I'm a fan of Flash, but I must ask what is the point of it now that half of web access is done from mobile devices that don't support Flash? Mobile devices are growing in popularity so Flash should either once again be made available for these devices or just kill it off altogether. Most developers prefer to create content ONCE that runs on ALL platforms and devices. How does Flash fit into that in 2014? It's an honest question as a developer, I'm not trolling.
Flash is still used extensively within the browser on desktops (and even comes built in to some modern browsers). But, you're right, there's no question that Flash is rather useless in browser on devices. But that's not the case out of browser, and AIR continues to be used to package Flash for use as device apps, letting you benefit from Flash (and its features and expertise) for creating device app experiences.
It's a shame, when Adobe killed of FlashPlayer, iPad had about 80%+ of the tablet market.
If they had just stuck to their guns, most of the world would be enjoying Flash Videos on their devices today and the pressure would be on Apple :(
That's an interesting point, Shawn. We fought the Anti-Flash hysteria for a while, and then we backpedaled a bit, until we found a balance that we could work with. Did we make the right decisions at the right time? That's debatable, and my own gut feel is that we probably didn't. But, that said, consider this ...
Flash has always had to evolve as market needs evolved (something I've discussed before). Flash's role was an ever changing one. And more importantly, as it's entire existence was based on the need to make up for what web browsers couldn't do, that role was always going to be diminished as browsers got better. In other words, Flash was always going to gradually become less significant, so the debate then is whether we unnecessarily accelerated that process.
That's why we've always tried to juggle multiple balls at once. Be it successful experiments like Edge Code and Edge Animate, or lesser successful ones like Flash Catalyst, we keep experimenting with all available technologies and options because there is no one size fits all.
Ok, so why not do it all? The energy we were putting into the uphill battle that defending Flash become was costly, and started to distract from really important efforts, like furthering new product creation, the build out and deployment of the (very successful) Creative Cloud, and more. Back then we couldn't even demo or talk about new products or initiatives without getting into a Flash discussion, and this happened with press, customers, and more. Seriously. I was on a panel at MWC discussing web standards, and the first question from the press (when they saw I was an Adobe employee) was about Flash and Apple, and the entire discussion got derailed.
And so at some point we had to make a business decision. Do we keep pushing, do we expend energy refuting lies and myths, do we keep executing from a defensive position ... or do we back off and focus on where we as a company can succeed?
So we refocused. Flash remains important where it continues to innovate and add value, in browsers on the desktop. On devices the priority is Flash packaged using AIR, as well as using web standards and PhoneGap. And in doing so, we are freed up to invest time and energy and resources where we believe we can have the greatest impact.
Take emotion out of it (and that's not easy, I know, especially for those who invested years and their careers into the product), step back, and look at the entire business, and it becomes very clear that we made the right decision. We can debate the details of timing and execution, but the bigger business changes have proven themselves to have been sound.
Hello Mr.Forta. Really appreciated this response. I really hope in the furure your company reconsider "mobile" support. What is mobile and what is desktop is really a big debate nowdays, hardware caught up really really fast. A good developer will always survive and evolve nomatter what i think, but, we all own something to the WWW. In my humble opinion, i think, browser based plugins, are the only way WWW to survive these "new app mini WWW'S". Thank you
@Gary F, I thought to chime in on one of your comment
"but I must ask what is the point of it now that half of web access is done from mobile devices that don't support Flash"
Well, in reality that is may not true; maybe you want take a look into the statistics that might differ your opinion:
Wow, thanks for the candid responses Ben, you have no idea how good that is to hear.
I guess, the one thing that frustrates me most, is that Adobe seems to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
I get that the plugin became toxic, but there is this huge (like HUGE) growth-opportunity in the development of mobile apps, and quality cross-platform middleware, and Adobe is really looking sideways.
Instead of doubling or tripling down on AIR, which already was far superior to competing options, Adobe lumped AIR with Flash Player, and placed it on back burner.
With more focus and marketing (maybe a rebrand?) I really believe you guys could easily become the defacto middleware for deploying General Purpose Apps for the next decade, ie "Unity for Apps".
But that's never going to happen when Adobe continues to de-prioritize AIR. We can't get even any traction basic platform support issues anymore, like Window 8 App Store, or Android x86 (Intel Atom). Such a shame :(
I hope this isn't coming off as a rant, it's not meant to be. Thanks for your time Ben.
and @Santanu Karar really good point with that link from business-insider about mobile traffic is NOT going through the mobile browser its going through apps 8 to 10 -
AIR cross platform development - first we where "WOW" about it - now its routine and we recommend it to clients and we are more like "of course" now...
first I would like to say ive been doing cross platform development with AIR mainly for games the last 15 months and im not going to change platform any time soon - but i do want to point out that unity2d is comming and its comming in hot - but I still hear people are using flash for their 2D animations - im shure there are plenty of drawbacks/features that unit2D lacks compared to flash that has somewhat 10+ years in the backpack - flash(AIR) is great for apps - we love it but at the moment its momentum is kept up mainly by the community - starling is an absolutely must have along with dragon bones for 2D - and away3d for 3D - very well spotted there adobe nice job to back them - but what is going on with the "more or less" force upon JS ports... keep focus please!
ive also pointed out a rebranding of AIR would be nice some time ago - most decision makers out there tend to reply "but flash is dead..." when we talk air development - really annoying, and sometimes we just give up on explaining
after i went to max last summer i wrote this post regarding the community take on adobes focus
ps: I love edge animate and I would/wouldnt miss flash plugin if you killed it but you must keep the wheels going with AIR - just look a the top grossing games for IOS - flash flash flash
Its a truth as mentioned by Philip Thonbo, decision makers hard to understand the differences between Flash and AIR development, then often get obscure about the end product - when its came about mobile. Its the HTML5/JQuery era, this trend will be there sometime no doubt, but I'm also optimistic good things you can not hide for long ) revolution will come. And when come, it'll be Flash/AIR all over.
I'm hoping, with the proliferation of tablets, there will be a move to port "business applications" to touch devices as native apps. My background is in advertising and banking - I can see applications such as media booking, job management and FX trading (to name but a tiny few) working beautifully on HiDPI devices.
If that happens, AIR (and, dare I say, Flex) are perfect technologies to deliver these types of applications. Coding once and targeting desktop browser, iOS and Android and having a 'proper' language to code in surely puts the whole Flash stack back on the map.
what is this new version? any feature addition or bug fixes? 3D enhancements for 5 years:) Or version is aging with year? I see there is not ending fixes and upgrades, which we see with web browsers. but adobe needs to find these updates without annoying world! update that!!!!