    Lets face it. Flash mobile plug-in developed to the level of Stage3D performance and quality could put on danger native apps you have to get via markets. Pay for it. No just go to casual games website as it was on desktops. Why? Adobe realised they working against themselves when comes to AIR vs Flash. Do you remember how hard was on desktops and AIR? Is this thing took a lead over web browser? No! now they have a go on mobile.

    If devices will go more powerful over the time you will be out of the game. Why Apple came out with iCloud service?


    “…This is not only true for Flash but also for HTML5. Many are predicting that apps will soon give way to browser-based apps on mobile. I personally don’t see that happening anytime soon. Apps have proven themselves to be great for users and offer clear monetization opportunities for developers…”

    to addition to what I said above. Adobe and others wish to be that way. Monetization is the only reason. But obviously you have to control the market. And because people don’t like control apps via browser will happen sooner you thing.

    Also it’s a shame to see Flash evangelists true faces that in fact they are Adobe Evangelists. Is it the reason that theflashblog.html redirecting to the current one?

    Don’t get me wrong. I also like to see AIR be more robust solution, even if flash plug-in working against your agenda should just shade away when you have replacement solution already in place. Not having mobile spec limitation for desktop Stage3D performance could also bring flash on new level for games. But the execution of your announcement was the epic failure. How you can justify market value drop and all this flames around the word from flash community.

  138. Does Adobe have the full version of Flash player 11.1 on android? If so, that’s amazing. and really good news. This page suggests that Flash 11.1 is the full version like what you would run in endows or Mac osx,

    Clarity is not Adobe’s strong suit.


  139. This is anyways totally very bad, I stated thinking of switching to other technologies. This was totally an unexpected decition from Adobe, with stage3d and all , was hoping like there will be more things comming out of flashplayer ……and oneday even ipad will be forced to accept flash ….comeon! molehill was actually developed to fit in to mobile !

    Anyways i love flash! i cant say the word death!….but i will consider this as flash going in to a coma state. According to me all flash devloper should move on! and wait ……may be until adobe comeup with the new outstanding AIR or remarkably improved DESKTOP only flash player 12.

    Shit! ….see flash is primarly made to do things that u cant do with normal HTML pages …i think Lee used to say this !. But in future it will not be able to do so, bcause Adobe thinks mobile only deserves plain clean HTML!. By no flash in mobile you are also hiding a series “touch screens” from flash player!….there still a tons of stuff even HTML5 cant do can be done with flash in a mobile browser

  140. Not just flashplayer nothing currently can deliver media contents as the same destop , HTML5 itself no exeption …we always have to target and make mobile solutions . For current flash player /HTMl5!
    Only exception if uyou choose flash player is IOS devices! dont allow flash player !….and Apple’s responce is like flash player is OLD, buggy not advanced, HTML5 is current NEW advanced. This is totally false now you people are making people belive that what apple said was true.
    Also by this decition you are forcing developers not to make flashplayer vertions for mobile!..Also encoraging HTML5 .Then why should make a desktop only solution in flash …can make a complete solution in HTML5 so flash will die ! …….Also AIR is just growing not the biggest all in one solution when it comes to mobile apps!. If i dont want some specific air based feature (which air only can do) i can go for HTML5 or any else… flash platform may also die soon and will become old history as apple predicted .

    In old days flash was not just for doing things which is not possible else…also for delevering things everywhere !

  141. Ya may be Adode is also doing it for the same reason apple does it !…that limit me from making a Stage3d game inside a mobile browser! …… also promoting me to sell that as an App in a Market place for mobile users….So AIR will grow.

  142. @S

    In fact those technologies are far superior than what Adobe has to offer. The fact is that Flash does a little bit of everything of what those technology does, but nothing as good as those specialised technologies. Case in point: Corona performance and API’s on iOS. jQuery for web sites is better than using Flash for animated menus.

    The only advantage Flash still has is the game development for desktop browsers. That’s it, including of course rich eLearning content. RIA is lost, mobile is lost, casual sites are lost, native is lost.

    Please DON’T preach me with some open source Flash development stuff. For a normal development workflow with a team, a web Flash developer needs at least Web _Premium_, with additional purchase of Flash Builder _Premium_, because in the Web _Premium_ package, only FB _Standard_ is included. How sick is that? Or do they think that Flash Builder is not an essential part or Web development but merely an add-on?

    But I’ll give you chance to step forward and prove your point, so please give me a free open source alternative for Flash Bulder Premium and Flash Professional on Mac OS. Thanks in advance.

  143. @Adrian-Cortez Jackson : You are talking like we should abandon ….more flashly interations inside mobile browsers and force people to use apps ….because you thinks its the new trend for mobile users ,,,they just search for apps …if they finds it thy vist ur site thorugh it or sadly use browser bookmarks ….What if i am a “supermodel” and you are visiting my porfolio website , And i need to provide some Outstanding userexperience like may be using stage 3d ..You go though some 3d studio as you visit everypage, some of my videos appear on walls, pictures thumbs hang on some 3d hanger may like left for drying in a redroom etc. acoording to ur solution it will be like this for an androiid tablet user . and html5 page with usefull infos and a link to Android Market Plce …download this app for more user experice !.May be works for you, but i strongly dont belive someone will download and install my promotional website as an app .

