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OPLIN 4Cast #257: Adobe Flash starts to dim

Posted in 4cast

Adobe Flash animation was the “hot” website design tool for a while, cropping up on all sorts of websites (including library websites), despite concerns about its effect on website accessibility and performance. Lately, however, Adobe has indicated that it may not support Flash Player in the near future, especially for mobile devices. If your library website currently uses Flash, it might be time for a redesign.

  • Adobe axes mobile Flash in favor of rival HTML5 technology (Inside Mobile Apps/AJ Glasser)  “The move indicates just how badly Apple’s ban of Flash hurt Adobe in terms of getting traction with mobile developers. Apple frequently called out the inefficiency of the Flash platform on mobile devices, most recently in an April 2011 blog post  from the late Steve Jobs.”
  • Why Flash didn’t work out on mobile devices (GigaOM/Erica Ogg)  “Some of Flash for mobile’s characteristics are out of sync with where mobile devices have been headed for a while. Jobs put it this way last year: ‘[T]he mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.’”
  • Flash Player demise on desktop inevitable, but years away, say analysts (Computerworld/Gregg Keizer)  “Keeping Flash Player alive on the desktop will ‘work for a while,’ said [Gartner analyst Ray] Valdes, but eventually it too will be supplanted by HTML5, the loose collection of standards that let browsers render the kind of sophisticated content now relegated to Flash. ‘Flash Player won’t go away anytime soon,’ argued Valdes. ‘But HTML5 is the future of the Web.’”
  • What the end of Flash means for Adobe (SplatF/Dan Frommer)  “Adobe’s specific phrase in its release was: ‘Focusing Flash resources on delivering the most advanced PC web experiences, including gaming and premium video, as well as mobile apps.’ But the reality is that the mobile browser is the future of the web. So anyone who is using Flash today for anything should start working on a plan to eventually stop using it.”

Survey fact:
For now, Adobe Flash Player still has a very strong presence on the Internet. A July survey estimated that 99% of Internet-enabled PCs have Flash Player installed.