Friday, 25 November 2011

What Did Apple Win With the Demise of Mobile Flash?

Adobe's (Nasdaq: ADBE) announcement this week that it was stopping further development of its Flash player for mobile devices could create more winners than losers in the cybersphere, according to several experts interviewed by MacNewsWorld.
One beneficiary of Adobe's decision, which appears to have vindicated Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) dogged stance not to support Flash on its mobile devices, will be the latest version of the language for creating Web pages, HTML 5, according to Geoff Blair, studio director for Lost Decade Games.
"It's a great thing for HTML 5 development," the game developer told MacNewsWorld.
That's because it will allow Adobe to dedicate more resources to HTML 5. The company plans to increase investment in HTML 5 and concentrate its Flash focus on things like gaming and premium video, Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager for interactive development at Adobe, wrote in a company blog.
Adobe's redirecting resources to HTML 5 is something the entire HTML 5 community can benefit from, Blair noted.
"It helps to have the leverage of a company like Adobe, which is very big in the Web browser space and especially in gaming, behind HTML5," he said.

Apple Vindication Helps Android

Developers, in general, will be big winners from Adobe's decision, added Jeremy Chone, the principle in N2N-Apps, a software consulting firm focusing on Web, mobile and tablet apps.
"They are going to be less confused about what technology to use," he told MacNewsWorld.
"Now they know if they want to make a mobile Web app, Flash is out of the picture and HTML 5 is the right platform to develop it on," he said.
Although Apple is being declared the winner in its throwdown with Adobe, its victory could increase competition in the market for the company. That's because resources formerly devoted to Flash applications now can be redirected at developing HTML 5 apps -- a development that could be good for HTML 5, but not necessarily for Apple.
"When you have platforms competing to offer the best HTML 5 features, it really pushes the platform forward," Blair contended. "When you have Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Chrome and Firefox and Internet Explorer and Opera all competing to offer the best HTML 5 support, the platform as a whole moves forward very quickly."
That will be really great for Apple's arch enemy Android, according to Blair, because it should improve the platform's HTML5 support.
"The HTML 5 support for its mobile browser is pretty bad compared to iOS," he asserted. "Hopefully , [Adobe's decision] will cause some of the platform makers to really up their game where it comes to their HTML5 support."

Flash Is Dead, Long Live Flash

While in the long run, Adobe will benefit from pulling the plug on mobile Flash player, in the short term, it will suffer the sting from being proven wrong by Apple.
"It has lost its credibility because it has been telling all of us that mobile Flash was going to be great," Chone explained.
Another loser may be enterprise users, he added, who have invested heavily in Flash for their network applications.
"They're going to have find a way to migrate their applications to HTML5," he said.
Those enterprise folks will have some time, though, to adjust to a world without a mobile Flash player, as the technology is likely to linger for some time.
"There will continue to be a lot of Flash out there for some time to come," Ross Rubin, an analyst with the NPD Group, told MacNewsWorld.
"We won't see a lot of Flash video generated optimized for mobile, but the last-generation player will probably maintain backward compatibility with the legacy Flash content on the Web," he added, "and Adobe has left the door open for certain companies to continue to develop mobile Flash."
Indeed, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) announced Thursday that it would continue to release implementations of Flash on on its mobile devices

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