    But what if there is flashplayer support in mobile i can make this site …which will work mostly in all desktops , Tablets (not ipad) …may be i need to make a crop down vertion for some smartphoe that supports flash . and a HTML5 page with good interations closer to my flash page for ios things ( this easy to make i just need to worry about ios things …this is a fall back …ios very nicely support HTML5 desktop users can use flash) Also may be a close to basic page for other mobile users. I can provide ” MAXIMUM USER EXPERIENCE” as i need to most of my users now!

  144. Adobe is killing to Flash, how AOL killed to Winamp, the best player but AOL failed to adapt to changes. Now Adobe is in the same position.

  145. I think that flash is a web without limitless. The correct alternative to the old and limited HTML, the old and limited JavaScript, and the end of fight of all Browsers for see a correct web.

    What going happen whit the OOP for the web, without Flas?
    What happen with the powerfull tool of video in the web (streaming, live, dynamic stream, etc)?
    What happen with the powerfull apps, similars to,, etc.
    The good of flash was the liberty that we had for do every thing and see the same result in all browsers, pcs, tvs, etc. Also the alternative to HTML and HTML5 “the same thing but with a copy/paste of some Flash features”. I think that the new HTML5 want to be Flash.

    In my opinion, i don’t like the decision. The real reaction of the people going to be, search and found new tools, for do the things that HTML5 can’t do.

  146. I developed applications using Flex/Flash for 7 years, and then when Lee started using his flash blog to post tutorials on how to replace Flash/Flex apps with HTML 5, I saw the writing on the wall. This year I have concentrated on making the switch to developing apps with Javascript Frameworks. It is great to see the new possibilities with JS, CSS3, html 5, but it still does not compare with what the paradigm of flash/flex development offered. It was a much more fluid programming and made some much sense as a cohesive development environment than the stack (JS, CSS, HTML, DOM, and some template madness like mustache). I felt pride in being a Flash Developer and being part of the community, and in that sense I invested time and energy in keeping up with the latest developments and innovations from Adobe, especially on the Flash/Flex front. I went to Flash/Flex meet ups, presentations, MAX Conferences. Well that has come to an end. Perhaps I will check in every now and again, but I will never invest the amount of time and money in Adobe as I now realize that the company is apt to leave those who embrace their technology out to dry. Maybe this is just what happens when ever a technogly developer puts too much faith in a company’s product. Hard lesson learned

  147. We are building LMS connected courses including extensive use of animation and interactivity, traditionally for the web and recently on mobile as the trend is (fortunately Androids are already getting more dominant in my part of the world). As I said our packages consist of a heavy load of animations synchronized with audio, commentary, video and interactivity. I would wonder if such thing would be possible to do with HTML5 and CSS3 at all! and if yes how painful and un-straightforward it would be even with edge. The last thing I could ask from animators in our team would be to go and learn how make animations using CSS3, canvas and such stuff! They LOVE flash to work with!

  148. How is the programming model will now be recommended? previously it was the example Flex Mobile -> AIR and now?
    from what I read it mocks Adobe Flex and puts it in the hands of others … it looks like it looks but does not have to hide it from Adobe flex washes his hands ….

    What programming model for adobe AIR now see? pure AS3?

  149. Thanks for the clarification Lee.

    My advise to you and the rest of the Adobe team is this. ..

    Release a kick ass FP12 and AIR4 with a Flash Builder 5 that is going to enable flex/as3 developers to write once and deploy to the desktop, mobiles via apps and html5 for mobile or desktop browsers – if you pull this off then all is forgiven, if not, then im moving on to sublime text and js/jquery/html5 forever and you won’t be selling any tooling to me anymore. My guess is that the rest of the as3/flex community will do the same.

    Good luck with this.


  150. Desktops are in decline, tablets and mobiles are on the rise. So I’m planning to focus on the future. Looks like this is without Flash … I’m not going to develop just for desktop!

    I love Flash for illustration,animation and developing. It all slots together so well.
    I’d love it if there was a tool that could allow this seamless workflow for HTML5 or Apps development – maybe that’s where we’ll get to. But in the meantime I’m looking at other options … For app development Corona sounds as though it’s worth a look (although Lua looks kind of messy compared to AS3). To get nice performance out of an iPad I’ve ended up with Sprite Sheets and blitting … easy enough, but not seamless from Flash by any means… hopefully I can transfer these skills to Corona. It seems to handle resizing to different devices. But I’d love to hear of any one else’s experiences with it. I’m going to take some of my eggs out of my Adobe basket – because I’m not confident in Adobe’s ability to deliver anything other than bad PR at the moment.

    So very sad news. Badly briefed. Badly timed – surely the smart thing to do would be to brief this when Adobe had some exciting replacement tools available …. not just vague promises of exciting magic thingies coming at some point in the future. But time to look forward …

    From a personal point BIG thanks to Lee – you’ve been an inspiration over the last few years! BIG respect for clarifying the message from Adobe and getting on the ground and talking to a lot of p****d off Flash guys.

