The world went HTML5, finally Adobe are catching up!


Yesterday’s announcement by Adobe that they were abandoning Flash for mobile was greeted with almost universal acclaim in the tech blogosphere. Unusually, there weren’t many people surprised or disappointed by the decision. Why?

Well, It turns out that Steve Jobs wasn’t just being spiteful to Adobe by preventing Flash from running on the iDevices. It really was a poor experience for users and a limited and inflexible environment for content creators too.

Adobe have been edging towards HTML5 with the launches of tools like Wallaby and Edge. It now looks like they intend, like Microsoft, to fully embrace HTML5 and ultimately ditch their proprietary plugin technology entirely. Killing their mobile plugin looks like the first step to that conversion. It seems inevitable that eventually their desktop plugin will go the same way, as will Microsoft’s Silverlight, over the next couple of years.

More and more developers are choosing HTML5 as their RIA technology of choice, particularly as the web is increasingly extending from desktop to the mobile and HTML5 is the only ubiquitous choice. At Caplin, we have always been pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in a browser with our Caplin Trader Toolkit, so it’s nice to see the world (and Adobe) finally starting to catch up!

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2 Comments

  • Google has allowed Flash on Android devices, but of course even they would prefer HTML5 which they can index and serve up better. Have you seen Swiffy, their SWF-to-HTML5 converter? The examples are great showcases for Flash becoming less and less necessary:
    http://www.google.com/doubleclick/studio/swiffy/gallery.html
    (Interestingly this project is under the DoubleClick namespace; more ad revenue, yay!)

    Also, Slideshare put in a behemoth effort recently to make all their content HTML5 and (therefore) have a better UX especially on mobile. Their blog post about it shows it wasn’t easy but it’s only going to get easier:
    http://engineering.slideshare.net/2011/09/slideshare-ditches-flash-for-html5/

  • Adam Iley says:

    While I’m a big fan of HTML and javascript everywhere as the new global VM, I’ve been using Kongregate Arcade on my mobile phone for a long time, which is completely flash based. I have never noticed all these supposed problems with flash on mobile, in fact many of the Kongregate arcade games coped better with changes in resolution between my android phones than early native android games. On top of that, it has been extremely hard explaining to nontechnical users of my ipad why features of certain websites just didn’t work at all on it.

    I’m very pleased about HTML winning, but I’m still convinced that what killed flash was the fact that it was a platform that apple couldn’t control rather than any of the reasons Mr Jobs gave.

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