Night of the Living Flash

night-of-the-living-flash

Flash is dead . . . again . . . yawn

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster in the Flash Community reminiscent of the shot heard round the world when Steve Jobs announced no Flash Support on Apple’s iOS devices. For those who are not familiar with what’s happened, Adobe announced it is ceasing development on the mobile version of Flash Player. There are a lot of takes on what has happened, and people are not afraid to share them, so not to be left out here are mine.

For 10 years Flash has been synonymous with interactivity on the web. Why? because there were no reliable alternatives and the “Web” essentially meant “desktop computers”. Flash content could and still can be run consistently between browsers on the desktop through the Flash Player. There’s a reason why in June 2011 Flash Player 10 had an almost 99% market penetration on desktops. We still need it.

Mobile on the other hand, all things considered, is still fairly new and less fragmented. At about the same time that mobile has taken off in the U.S., HTML 5 and CSS3 technologies have been emerging. It doesn’t take the Umbrella Corp. to see how, as they grow together,  they will work better together. Adobe taking Flash Player and trying to adapt it to mobile is just a business as usual approach. To think that it will have the same success on mobile as it did on the desktop is wishful thinking. It’s a different game and recognizing this early on is a +1 for Adobe.

Flash is more than a runtime

In case you didn’t know, Flash is actually a designer and developer application, and pretty darn powerful one at that. Name one application and coding language that can let you create the following; iPhone app, Android app, Desktop application, Interactive desktop browser experience, and according to various reports on the web soon to come a Playbook App and an HTML 5 animat….. SAY WHAT?!?

Yes, HTML 5 animation. Having played with the Wallaby preview on Adobe Labs, I was able to successfully convert a .fla (Flash) banner ad into an HTML 5 and CSS3 animation with the click of a button. Did I mention that Wallaby is just a preview release? Admittedly, the conversion wasn’t 100% perfect, but why should it be, it’s not even in BETA yet! Also with the 3rd preview release of Edge, another application directly targeting HTML 5 content creation that’s not even in beta yet, there’s a lot of untapped potential just waiting for more attention. Oh, and let’s not forget about Adobe’s acquisition of PhoneGap this Fall.

Unleash the Beast

As a designer, just give me the tools that I can use to unleash my creativity and to publish it anyway that’s needed. Those of us that got into this profession didn’t get into it because it is easy, we got into it because it is exciting. Personally, I can’t wait until Flash dies….again. Each time it comes back a little stronger and a little hungrier.