  151. I don’t understand why people are so surprised/upset. I mean since iPad came out and didnt have a flash player, we learned to export as .ipa or have html fallback content. Now we still have the option to publish as AIR for mobile devices, and somehow that makes flash dead ? Cross platform means you can publish to at least one target on any platform. Before we had 2 options, now we have 1.

  152. HTML5 just means developers will be going back to 90?s style coding in JavaScript (jQuery). The problem is that interactivity in JavaScript is far far below what Flash can deliver currently. The HTML5 movement will be known as the Web’s Dark Age.

    JavaScript is also a much larger “security risk” than Flash by about 3 times. We all know it is much safer to cruise the Web without JavaScript on.

    The new “Turn off JavaScript for a Safer Web” campaign is coming. We will teach users how to turn the JavaScript plug-in off in their browsers, and then we will see how interactive HTML5 is without its much needed crutch of JavaScript!

  153. please answer this very important:
    1. What about Flash CATALIST?
    2. The truth about the Flex and Flash Builder?
    3. what CS6 package? whether it be a waste of money as soon flex sdk 4.6 release, I guess that it will be officially CS6 package ….
    according to your opinions in the long run HTML5 will be better BUT CS6 new package will be released soon ….
    do we have to understand that the CS6 package would be a waste of money? and soon will not use tools CATALIST, FLEX, etc … ?
    please honest answer

  154. I’m a iterative designer and casual programmer, and my biggest concern with flash and AS3 3 being drooped for the web is that the alternative i’m left with.

    Going back to JavaScript (HTML5+JS+CSS) is like going back to develop in ActionScript 2 but worse, seriously the group responsible for developing the standards for JS dropped much of what developers are used to, so there will be no support for classes, inheritance, interfaces, namespaces.. so what’s left? a prototype based Object-based language which sounds much like crap. What i really liked about flash except the language is the modular architecture, which do not exist in JavaScript.
    So what could we expect in the near feature? Sites that takes a eternity to load?
    HTML5 will soon have the same reputation that Flash Ads, when they are running heavy on the CPU and memory.
    Not to mention the Molehill equal in HTML5: WebGL which is criticized for it’s big security issues.

    This feels kind of disturbing.

  155. @ Mraak

    I’ll make this simple for you.

    1. You don’t Flash Professional do anything for Flash
    2. I guess you never heard of FDT or Flash Develop.
    3. Flash does more than animated menus.
    4. AIR 3 gives you GPU access bringing performance close to native levels for drawing and animations.
    5. OOP makes a lot of what you mentioned easier to maintain and develop with AS3 unlike with the procedural nature of javascript.

  156. Lee, you once wrote an article when Apple banned iOS Packager and what you felt could be understood from your article. And now, with Adobe abandoning (but probably in a longer period) Flex, I feel the same. I was thinking further to implement AIR Apps in Windows and go on mobile development with flex. I learned one thing, I won’t trust Adobe anymore…

  157. just 3 months ago , Adobe said :

    “That doesn’t mean, however, that HTML5 is the right choice for all use cases – the performance, framework maturity and robust tooling provided by Adobe are cited as critical factors by enterprise customers as to why they continue to select Flex.

    We firmly believe that Flex is already the best technology for building complex, high-fidelity enterprise applications such as business dashboards, line of business tools, real-time trading applications and desktop replacement applications, and see leading companies in healthcare, financial services, communications and other industries standardizing on it. We will continue to heavily invest in strengthening Flex for enterprise use, ensuring that you can deliver expressive, robust applications. As we share more details about our upcoming releases, you’ll see our commitment to tackle areas such as Spark component completion, accessibility, build system integration, performance analysis tooling and integration of a next-generation compiler, making Flex the #1 choice for building enterprise-grade RIAs.

    Mobile – the next big thing for Flex”


    Now they said:

    Q: Does Adobe recommend we use Flex or HTML5 for our enterprise application development?

    A: In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. We also know that, currently, Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client projects typically associated with desktop application profiles.

    Also, Now, Ben Forta from Adobe said:

    ” However, I’ll be the first to admit that (to my knowledge) there are not yet any HTML options that have the breadth and capabilities of Flex, and so Flex remains a viable and important option for many uses cases, and as Deepa and Andrew noted we are still committed to Flex.”

    see also in 2010:

    What an amazing Strateeeegy Adobe !!!

  158. Remember Lee, you were very angry about Apple when they decided to ban Flash from their iPhone and iPad mobile iOS browser and platform
    and said that HTLML5 was the future and not Flash because Flash was Bad and at Adobe you were lazy guys !

    Today, it’s a very strange day and I am very SAD about all this enormous and BAD CONFUSION created by Adobe with his last announcement
    which tells that : “Adobe “prefer” HTML5 to Flash on mobile browsers and to STOP immediately FLASH from ALL MOBILE BROWSERS right NOW !”

    It sounds like a new Apple announcement received directly from the Cloud and Steve Jobs in a bad nightmare remake !

    We all know that for Apple and now for Microsoft : FLASH is WANTED ! but more nicely DEAD than alive !

    We all know that Adobe has just acquired “PhoneGap” a JavaScript/HTML 5 + CSS open source framework
    for mobiles which is far from Flash and think very different… (from Flash…)

    We all know that Adobe is firing out 750 employee in a large re-structuration…
    but we don’t know who are the 750 people fired out in that re-structuration ? the adobe flash development teams ?
    or others ? Adobe Microsoft and Apple spys are not fired out ?

