Adobe has just announced that all its future mobile video development will be using HTML5, which begs the question – does that spell the end of flash??
The official Adobe line is that they are only planning to stop using flash for their mobile browser development but it is highly unlikely that they will keep on investing in flash as the development tool of choice on their desktop solutions for much longer. We believe that Adobe’s statement of intent to concentrate on HTML to the exclusion of flash will be the final nail in the coffin for ‘flash’. HTML5 looks like being the preferred choice for future internet video both mobile and desktop for the foreseeable future.
The official Adobe announcement was delivered by their VP and General Manager of Interactive Development, Danny Winokur, who writes “ “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.
This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”
The inclusion of ‘Apple’ on this list is of course a paradigm shift – a realisation by Adobe that despite their best efforts Apple were never going to be persuaded to make their iPads and iPhones flash compatible.
With reference to the desktop world, Winokur said, “We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders.
And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.” This seems a clear statement that flash has no long term future with either mobile or desktop. Adobe programmers will continue using their Adobe software development tools but the end product is going to be HTML5 video.
Arguably ‘flash’ can now be viewed as a legacy format only.
So is that the end of ‘video wars’? Hardly, HTML5 currently supports no fewer than three formats for its video element. So we can expect a few more twists in the tale before too long. One thing is very clear though, flash even as a desktop application has a limited life
expectancy. Don’t be surprised to hear a further announcement from Adobe in the next 12 months or so to the effect that all flash development has come to an end. If you are about to re-develop your website – mobile friendly or desktop don’t even consider using flash in any part of it.
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