Steve Jobs wins: Adobe Flash for Android dies tomorrow

Tomorrow, Adobe will disable new installs of Flash on Android, effectively cutting it off from the future of the mobile web — despite the company’s historical assertion that Flash would enable the ‘full web experience’ on mobile devices,” T.C. Sottek reports for The verge. “Instead, Adobe surrendered the major mobile battlegrounds and pledged allegiance to HTML5.”

“Adobe had grand plans for mobile Flash, but the company met a sizable early wall when Apple refused to adopt it,” Sottek reports. “Despite the company’s push to get Flash on all platforms with its Open Screen Project, it never solved iOS support under Steve Jobs, who famously fought against Flash in favor of HTML5.”

Sottek reports, “It’s hard to imagine Flash’s ongoing relevance in a world that’s increasingly mobile, and Adobe’s support for HTML5 doesn’t bode well for the plugin: in a web with increasingly less Flash, HTML5 will soon provide the ‘full web experience’ for most users.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen believed his firm didn’t need Apple, the iPhone, or the iPad.

He thought wrong.

Sleep tight, Shantanu.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Martin” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Adobe ceases development on Flash Player for mobile, refocuses efforts on HTML5 – November 9, 2011
Study: iOS users view 80% of mobile video – May 23, 2011
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was right about Adobe’s Flash – May 2, 2011
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen believes his firm doesn’t need Apple or the iPad – August 16, 2010
Steve Jobs posts rare open letter: Thoughts on Flash – April 29, 2010


  1. Too bad that company “Adobe” has tight fisted control over the premier design tools for computers. The company that created them is nothing like the company that bears the logo today.

    Such a shame, really.

    Fuck you Adobe.

    1. You’re not kidding — what a long drop for Adobe, which used to be a good company. I just spent an hour with their tech support trying to get CS activated on my new Mountain Lion machine. The rep kept insisting that it wouldn’t run on ML and I’d have to upgrade to CS6, despite Adobe’s own blog saying that it worked fine. Their copy protection system is so horrible — it only hurts legitimate buyers like me. I’m never going to pay them another dime.

    2. FUNNY how the technology
      that once differentiated
      a Android Phone from Apple phone
      slowly has adopted Apples lead.

      Without Flash – Android becomes more like iOS.

      What next – death of the mini SD card slot?
      Then – multitasking the same as Apple does?


    1. Exactly. Furthermore, HTML5 is universal and easily developed for across the board. I believe this was the main reason for no support from Apple.

      Thank goodness that crap never made it to iOS. Let the dancing in streets begin.

      1. Does anyone know how to author interactive content in HTML5? I did an interactive Flash info graphic for a client a few years ago and they love it. Exporting the Flash animation to a .mov turns the 100k .swf into a 500meg .mov with no interactivity. I looked for options to recreate it as HTML5 at the time with no luck. Has any thing come out lately?

  2. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen believed his firm didn’t need Apple, the iPhone, or the iPad.

    Well, actually what killed Flash on mobile is the plain old fact that FLASH SUCKS! It’s a RAM and CPU hog that was never compatible with inherent mobile technology limitations.

    Now to rid the world of Flash for every other computing device. Save us HTML5!

  3. For all the “Adobe is crap” haters. You really haven’t been keeping up. Adobe CS6 is an amazing upgrade across the board. And the fact that you can get the entire suite including Lightroom for $29 a month is not to be taken lightly. They are cementing their position in video, motion graphics, web and imaging. I applaud the turn around.

    1. Yeah only 29/month for the rest of eternity. No thanks. Their software is vastly overpriced. Their rental strategy is to sucker you in to keep paying for buggy bloated half baked Spagetti coded crap.

      Their software used to run well, be very fun to use, and very stable. Their CS is junk, crashes more than it runs, bloated, buggy, and slow.

      I used Photoshop as far back as 4.x and I will repeat: this company is nothing like the old Adobe other than the logo mark.

    2. By the way mr Adobe apologist, they are not “cementing their position” they have had a monopoly for quite awhile after buying out their main competitor Macromedia. They have no real competition.

  4. This is the same way of yanking the quote out of context as with the “Great artists steal” quote (consistently mis-interpreted as Steve Jobs’s purported hypocrisy).