    We are all sincerely afraid about the true future of Flash and how NOW to sell new FLASH developments to our clients
    and wondering now because we are sure that the first “bullet” from Apple has wounded Flash on mobiles and browsers
    if the second “bullet” from Microsoft has now almost killed Flash on mobiles and all Microsoft Windows platforms soon?
    and if the 750 people fired out is the “blood lake” of that “murder” in the back office of Adobe.

    We loved Flash and we love Flash because it’s a unique and powerful cross-browser and cross-platform technology
    which is from the beginning suitable to think and develop “once” and “spread” on all browsers and the internet in general
    and works everywhere as it has been thinked and done !
    it’s not always “perfect” but it’s far away more advanced and satisfying than any other tool in that direction !!!
    That’s the essential point !

    Flash development is suited from the beginning not firstly for large complex applications and large games developments
    but firstly for small animations and small fun and sympathic interactive contents and apps not too expensive to develop
    and make them visible “the same way” and “working correctly” on all devices connected to the Internet.

    The 3D developments are not the first target for Flash developers, because these are often long and very expensive
    but 2D is far more wanted and targeted. So yes it’s fun if we can also do 3D things working more easily,
    but that’s not the most important thing and not the center of Flash needs even if 3D flash interactive content is impressive.

    The last but not least point is that the Adobe announcement “sounds” like “OK Mr Steve Jobs and Mr Apple”
    you told everywhere that Flash was a bad technology for mobiles and NOW Adobe you recognize that we were RIGHT !

    SO Mr Steve Jobs were RIGHT to fire the Flash Player Plug-in OUT of the Apple mobile browsers and devices !
    and no more to do with Flash OLD technology but NOW all on the NEW modern HTML5 technology !
    And THAT is WHY Flash developers and me, we are all really afraid ! by listening THAT from ADOBE !
    not from Apple or Microsoft ! from ADOBE !

    It would be nice to continue to support the Flash Plug-in on at least one great mobile OS, browsers and platform like Android, no ?
    Because in doing this, there were at least one great OS mobile and plenty of Android devices with a nice Flash Plug-In Player activated
    and a great “full web” user experience continuing to prove that Flash is not dead and is fine not like the others without Flash !
    There would be at least one mobile OS to support and offer a true “full web” experience with proudly announced on the device
    “Full Adobe Flash enabled” device ! and obviously “Flash Apps” too !
    What’s the problem to do this ? It would let a larger choice for customers and would be fine for all the Flash community
    to be able to continue to develop and deploy and enjoy Flash contents in the browser
    even on at least a great OS mobile platform like Android !

    The Adobe announcement with the word “prefer HTML5 to Flash !” sounds like ADOBE recognizing that Flash is simply BAD and OLD
    on modern mobile platforms and browsers and HTML5 is far better and NOW the only future on mobiles browsers and no more FLASH !
    And it’s like Adobe saying :
    “And the Winner is : “HTML5 !”… at Apple they can’t stop laughing and drinking “champaign” in Steve memory I presume !

    Please, thanks to THINK NOW and THINK DIFFERENT very quickly about that BAD ANNOUNCE against the FLASH dream team
    and perhaps re-think and CORRECT quickly THAT VERY BAD STRATEGY AND COMMUNICATION for the Flash developers business
    because all our Flash developments sellings are NOW almost already stopped and soon fired OUT by our customers
    and the consequences will be quickly far more BAD for us and ADOBE than the prevision of ADOBE !

    NOT very confident about our soon future for all that are concerned with Flash dev. business !

    THE financial CRISIS as we know came and comes from US financials people
    and spreads all over the world… Thank-you very much guys !

    and our Flash businesses OVER too !
    See you SOON !

  159. Ive thought about this a lot over the weekend, and really the one thing that I keep coming back to: Any way you spin it, killing flash for tablets is just fucking stupid and completely shortsighted.

    Way to relegate the entire mobile web to essentially Flash 8 level of rendering, in most cases unusable performance levels, a myriad of half baked implementations, and force developers to support 15 different browser versions.

    Is there really that little vision within Adobe? Do you not see the exponential growth in screen density, and processor speeds in tablets?

    Seems to me, what’s really going on here is the sunsettng if the entire flash runtime. As much as that sucks, worse than that is Adobe blowing this smoke up our asses… If your killing flash then just come out and say it, so we can make his quick and painless.

    How can I have faith in your commitment to AIR as an application framework, when you kill off your only component set, and announce nothing to take ts place?

    Let me get this straight, you believe in AIR, you think it’s the future, and yet you are unwilling to provide any sort of component set so we can actually build complex Applications? Ya, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…

    The timing of this is really all wrong, HTML5 is not even close to being mature enough to be read for prime time, yet Adobe is recommending it today. Obviously they are killing their own baby, and abandoning flash to the wolves. While they fund some piece of shit tooling for HTML5 that will likely par in comparison to the $30 copy of WebStorm I can purchase. What a fuckin joke.

