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Adobe reportedly will announce the end of Flash Player for mobile dev


tebery

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There's a long, long way to go before HTML5 would be suitable for half of what Flash is capable of today. The problem is no one is doing anything fancy in the browser any more on mobile. Mobile sites are slow and heavy enough as is. You want a rich experience? Download an app. That's where the Flash/AIR strategy is for mobile.

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There's a long, long way to go before HTML5 would be suitable for half of what Flash is capable of today. The problem is no one is doing anything fancy in the browser any more on mobile. Mobile sites are slow and heavy enough as is.

What are you talking about? Sure, if you are considering all the bloatware that Flash is. It's because of flash web video players, and flash-based ads which makes Flash still popular. Sure there are those highly flash-based sites out there -- but those are the minority, which I'm sure by now are thinking about converting.

HTML5 is indeed the future, with WebM if Google can push it more. Popular sites like YouTube and Vimeo have started converting. HTML5 animation capabilities have been improving as well:

http://andrew-hoyer.com/experiments/cloth/

http://9elements.com/io/projects/html5/canvas/

http://alteredqualia.com/cubeout/

It's not that there is no one is doing fancy Flash things in mobile. It's because flash is processor and power hungry that no battery-powered mobile can efficiently use it.

Anyway, Adobe is a great company and I hope they make their way into improving HTML5 and WebM.

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I'm talking as head of a development group that develops rich experiences in multiple technologies, Flash and Flex for many years (AIR more recently), HTML for even longer. We're building browser experiences in Flash and HTML5 (can't deny the momentum, hype, and client demand), and mobile apps in Flash/AIR and HTML5, so I'm acutely aware of the actual differences in capabilities of the platforms as opposed to the hyperbole. We deal with them every single day.

We all know that HTML5 is "improving" and "coming along". No one argues that. I don't think anyone would argue that eventually HTML5 will catch up. But that is speculation of the future. HTML5 has LONG way to go before it can equal the abilities and performance of what the Flash platform can deliver *today*. We won't see feature parity for years. Building rich experiences in HTML5/CSS3 right now is a hodge podge Javascript libraries, Javascript shims, browser-specific (non-standard) language extensions, and 3rd-party add-on frameworks (e.g. PhoneGap), if you want to deploy an app. Cross-browser consistency is poor unless you're setting the bar really low. I w

Your talk about Flash being bloated is revealing. Control4 is built-on Flash technology. I have a clock radio that runs Flash apps. These platforms are using ~300mhz processors. That's not efficient? You must understand that Flash has done what is has done for the last 13 years without using any GPU acceleration (until this quarter). This is why you have seen high CPU use. The only reason that anything HTML5 has been remotely competitive is because of the rapid adoption of GPU acceleration by the browsers. Even then, it might surprise you that our benchmarks show that CPU use among our HTML5 apps is as high or higher than equivalent Flash apps, even with GPU acceleration. This is measurable.

Despite being banned by Steve Jobs inside of mobile Safari, Flash/AIR is used frequently to build apps for iPhones and iPads...without the supposed bloated behavior that keeps getting perpetrated. People aren't doing anything fancy in the mobile browser because performance has sucked in HTML5 and Flash is not allowed. Android hasn't been capable in that department either until recently. Developers have to build apps to get the performance and features that they need. This move was a strategic move by Apple, more than any technology concern (Steve Job's biography supports that even further). Some of the top apps in the App Store right now were built in Flash. Example: http://thenextweb.com/apple/2011/09/09/the-best-selling-ipad-app-on-the-app-store-was-created-with-adobe-flash/

Here's a recent mobile benchmark:

http://esdot.ca/site/2011/mobile-performance-tests-html5-vs-air

Do I need to even touch the fact that the HTML5 spec isn't even final yet and the big browser manufactures can't even agree on one video codec to support? (WebM vs H264).

I'm all for progress, but Flash gets a bad rap, and HTML5 progress isn't close to where it needs to be to be a viable replacement (sans the simple stuff).

