I have been having a field day reading all of the articles readers have sent in today about Adobe getting out of the mobile browser Flash game. Read some of the titles and you will see what I mean:
- Necrophile RIM Promises to Keep Flash Alive on PlayBook for Some Reason Gizmodo
- RIM to forge ahead with Flash on the BlackBerry PlayBook, even if it’s dead – Engadget
- So Now What Will iPad Rivals Say in Their Commercials? – AllThingsD
All of these bloggers are harping on the fact that RIM immediately reassured Flash developers who have spent time developing for QNX and the PlayBook that they would not be left in the cold. Andry Gryc from QNX nicely points out that these bloggers seem to have missed what Adobe and RIM actually said. Adobe essentially said that it will be no longer developing Flash plugins for mobile devices for use in their browsers including Android and the PlayBook while still pushing Adobe AIR as a way to package mobile apps. What RIM responded is that they are not going to suddenly dump all of their Flash developers in the cold.
This essentially means that Flash on mobile will continue to be useful since Adobe admits that they are going to continue pushing it for desktops. That means if you want to browse on your tablet just like you do on your desktop you will need some sort of Flash. HTML5 is a strong promise and RIM CLEARLY states that:
We are excited to see Adobe focusing their efforts on HTML5, and on bringing their world class development and design expertise to HTML5 and mobile. As many of you noted, at BlackBerry DevCon Americas this year we strongly emphasized HTML5 development, and all of our platforms include best-in-breed HTML5 browsing capability, based on the WebKit engine. We believe that HTML5 is the future of mobile, and are delighted to be aligned with Adobe on this.
RIM has invested a ton of effort in HTML5 and it is a key building block of BBX. RIM is just saying that Flash will continue to be supported in its current form. All of the future improvements Adobe has planned for Flash in v12 are not intended for mobile devices. On top of that there is the Adobe AIR side of Flash that Adobe clearly says they are going to continue driving:
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.
So are these bloggers just taking a cheap shot at RIM for essentially supporting developers and saying the same thing as Adobe? Let us know what you think in the comments!