If your development project or recently released mobile app depends on Adobe Flash for functionality, it might be time to rethink things. Adobe has announced that it is pulling the plug on Flash for mobile devices, and industry experts believe that the desktop version of flash might be on the way out shortly after. Here’s what app developers need to know.
Adobe is Pulling the Plug on Flash
If users would like to shut off the Flash plugin in their mobile or desktop devices, it can be disabled without uninstalling apps and software.
While no official “end” date for Flash has been set, Adobe has announced that it will discontinue further development on the product. This will affect some mobile devices more than others, and impact Apple products very little. Android and Blackberry have long used Flash as a key selling point of their operating systems and devices, so obviously their development and marketing departments will need to rethink things. Conversely, Apple’s products divorced themselves from Flash long ago.
Flash Comes With Security and Performance Concerns
The announcement comes after yet another security problem was discovered in Flash, the most recent one leading Mozilla to shut down Flash temporarily in its popular browsing product Firefox. These issues are not new: Steve Jobs launched a rather public rant about Adobe Flash years ago. Jobs said that Flash is power greedy, slothful and sluggish, and unreliable. After multiple vulnerabilities in Flash software have been uncovered (the latest by Mozilla), it is clear that Flash is also insecure. In an age where people are already concerned about their security with mobile devices, Flash becomes one more thing they can do without.
Some users have also complained about how badly Flash sucks CPU power and battery life. One user conducted an informal experiment on his MacBook, determining that the Chrome browser running with Flash cut battery life in half versus running Safari without Flash.
Chrome users don’t have to ditch their favorite browser to improve their battery life, however. Simply type “chrome: plugins” into the address bar of Chrome. Find Flash on the list that appears, and click “Disable”. Since most app developers have already abandoned Flash in lieu of HTML5, you’ll likely notice little difference in your Internet experience. It is possible you’ll need to temporarily enable Flash to view some videos, and you’ll also notice that some of the ads don’t display properly.
The Future of Adobe After the End of Flash
Some users have blamed Google Chrome for causing short battery life and devices running too hot, when it was actually Adobe Flash — not Chrome — causing the issues.
As more developers and users opt out of Flash and Flash-based products and applications, the desktop version of Flash will probably die out too. The average user likely won’t notice at all, and tech savvy users will only be aware that it’s no longer necessary to download and install Flash when setting up a new system. For a product that was so revolutionary and impactful to the Web surfing experience, Adobe Flash is likely to fade to black with little fanfare and just a few obituaries.
The end of Flash is far from the end of Adobe, however. This software giant can live a long and prosperous life supported by their popular and helpful products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and others. In the meantime, head to Glance to get started on a mobile app that suits today’s mobile device and users perfectly.
Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.