Adobe surprised many late last year when developers were notified that the company no longer had plans to develop future builds of Flash Player for mobile browsers. Instead, they would be focusing all of their attention on HTML5 and other web technologies. The beginning of the end starts tomorrow as Adobe starts disabling new Flash Player installs on Android.
Adobe made a valiant effort to get mobile Flash installed on all handsets but met early resistance with Apple. The late Steve Jobs published an open letter in April 2010 that explained precisely why Flash wasn’t allowed on the iPhone, iPod and iPad. In no short order, Jobs criticized Flash’s reliability, security, impact on battery life and performance in addition to claiming that Flash was a proprietary web standard. His suggestion to Adobe was to focus more on creating great HTML5 tools.
Of course, that’s not to say that Flash is going anywhere anytime soon. There’s still a huge market for Flash on desktop systems as evident by Google recently adding better Flash support to their Chrome web browser.
Microsoft originally planned to ship Windows 8 without Flash support but apparently had a change of heart seeing as a lot of content still isn’t HTML5 ready. As such, Redmond will be bundling Internet Explorer 10 with a limited amount of Flash content to ensure security, reliability and battery life for Windows 8 style browsing.
But just how long Flash will remain relevant is anyone’s guess.