  160. Nobody seems to realize this is good news for Flash, even for us Actionscripters who don’t see ourselves writing a mess of javascript/HTML5 code. Flash is here to stay. The plug-in is on its way out, replaced with an updated webkit, new standards from the W3C and better export features that will allow us to deliver content that has previously only been possible with Flash.

    See my blog post on this at

  161. Lee, I really appreciate what you do for the flash community and gaming in special. But you must admit this is a mess that will not affect the flash developers directly, it will affect them indirectly through the clients that will target HTML5 and not Flash anymore. All the envy of the people waiting for Adobe to make a wrong step was fed with this announcement.

    It is a pitty and I really hope that Adobe actually plans on continuing the work on Flash Player and AIR. You have very good potential and lots of devoted developers.

    Read more on my thoughts on

  162. The most uneasy part, I think, is that based on Adobe’s history, there is no telling for how long will the rest of the existing things – Flash, Flash Player for desktop, Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder, the rest of the CS tools and everything else – stay. Saying something is in consideration for development, only to cut it off after deeming that thing is not profitable (and often without really considering what to do with its partially superior features) – Yeah, I’ve seen FreeHand, Authorware, GoLive and more. Flash Player mobile being next? I’m quite surprised, but it’s not THAT surprising.

    Who knows if, some day, somone pulls out a secretly-made, super-powerful image/layout editor and Adobe would suddenly pronounce Design Standard dead and acquire that super editor instead? Given the way Adobe has been, even that – giving up even its treasured Photoshop name – wouldn’t be TOO suprising.

    Good luck convincing us that ANY of the Adobe programs will live on.

  163. I agree with those glass is half empty comments, I truly think Flash will be on its way out. Thanks to the poster that point out Corona, that’s something I look forward in learning about. Time to embrace the mobile front.

  164. Just one more comment from me – as a follow-up to what rich said above – I’ve been looking at Corona for a while, and investing some time in learning Lua, and it looks promising. Now I’m REALLY scared that, at some time in the future, Adobe might buy them out!

    Here’s hoping that we all see each other on the other side of this! Good luck!

  165. I saw one rumor that there might be an effort under way to make ActionScript the official API of the canvass element. What do you think of that idea?

  166. @RazorX
    Good point, the JavaScript driven HTML5 will be the real dark age for web development, however that is the result which app store bosses preferred.

  167. Well, this is all nifty and fine for people who don’t build CUSTOM e-learning solutions for fortune 500 clients. I don’t use “captivate” or the likes of any lame off-the-shelf “rapid e-learning” tool like Articulate either. We are talking custom flash shell xml powered learning modules that are superior to these for cost-effectiveness and functionality. BUT I likely won’t be building them for long now will I. And, thanks to this BRILLIANT decision from this ignorant suit who obviously thinks we all just make banner-ads and play things for app stores, these high-end learning solutions will not be visible on mobile devices?? Wow… that’s helpful. I’m supposed to go on and happily build things for PC browsers?? People, I aint gunna build it for a PC browser, if it aint gunna be accessible on a mobile device browser. Corporations WILL make the shift to tablets etc, and our stuff needs to run in their browsers for god sakes. And HTML5 (ie, javascript+html5+CSS3) simply does not cut the mustard as far as cross-browser compliance, ease of development/design, and complex capability. Tried using these lately?? I have. Have fun. Flash Pro was the only tool for this. Even much better than Flashbuilder etc for this type of work. And good luck streaming HTML5 video over slow intranets to VPN clients… and trying to build any complex interactivity into itat the same time for learning reinforcement… gimme a break. This is insanity.

    Another thing. You just SCREWED android device sales. Flash support was a HUGE selling point for these devices. Now what will they offer over Apple? Apple would have sunk itself without supporting flashplayer on iOS, but instead you just fueled it, and the insanely ignorant developer body that worships objective-c. Just the dumbest damn thing I ever heard.

    Tell ya what Adobe… I’ll do it your way. And I’ll build my stuff using the HTML5 stack. Itll look like crap and run like shit and cost my clients a buttload more… but hey… I’ll be on board with the latest craze. BUT… I wont build any of it using your software anymore. ;o) Maybe I’ll go “open-platform” there too.

  168. And…”time to embrace them mobile front”??

    If anyone thinks HTML5 and javascript-based canvas apps offer a better solution for mobile than AS3 and the flashplayer did, where are you even coming from??. If is requires massive multimedia and lots of interaction with beautiful look/feel, the more processor power it consumes. The need for this type of thing is not going away, it’s getting bigger. Try duplicating this with HTML5 solutions and see where yer battery (that you cant swap out) nets out. Rediculous.

  169. See betweem (()):

    Gartner’s Q3’11 Smartphone Report: Android Sells ((More Than Half of Global Market Share)); Samsung Biggest OEM


    HTC Zeta rendered, rumored to pack ((2.5GHz quad-core CPU)) and Ice Cream Sandwich

  170. Comments like this Lee are not helping

    11/09/2011 at 9:50 pm
    adobe committed suicide” – I’m glad people aren’t overreacting

    11/09/2011 at 10:03 pm
    See this for an idea of where Flash is going >

    It just means you have your vision of things and are absolutely ignoring what people are saying.

