One of the Key differences between Android Tablets and the iPad has been the support for Flash but Adobe made it official yesterday and delivered a eulogy for its continued support for the mobile version of its popular cross-browser plugin. With Apple’s refusal to allow Flash on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch it really was just a matter of time before the plug was pulled on it for the mobile platform.
The question came up at work about how YouTube Videos and Facebook Games are looked at on an iPad…and well really…it is a non-issue surprisingly. In my general experience…there’s an App for what ever you want to do, options have been baked into most sites to either convert or use multiple “codecs” for video. Are there still times that I have been stymied by no Flash support…yest but they seem to get fewer and fewer as time goes on.
So what is the answer to the future of interactive websites, web apps and other goodies on the web? Well even Adobe is getting behind HTML5 and the big questions are how a Web Standard like HTML5 will be bastardized by the browser kings and will we return to the infancy of the Web and the browser wars between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer?
It was this battle and the differences in web viewing that pushed for the creation of Flash in the first place…will there be a return to the need for plugins to level the playing field…that is hard to say. Microsoft no longer dominates the Browser Market Space (in fact this week marks the first time that IE had less than 50% market share and there is fierce competition for 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots on the usage lists:
In looking to the end of the Mobile Flash era, it has actually spilled over into other “non-PC” devices like TVs and Set-top boxes as well. It is my opinion though that with the killing of the fastest growing market for computing devices in the post-PC era, the future of Flash period is now very very bleak indeed. My guess is we will see an end to Flash in general within the next 18 months and it will either be moved to an Open Source project or be killed off and the developers on that side with Adobe will be shifted to HTML5 and other Server Side offerings rather than relying on the client driven experience that Flash forces us into.
I know that typically Thursday’s are my Rant Days but with it being a relatively light week in Technology news…all I got was the end of Flash…but if you think of it…it’s kind of a big deal.
Time to wrap things up and get ready for another day in the trenches.
Chris J Powell