|By Yakov Fain||
|November 9, 2011 07:02 AM EST||
This morning ZD Net published an article stating the Adobe will cease development of Flash Player on Mobile in favor of packaging mobile applications in Adobe AIR.
The Flash Player haters quickly picked up this news and to draw attention to their blogs/tabloids started to cash on Steve Job’s name starting that he won the battle with Adobe since Steve was the one who didn’t let Flash Player on iOS.
As of now, I don’t know if these rumors are valid, but even if they are, this ain’t breaking news. Let me explain why in three simple sentences.
1. Adobe AIR includes Flash Player
2. Adobe AIR remains the main and the only means (at the time of this writing) for development of cross-platform mobile applications
3. Adobe AIR 3 Captive Runtime is a way of packaging the runtime inside the mobile application.
In other words, a mobile application developed in Adobe AIR and deployed in Android or iOS has inside the entire AIR runtime (this increases the size of the app only by 6-8MB) and won’t require neither iOS nor Android to ship the proper version of the runtime separately.
Once again, your mobile application has AIR inside, which, in turn, has Flash player under the hood. Machinarium is a good example of a console-quality game for iPad written in Adobe AIR.
The only question remains what will happen with Web pages that includes the videos requiring Flash Player. Most likely Web browsers will use HTML5-based video players. But let’s not confuse mobile applications and Web sites.
Anyway, no need to mourn. Have a wonderful day!
Update. The morning after
1. Your Questions About Flex by Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam. Nice try, but these guys failed to deliver the main message: Adobe AIR 3 is a solid replacement of Flash Player for the mobile.
2. Adobe's technical evangelist Lee Brimelow has mentioned AIR, but has deliver another wrong message, "No longer having to support the mobile browser version of Flash frees up valuable resources that we can redirect to these more important areas." This is yet another mistake. Does Abobe put their customers first, or the most important goal is to do a reorg after laying off 750 people?
3. Mike Chambers, the lead product manager, speaks about AIR, but this message can be understood only by techies, and not corporate clients who were sitting on the fence trying to decide if they should develop with Flash or go with HTML 5. And we are talking about the corporate world that brings a huge portion of Adobe's revenues.
So what the mobile world as the result of this misinterpreted Adobe's announcement? Nothing. MXML, ActionScript, Flex framework, and AIR 3 remain the tools of choice for cross-platform mobile applications. When HTML5 can be considered as a main choice for development of applications for both mobile and desktop platforms? It may happen several years from now. It's great that Adobe is working into this direction, but they should have done it in parallel, not by stopping development of Flash Player without offering HTML5 alternative. Anyway, the damage is done. Adobe spent years to become a recognized tool maker for the enterprise developers.
Five years ago they were known as a company that created Photoshop. They managed to change this image. I really hope that they will find a way to remain on this market.
Here's my message to Flex, Flash, and AIR developers: "All IT shops that have invested in learning Flex or ActionScript for developing their desktop-based Rich Internet Applications will use these skills in development of the mobile applications in Adobe AIR. There is no need to jump the ship"
P.S. After publishing this update I've learned that Oliver Goldman, a tech lead from the AIR team has been moved to the team that develops creative cloud. It's time for Adobe to give away AIR to open source too.
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