    I saw the Nissan thing the day it came out, I saw and played the facebook racer app the day it came out, one of the first. Irrelevant.
    you could get the flash player to create world peace on the desktop and it will still die – BECAUSE IT IS NOT ON MOBILES.

    I don’t know why this isn’t getting through ?

    If flash is not on mobiles, it will not be on desktop, period, end of story, kaput, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”

    Which company, which game, which ria, big and especially small will say “Yeah build this thing in flash which cant be seen anywhere except desktop even though mobile computing is smashing desktop – especially in content consumption” – and its all about content isn’t it Lee – especially now that they have killed Flex too.

    If I am building a game or an RIA I will build it in either html5, or if its a game, then Air or Unity – there is absolutely no reason i can get my head around to use flash for any reason under any circumstances. Event with awesome stage3d graphics there is absolutely no point at all. I would be much better off pointing my users to an html5 site and getting them to install unity for a game, or simply use html5.

    Your point, and Adobes point is that flash will remain because people will want to build awesome super high quality games, video, streaming tv, surround sound for the desktop – FALSE.
    This is where you are falling down. Flash will rapidly lose relevance, by rapidly I mean absolutely no one will be using it because it is not relevant on mobiles. It will be used by a tiny fraction of what it is used by now – a slither – these will be super high end gaming studios and fox, universal, etc. This is why it will die – the only reason to have it will be to access these incredibly specialised monoliths – and in the end this will all be achieved through applications which are installed – LIKE AIR.

    So flash developers are left with either developing Air apps for mobile or working for EA games or Universal – in other words 95% of the flash developers on earth just lost their jobs along with every flex developer.

    Flash wont be dead in 12 months – but it will in 24 months. And the ironic, crazy shit ball sandwich about that is – that in 24 months the browser on my phone will be a stock standard chrome browser with a normal flash player plugin –

    But you know the real reason why flash is completely dead – it wont be on tablets, oh and of course you just Alienated the entire flash community. Yet to find a single developer who isnt completely pissed not just with Adobe but also the HUMILIATION from Apple fanbois, which alone is enough to embrace html5.

    Good bye flash.

  171. I just wanted to post a comment saying how funny I think it is that all of the people who first reacted to this post (about mobile support being dropped) alluded to flex being dropped as well as a possible worst-case-scenario. What I find to be funny about it is, as we can see now, this is exactly what happened. I feel bad for you Lee… seems like the suits have irrevocably damaged the flash platform beyond repair. I mean lets put our love/fanboyism of flash aside for a sec and think clearly… what company is going to invest any money into a solution based on a platform that cut two of it’s primary commitments and selling features in 1 week?

  172. Lee, if Adobe is focusing on Flash games and apps for mobile, you really need to provide a Native extension for Game Center. That’s a huge missing part of Flash for mobile.

  173. Dropping a platform on an emerging technology just doesn’t seem to be a very good idea.

    Programmers tent to take offence when the rug gets pulled out from under them. After convincing a client that building on this platform is a good idea and spending the clients investment dollars developing on the platform, you kind of hate to have to head back and tell them “yah, I have it working now, but it turns out this wasn’t a good investment, not we need to restart on another platform”

    Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the client.

  174. Hi Lee,

    I saw that the Flex framework is becoming trully “open source”. I understand that it is going to be actively supported / improved by the community. It is a very good thing.
    I have just a stupid question, why Adobe doesn’t do the same with the Flash Player itself?
    After all, Adobe doesn’t sell the technology itself (FP) but the tools to create things with the technology (and they are of course very good in doing that). It would also be coherent with the HTML5 approach. Adobe will create (I hope) the best tools to create content with HTML5/JS/CSS, and not the technology itself (of course).
    Can we imagine a scenario like this in the coming months?


  175. Lee,

    Does AIR 3.0 allow you to create an iOS app completely from html/javascript or a mix of html and flash?

    If not, will that be available anytime soon? You can do it for the desktop version of AIR so why not for iOS?

    I’ve got a set of Help html pages used on the web and it would really nice to be able to quickly package it as an app since the iPads running it will not be able to access the internet at all.

  176. After few days of letting news sink in, here is my final conclusion…

    Flash Player on small screen devices of up to 4.5″ or so probably isn’t huge deal and considering amount of phones Adobe needs to keep in mind I kind of understand that is pointless insisting on developing player any further…


    Upcoming quad core tablets that will be featuring full HD screen resolutions and some even optional external keyboards (effectively making them nice little netbooks) simply MUST have Flash Player!!!

    In other words, Adobe has to make some compromise here…

    As per above, perhaps they can ditch huge number of small screen devices (phones) and focus on everything else that has 5.3″ to 10″ screens (including TVs if possible).

    This would be by far the best compromise imho…

  177. Hi Lee,

    You stopped comments on this issue? So many developers are talking but nothing is coming from your end now? I was wondering, are you even reading this? I don’t want to be rude or anything in that manner. I know your busy, but at least update us, or make a comment once a day. Lot of people are affected with the decision from Adobe to drop flash for mobile. They need someone to talk to, and you where always like an flash guru(in my eyes), so a lot of people come over here to react. If there is a slight change that adobe is reconsidering their decision, or even update us on what is maybe coming(with like a time.. in 4 to 6 months for example) so flash developers can start changing to the new platform or whatever adobe is planing. We have a change to service than. ADOBE REALLY OWES THAT TO THE FLASH COMMUNITY!

