In what appears to be a posthumous win for Steve Jobs, Adobe announced today that hand in hand with a wave of “corporate restructuring” claiming 750 jobs, they will no longer support Flash for mobile browsers.
Now, before the Apple fan boys start breaking out the champagne, this doesn’t mean that Flash is totally dead for mobile devices. Adobe AIR, which allows you to run Flash content as native apps, is still going strong, and in fact Adobe has commented that this move will allow them to focus heavily on AIR for all the major mobile app stores.
Still, it does confirm the general trend set in place by Apple’s complete ban on mobile Flash – HTML5, and AIR, will be the wave of the future.
Flash has been criticized for being an intense resource hog, which for mobile devices where processing power and battery life are at a premium, is more than just a tad inconvenient. Platform specific versions, such as for Android and Blackberry, have also been notoriously unstable.
Of course, Flash was never allowed on Apple devices, and that may be at the heart of the issue – content providers had to get used to working without Flash if they wanted to deliver apps to iOS devices, and since Apple phones and tablets are so ubiquitous, it might just not have been worth it anymore to support something that most people don’t care about.
So what does this mean for your mobile games? You probably won’t notice. Mobile game developers will still use Adobe’s content creation tools, but the end product will just be in HTML5 instead, which should be mostly invisible to you anyway. Now, the guy who designs a phone battery that can last more than one day — that’ll be exciting news.