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Ah, a Flash fanboi. ;)

First, I do agree that Flash is fast and if there is still a good demand for Flex and Air systems, then great. But then, how are you going to expand these systems horizontally when there will be no mobile device supporting Flash in the future? Sound like a lot of code rewriting to me. Will you still recommend the Flex and Air solution to future enterprise systems?

We are talking about the mobile platform here. Flash works well on the desktop since we don't really notice how much useless processing Flash uses up. On a MacBook Air for example, it was found that the Flash plugin wastes 33% of battery with it installed -- that's 2 hours wasted, and without you even using running Flash (source). Maybe Adobe had some headway and improved Flash starting 10.1, and then this news?

Let's face it, even when other mobile platforms were boasting that they can run Flash, Apple's massive success on their devices not running Flash have made it clear that you don't need Flash on mobile devices. There's just not enough profitable reasons to use it.

Since you are in the Flash business, let me ask you this. Do you think the C4 interface can't be done in another non-Flash mobile platform? Using Android? Maybe Tizen, an upcoming HTML5 / Qt platform from Intel and Samsung. Even Nokia, on their one and only MeeGo Nokia N9 device were able to create some sweet UI/UX from a now defunct platform using Qt.

In any case, the news for sure is a big one for C4 as they need to cover their backs going forward.

p.s. You are not the only one in the same business.

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Well, I guess you could ignore half of my response out and label me a "fanboi". :rolleyes:

But that's way off base. I learned long ago to be technology agnostic and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of any platform, and pick the right one for the job. I'm in advertising, not Flash. My motivation is simply to deliver the most compelling creative, to the maximum number of people, in an efficient and cost-effective manner, regardless of platform.

I can tell you skipped over half of my response because you missed the parts where I was talking about how we also do HTML/CSS/JS development (and a ton of it). And all the parts about Flash not being killed for all of mobile, just the Flash plugin that runs in *mobile browsers*. This is key in understanding the impact of Adobe's move. Again, Flash will continue to be a competitive cross-platform mobile development platform (just like HTML5, PhoneGap, Titanium, Corona, etc.) for APPS on iOS, Android, etc. More and more people are building apps every day. No one build *expressive* content in mobile browsers, they build apps because they can't get the performance or features (or revenue) in a mobile browser. We're deploying 2 enterprise apps at an F50 corp on iOS next week, one built in HTML5/CSS3/JS, the other Flash/AIR. Each one uses the best technology for the project.

Again, you're talking pie in the sky speculation. Could something potentially, someday spring up like Tizen (Qt was sweet back in the day) and do the same thing as Flash can today? Of course. Any number of things could. That's always been the case. In the past 10 years, there have been several Flash-killers (Curl, DHTML, Rebol, Liquid Motion, Sparkle, Unity, Silverlight). Only Silverlight came close to matching the capabilities and performance, but could not touch the audience reach. I've been doing this a long time, so I've closely tracked all of those technologies as they emerged and then quickly faded. HTML5 looks like it will be a real challenger for some things, eventually. The key is *eventually* and *only for certain types of content*. Right now it isn't, unless the experience is very basic/not rich. All of the hype and media fluff doesn't change what developers are faced with right now. Would I build a blog in Flash? Hell no, it would suck. Would I try to build a rich experience (e.g. http://www.nissan-stagejuk3d.com/) or immersive UI or game (something a bit more complex than Tetris) in HTML? Hell no, it would suck. The right tool for the right job.

Adobe's decision to abandon the mobile plugin doesn't affect C4 at all. C4 has never has used it. They do, however, use Flash/AIR for MyHomePC which could easily be adopted for mobile platforms with near 100% consistency, as a mobile app for iOS and Android. For Navigator on C4's devices, the embedded runtime isn't going anywhere and they would need a hell of a lot more processing power and real GPUs to pull off the UIs they have now in anything else. Someday it might be a different story.

And last and definitely least, the Macbook article is patently and completely false. The Flash plugin only runs when a browser is open with Flash content on the page. My Macbooks have great battery life.

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