    I hope you understand.

    Thank you in advanced, and hope to hear from you soon.


  178. Apps are fine and all, but I dont want an app for every website I visit, my phone will be very cluttered…

    Flash on Android is working really good, just as good as a normal html site not optimised for phone.

  179. Users don’t care what developers think about Flash, if they prefer mobile devices that show all web content then devices with a Flash player will have an advantage.

    Adobe didn’t announce that mobile devices will no longer have a player they just open sourced it—”we will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations”.

    If Amazon thinks a player 12 makes Fire more competitive they are more than capable of upgrading it themselves, but until then I’ll be able to target the flash 11 API for years and the content will show on millions of mobile devices.


    The announcements on November 9th 2011 around Flash Platform technology – and the way in which communication happened – have caused irrefutable damage to developers and stakeholders worldwide.

    As CEO, Shantanu Narayen has shown a complete disregard for customers and his lack of leadership has resulted in widespread chaos and uncertainty.

    It is time for Adobe to move on under a new CEO and regain the trust of its user base and community.

  181. I’m really tired of people saying mobile is the new platform for web. Have any of you browse the web on a mobile device? The experience sucks. Try writing an email with mobile device. The only time I ever use mobile to browse the net is when I’m sitting on the toilet or killing time while I’m away from my desk. Mobile will never replace desktop, ever! Content will always be simple and bland for mobile (html5) because battery life does not last long enough to sustain high end rich content.

    Wait few years until mobile hardware is good enough to run Flash then this wont be a problem ever!

    Yes the new FP 11 will require newer hardware but who cares? PC hardware is always evolving and if you haven’t upgraded your computer yet than thats your FAULT. Like saying I want to run my SNES to play Wii games.

    Adobe is thinking ahead of you guys, they’re thinking beyond what we can do now but what were capable of doing in the near future. This is move is the right direction of the future and I fully support it.

    Problem is here not Adobe folks it’s more like Adobe is creating workaround for hardware devs to catch up to Adobe forward thinking because seriously Adobe got it right, plugs ins and higher level frameworks are the new way of the future because of their simplicity

    You guys need to catch up

  182. Lee –
    I’ve read your blog of an on over the years and do enjoy your perspective.

    While I agree that mobile is a section of the market that is hard to break into (with Apple and MS decisions) “abandoning” it seems to be overkill , Adobe could have just focused on Flash integration into the Android 3+ browser.

    Unfortunately, as many here have pointed out, perception is 90% – when a client sees that Adobe is giving up on Flash mobile – they think that Apple was right. I’ve already seen clients give up on Flash because it’s (as they perceive) not supported on mobile. While desktop browser delivery will still be around – clients that are looking for holistic website development will go purely HTML5.

    There are many more companies that want 1 website to have 1 look across all browsers/devices than want an AIR app (client then says..we have to then deal with Apple/Google/Amazon/MS approval). The bi-frication of the Flash platform from Flash Plugin to Flash Plugin or AIR app will kill flash because the people that PAY for content creation will either want a APP or a Website, and usually don’t want to invest in both.

    I think AIR is a great product – and I’ve been a supporter and evangelist for a while – but now, I think I’m done. I love AS3/Flex/Flash – but I can’t keep carrying Adobe’s water for them when it comes to AIR. While I see that you think we should go out and build great new AS3/AIR apps – not really sure where that will get me if I can’t be hired to do it. I’ve already watched as AS/Flex jobs have dried up in my area over the last 8 months. AIR has been so poorly advertised, that it seems only AS3 developers know about it.

    Unfortunately, I’m off to learn more Java and Objective-C; been doing AS for 11 years, I don’t see any more future with developing for AS3 if potential employers have bought into the media hype which Adobe (at a corporate PR level) has done very very little to combat. Do see all of those multiple ads for CS suite though, glad Adobe has their priorities straight.

  183. @S

    It would be good if you actually new what you’re talking about.

    1. You don’t Flash Professional do anything for Flash

    Except for animation, or do you do frame by frame animation in Gimp?

    2. I guess you never heard of FDT or Flash Develop.

    I guess you never heard of Mac. And I guess you haven’t read my question, because I explained that in my post.

    3. Flash does more than animated menus.

    Wow, really? Again you haven’t read my post.

    4. AIR 3 gives you GPU access bringing performance close to native levels for drawing and animations.

    But much much less performance than Lua / Corona. Again, you haven’t read my post.

    5. OOP makes a lot of what you mentioned easier to maintain and develop with AS3 unlike with the procedural nature of javascript.

    Khmm, khmm…., aren’t you an experienced developer. Defo I agree here, AS3 is far better than JS, but what can you do if Adobe abandoned the platform.

  184. 1- If Flash is not suitable for mobile phone because of the size of screen then html5 too.

    2- If Flash is not suitable for mobile phone because Apple ban Flash, I say but Android devices has more share market than Apple.

    3- If Flash is not suitable for mobile phone because of difference in Android hardware devices then it should the same for microsoft desktop hardwares.

