Adobe Flash Hits the Mobile Dust

Steve Jobs is finally having the last laugh, as Adobe follows his directive and decides to stop development on Flash for mobile browsers as reported here by ZDNet. Starting with a layoff of 750 employees, the company will instead develop around HTML5 open standards. Jobs had claimed that Adobe was a battery hog that caused more than its share of user system crashes. In his open letter Thoughts on Flash in April 2010, Job decried the proprietary nature of Adobe’s products (pot calling kettle black notwithstanding). But the main reason Jobs gave for refusing to support Flash is perhaps a reason that may have been forgotten. Jobs wouldn’t support Flash because it was a cross platform development tool. He felt that developers who use this type of tool become dependent on the platform to adopt new enhancements and features.  Because of the nature of cross development, these platforms often would not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they were available on all the supported platforms, thus degrading the solution to the lowest common denominator set of features. Apple was unwilling to accept an outcome where developers were blocked from using their enhancements because they were not available on their competitor’s platforms. Thus Apple refused to support Flash, and now, Adobe has thrown in towel on mobile browsers. With over 425,000 apps in the iTunes store for the iPhone, it is clear Flash is not essential to creating compelling mobile apps.

Category: Mobile


Leave a Reply