Adobe Flash, I’m not seeing a bright future for you. It seems pretty clear that HTML 5 is going to be a new favorite. Look at the big three rivals – Microsoft, Apple and Google. Microsoft has Silverlight. Apple just announced the iPad – without Flash support. And as for Google, they do things with AJAX and basic browser features. If video is going to be a standard function of future browsers, why should I keep wasting money for upgrades of Adobe Flash? Why should I force photics.com visitors to use a third-party plug-in? If rival companies are coming to the same outcome, a world without Flash, then why should I support it?
There’s more to Flash than YouTube videos. It’s a critical part of the banner advertisement market. That’s why so many people hate it. Flash is associated with annoying ads. Once major players start to move away from Flash, how many people will keep Flash installed on their computer?
The main motivation for this posting is what Steve Jobs said at a recent townhall meeting. I read it at Wired.com. According to the article, Steve Jobs denounced Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra and he called Adobe lazy. Supposedly, a common reason why Macs crash is because of Flash. The battle lines are clear. Google and Apple are gearing up for a huge mobile battle. But it doesn’t matter who wins, Adobe loses. Neither of the rivals are showing huge love for Flash.
Oh sure, Flash CS5 is supposed to be able to make iPhone apps. I was really excited about that, but then Adobe canceled the beta test. Instead of working on a familiar platform, I found a new one – GameSalad. For $99 I can make iPhone and Mac games, with even more platforms to be supported in the future. I’m thinking that’s going to be far less expensive than what it will cost to upgrade CS4. There’s another bonus of choosing GameSalad over Flash. I don’t have to worry about ActionScript, a language that becomes more confusing to me with every upgrade.
Competition is good. This could force Adobe to get better. Maybe the pricing will be cheaper. Maybe the software will be improved. If not, the .swf format could be forced out of the industry.
This also makes the iPad seem more logical. At first I thought, “What good is it going to be without Flash?” I realized that I asked this question over and over… will the Flash videos on YouTube work on my Wii… will they work on my Playstation 3? Nope, I still can’t enjoy an episode of MacGyver (youtube.com/shows) on either of those platforms… not even my Android phone. With so many platforms doing a lousy job at running Flash, Abode becomes the least common denominator.
HTML 5 is starting to look really good to me.