    4- If Flash is not suitable for mobile phone because of drain of battery , Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Naraye himself said stage3D will overcome this problem (check it please, there is nice & important info) :

    5- if Adobe has no enough resources to maintain Flash Player for mobile then why they don’t donate it to opensource like what you just have done with Flex sdk.


    Adobe always said :

    We love freedom

    So why they now killing Flash on mobile just to promote to their new html5 tools?

  185. Changing Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Naraye is an important step to restore the losing trust for developers & customers in Adobe.

  186. You can dress it up anyway you want but this is a bad day for Flash.
    Adobe have shot themselves in the foot big time and I don’t see Flash recovering from this. Regardless of the reality, this announcement will see people abandoning Flash in droves in favour of who knows what.

    The roll out of AS3 was painful enough for most of us but we persevered because with AS3 we had a platform built for whatever the future could throw at us, or at least thats what Adobe said at the time.

    I am off to add my name to the list of people wanting to see a change of CEO at Adobe

  187. Flash player being first in it’s class inevitably has detractors.

    It took a friend and I almost two years to get Flex accepted in our company. I still have the “scars” from meetings with the Java developers.

    Now that we have a couple of excellent showcase projects – we have an email circulated from the highest levels with the subject: “The end of Flex/Flash??”.

    Misinformation indeed but very helpful ammunition to the detractors.

    Adobe can’t completely undo the damage that has been done but it would definitely help if the management at the highest levels responsible for this mess were to move on.

    That way Adobe can put some distance between it’s reputation and standing and the people who have done so much damage to it.

  188. I love the logic… instead of making one company change its approach to viewing the internet (it it deems necessary that is), lets change the entire internet so that one company can keep its devices the way they are. In the promise of some new features offered by some new versions of some old languages, lets abandon the only thing out there that lets us develop cross-browser compatible, encapsulated applications in a simple, high-end IDE that has been the source of the best content on the web for years. Hell, we have Hypertext Markup Language version 5 now… how the hell could Flash Professional or Flex be of any relavence??

    So stupid. Aristphrenia (posted above a few) is so right. We will be on mobile devices that support flashplayer in chrome browsers, and with double the processing power too boot. WTF??

  189. Here as an idea…

    Charge for the mobile player! :)

    Basically, ditch number of small screen devices (phones) focus on Ice Cream Sandwich and most popular devices with decent screen size (tablets and selected phones) and then via app markets charge for the Flash Player 11.2+

    Income from this venture should be enough to fuel further development and some…

  190. Lee, I think the experience on mobile – especially tablets, in a few years, will be very similar to the desktop. We already have tablets that have screen resolutions that match the desktop ones. Some of them with powerful CPUs and GPUs. And this is just the beginning.

    I remember that post (mentioned above): – where you said about the blue legos. So, in a tablet, having a big screen, doesn’t matter if it’s iOS or Android… I can’t have the “portable desktop experience” that I’m talking about. And we all get the blue legos.

  191. Anybody remember Macromedia Director.. Required a plugin.. was the tool to use to develop interactive media.. as it was dying a death an attempted was made to sell it as a 3D games development tool. History repeats itself me thinks. The King is dead long live HTML5.

  192. Agree with Steve. I’m tired of that battle. I returned my upgrade to Flash CS5.5, don’t want to spend my money anymore. I’m tired of “just wait and see”. I’m into Ob-C, I’m into Javascript and the rest of the trilogy (css/html). I think I’m just tired of Adobe for now. Since I started with Coda I don’t want to look at Dreamweaver anymore, same with Pixelmator. No crashes, no waiting.

  193. Adobe is killing the future development in FlashBuilder/Flex technology by laying off their Technical Evangelist on this path:

    Duane Nickull :-
    Yes – it is true. I got laid off from Adobe (along with a ton of other really top performers and brilliant minds). My adobe email ist kaput.!/duanechaos

  194. @lee
    what a heated subject, when this would have been my decision about 5 days after flash development was released. i have never been a fan of flash, specifically macromedia flash, now adobe flash.

    i am glad to see this hideous technology go away.

  195. when i think in another tecnologies, example C# and Delphy, Delphy or Java don’t say “C# is the future and now we going to dead to Delphy” because, Delphy or Java are alternatives, and are faithful to their great community. I think that adobe have a gread community too and Adobe should think it. Flash isn’t a test technology, nor a temporary technology while another technologies implements caracteristics similars to Flash. And when this happens Flash going to go the recycle bin. Flash always showed the grand thirst for innovation and do grand things without think what the W3C were thinking about the good and bad for the web.

  196. Hi Lee, I hope you are doing good. Is Air for desktop dropped too? Do adobe have some plans for Adobe AIR for desktop or is AIR is all for mobile devices?

  197. I have been making flash hybrid websites (html or xhtml or html5 for mobiles/ipads) and flash for browsers. Is it true that a html5 will be able to do everything flash can do – should I be re-thinking my strategy?

  198. Flash player is good, but Adobe air is the best. So I am excited to see more improvements to adobe air in the future.

    the one thing i dont like is that adobe seems to be very concerned with air being used as a virus which causes them to put in restrictions.