Adobe told developers it no longer plans to develop future versions of its Flash Player for mobile browsers.
“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores,” said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of Interactive Development, in an official Adobe blog post.
“We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations,” the post continued. “We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.
Apple's iPhone and iPad do not run Flash content. Steve Jobs, Apple's longtime CEO who died last month from liver cancer, staunchly advocated against Flash, pointing out Flash movie-based websites overworked the processor, drained the battery rapidly, and caused bugs in the operating system.
Jobs championed the open-source HTML5 standard, which while requiring developers to re-code websites for mobile, performs the same functions cleaner and more efficiently across multiple platforms.
With the popularity of the iPhone and iPad, and the majority of mobile websites viewed on the Apple devices, developers increasingly migrated to coding exclusively for HTML5 and forsook Flash as an antiquated dinosaur.
During Jobs' tenure, Apple stopped shipping the Adobe Flash Player pre-installed on its computers; a bold move the company said was to ensure that users always had the most recent version.
Many tech analysts saw it as a power, though, to aid the death of Flash as a web standard, which had faced increased vulnerabilities from hackers.
“With Flash gone on the mobile side, it's likely that we'll begin to see it disappear on the desktop as well. It's the same conundrum developers always face,” said Jamie Lendino to PC Mag. “How many platforms do you want to run your product on, with all the extra time, money, QA, employee skills, training, and technical support that comes with it?”
Lendino predicted the end of mobile Flash as a start.
“Flash served its purpose for a long time. It brought us a more powerful Web, and helped shift it from its hypertext-based roots to something far more interactive and useful, beginning as early as the late 1990s,” Lendino said. “And now, Flash's time has officially passed-on mobile devices and otherwise.”