Despite the fact that Adobe recently stated it would stop development of its mobile Flash Player, the company has just announced that it has another version in the works that will bring support for the platform to Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
In a statement to the site Pocket-lint.com, an Adobe spokesperson discussed the upcoming release, stating: “Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0, and one more release of the Flash Linux Porting Kit -- both expected to be released before the end of this year.” Once the release is available, Adobe will be pretty much done with development of its mobile Flash Player. Users will be able to count on security updates and critical bug fixes from Adobe, however.
As for other companies’ relationships with the mobile Flash Player, Google will have to come up with a proper solution for Flash support on future versions of its Android mobile operating system if functionality is to continue into the future. Research in Motion, on the other hand, has already managed to license Flash source code to ensure support for the mobile Flash Player on its upcoming BlackBerry smartphone releases and the current BlackBerry Playbook tablet.
Adobe’s aforementioned announcement that it would discontinue mobile Flash player development made the rounds in November. The company said it would shift its attention to transform Flash into a development tool for the increasingly popular HTML5 as well as native mobile apps. Flash development for the PC environment is set to persist, but many question just how long that will last.
The end of mobile Flash Player as we know likely has something to do with Apple’s refusal to support the technology on its omnipresent iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited various reasons for the lack of Flash support on his company’s products, including poor performance, security issues, and more. Some felt Jobs’ reasoning was more of a personal vendetta against Adobe, but poor performance on mobile devices in recent times has proved the tech legend’s past words to be full of merit.
Apple’s strong market share in the mobile device arena has kept its competitors busy, and many touted Flash support on their devices as an advantage. The slow death of Flash combined with the increasing presence of HTML5, however, is successfully diminishing any such advantage that Flash support previously provided. So, while Android does hold the current Flash edge over the iPhone, it seems as if that edge will soon disappear.