Monday, November 14, 2011

Saying Apple Won The Mobile Flash War Is Misleading


Remember the headlines in November?  Ones like those in this CNET article saying Apple won the mobile Flash war.  Sources at Adobe were quoted as saying that "We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations." (source CNET UK).  So Steve Jobs won.  Flash really is unnecessary on mobile devices.  Actually, it is very necessary.

Adobe made the right move, enabling a successful development platform (Actionscript) to exist in an "app" consumer model within the mobile space via Adobe AIR.  Let's remember what Flash is: a development environment for delivering rich, interactive content to users.  This has traditionally been done via the Flash plugin, allowing web browsers to decode and display this content. However desktop and laptop PC's have more CPU horsepower and screen real estate available for processing Flash content and Actionscript code.  Mobile devices, with their smaller screens, and slower processors, are not ideal vehicles for delivering Flash-based content.

Adobe, FINALLY, recognized this.

So Adobe took a step back, surveyed the situation, and realized what they have: a viable, established development platform.  This development platform not only delivers games and entertainment, but it enables advertisers to create dynamic ads and apps, allowing them to connect with consumers in new ways that traditional advertising does not allow.

That's why the mobile play is so important.  Traditional advertising methods don't work in a mobile environment.  In February of this year, Comscore reported smartphone usage was up 60% year over year (Business Insider).  If you want to get your costumer's attention, it's no longer via a television or a regular PC screen.  In order to win mind share, you have to get consumers in their pockets, so that they will open up their pocketbooks.

Flash/Actionsctipt development via Adobe AIR packaging makes sense. It allows Adobe to continue to sell software.  It allows Adobe to stay relevant with developers. It allows Adobe to be a key player in the mobile advertising realm.  It just makes sense.

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