    Steve never wanted to “go thermonuclear” on Adobe’s Flash. He just kept complaining about its poor performance (and a few other issues). His “open letter” came almost three years after the initial iPhone came out (plenty of time to develop Flash to provide optimal performance for the platform). Adobe took 10 years to fully implement Cocoa in their CS5 suite for Mac. They would have likely taken 10 years to properly optimise Flash for the iPhone. Steve knew it wasn’t happening, so he wrote that Open Letter and essentially put mobile Flash on its death path.

    As for “Great artists steal”, that was part of Picasso’s legendary quote, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Even Wikipedia’s “Wikiquote” article explains quite well what the quote actually meant, and to anyone who hear Jobs quote Picasso, it is clear that he meant the same thing. Obviously, fandroid sheep out there parade that quote as legal proof that Apple stole from others…

  5. There is one important point that keeps getting missed here.

    HTML5 can NEVER replace the functionality of Flash.

    At present, HTML5 has not even been fully adopted as a finished standard, so the implementation across browsers and platform is inconsistent at best.

    On the other hand, Flash has long been a fairly complex and rich development platform. It is, in a way, an entire virtual operating system, running on top of a web browser. HTML5 can not come even close to the functionality of Flash.

    Having said that, here is the reality (ant that is why Steve was absolutely right about Flash).

    Regardless of all that power and functionality that Flash has, vast majority of Flash content out there (I would argue, 97%) is embedded streaming video or fancy photo slide shows. In other words, the kind of content that HTML5 does best, with much less demand on resources. All that embedded content could easily be ported to HTML5, rendering those web properties instantly fully compatible with all web-enabled devices out there, including several hundred millions of iOS devices.

    Once the move away from Flash is complete, the only remaining use for Flash on the web will be what Flash was originally designed to actually do: complex interactive animated content. Sites such as, or In other words, children’s sites…

    1. “Once the move away from Flash is complete, the only remaining use for Flash on the web will be what Flash was originally designed to actually do: complex interactive animated content. Sites such as, or In other words, children’s sites…”

      I was with you up to this point.

      A *lot* of interactive e-learning material is still in Flash (or even worse, Java applets). Though you can create new content in HTML5 or directly in iBooks with all or most of the features of Flash (technically Shockwave), you can’t do an automatic SWF –> HTML5 conversion of existing content–not of any decent quality anyway.

      1. You are correct about e-learning, but I was talking mainstream media with millions of visits / hits.

        It will take a long time for Flash to be abandoned by e-Learning development community (after all, Captivate is so easy to use…), but eventually, this will happen, for the same reasons the rest of Flash content is giving way to HTML5 — accessibility by hundreds of millions of Flash-less mobile devices.

        1. KIds love iPad. Its the easiest computer to use.
          Lots of e-learning apps with interactivity already.
          Screw FLASH.

          THE MOVE FROM FALSH is well on its way — its up to the developers to make this decision… out your money where the users are.

    2. @ Predrag

      What is the point of doing more than html5 when all it doesn’t work well. If it did things well, no one would have anything against it. It is widely known to be a CPU hog, Its insecure. Constantly there are zero days. It’s a frequent browser crasher. Not only for Mozilla but I read an article a while ago where even Microsoft admitted that flash was the cause of most crashes on IE9. If you use allot of site with flash in different tabs the browser becomes a wreck after a while and a restart of the browser is required. Most times when my browser has felt slow, unstable, video and sound is not working properly it could be traced back to flash and a restart of the plugin mostly slowed it.

      Conclusion is that flash does nothing good. It does not matter if it can do 15000 things if it can’t play video properly for a while. Even with hardware acceleration it can’t get the job done. Flash is crap and no one would miss it. Today it’s only purpose is to serve up ads and act as a gigant gateway into your computer.

  6. “it never solved iOS support under Steve Jobs”

    No, Flash never worked well on ANY platform. Journalists like to pin the death of Flash on Steve Jobs. The fact is that Steve knew it wouldn’t work and called it like it was, while everyone else deluded themselves and doubted Steve’s vision. The death of Flash is Adobe’s fault and no one else’s.

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