Thursday, April 22, 2010

Adobe Embraces Android, Renounces Apple

The platform war wages on. A recent article in ReadWriteWeb repeats Adobe's latest pronouncement: Adobe's "Packager for iPhone", which allows Flash files to play on iPhone, has hit the end of the road. The version being shipped with CS5 will be the last one, and no more development is planned.

In short, no future for Flash on iPhone, iTouch and iPad... or so it seems if you were to believe what Adobe's program manager has to say about Flash, CS5 and iPhone applications. Or, for that matter what Apple has been signaling for past several months.

The consequences will be interesting. Apple will continue to block Flash as long as it makes business sense. In the meantime, Adobe will make it easier for developers to play their Flash apps on Android, the Google mobile operating system. In parallel, Nokia, Microsoft, RIM and others will play their strategic moves in support of interactivity on their mobile devices.

What does this mean for interactive application developers? Clearly there is no question of writing off Flash yet - Android marketshare is growing, and Flash will thrive there. Next, Apple is clearly signaling that  developers can no longer use cross-platform compilers for building iPhone apps.

So, get ready for developing apps in a variety of languages: Objective C, C++, Javascript, HTML5 and Flash ActionScript - at least. And may be the list will start growing soon, depending on what moves the other players make.

The ReadWriteWeb article, titled Adobe Gives up on Apple, Welcomes Android can be found here.


  1. Oh :( This news is not encouraging for eLearning professionals and those accustomed to using Flash based interactivities. Considering the popularity of both Flash and iPhones, a solution between the two would have been a good news.

    But, I agree to you that this is not the end of the world for Flash. Android is definitely picking up. And Flash support on Android gives us a bit of relief

  2. Post reading the Mike Chambers link from your post Adobe fans might have got really aggravated and they have every reason to be so. Well, personally I would love to see Apple and Steve getting taste of their own medicine. As in application vendors and hardware vendors should come together and play the same game of banning each others devices/applications over their legacy platforms. Infact to make it a bit more spicy and attractive people around the globe should suggest Steve a couple of more useful and proven applications/websites he can ban so as to cash-on from almost everything, right from having the last laugh by creating competition for vendors as strong as Flash to negative publicity.

    At the end of the day, what Apple is doing in its war room may be doing good for its revenue and probably somewhere might show a strategic PoV but it’s definitely going to start an era of “prick each other” with these big shots and the sufferers are naturally going to be the developers.

  3. If Apple is able to persuade YouTube - the gorilla of online video - to convert their Flash content to the iPhone friendly format(H.264 codec) then we are a small piece of the overall cake.

    I think currently every company would have to bifurcate the development, creating a second site that is optimized for the mobile viewing experience. It would obviously increase the development costs, delivery times, and maintenance problems. Else, one has to either do that or do without one: Flash or iPhone (and family).