Flash support is a feature we've seen touted on just about every mobile platform not named iOS at one point or another, but it doesn't sound like we'll be hearing much about it going forward. According to information leaked to ZDNet, Adobe will soon announce its plans to stop development on Flash Player for mobile devices. Instead, Adobe will apparently focus more on developing other mobile apps as well as increasing its support of HTML5. The announcement does mention that Adobe will continue to support the current versions of mobile Flash that are in use on Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook with bug fixes and security updates. The full announcement sent to ZDNet:
"Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates."
This move is definitely a bit of a surprise considering that mobile Flash has been one of the flagship features for several devices in the past, and it should be interesting to see what Adobe has to say about it when it makes the decision official. The good news is that Adobe will continue to support devices that are currently using mobile Flash, so current users needn't worry about security issues or anything like that in the future. How often do you access Flash content on your particular device?
UPDATE: Right on schedule, Adobe has confirmed the decision to end development of Flash Player for mobile devices after the release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and the PlayBook. The company explained that it will focus more on HTML5 going forward because it's "universally supported on major mobile devices" and is "the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." Adobe added that it'll continue to release bug fixes and security updates and will also allow source code licensees to continue to develop their own implementations. The word straight from Adobe:
"Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations."