The mobile web application development world may create many unanticipated aches and pains if word out of Adobe this week is a guide. The company said it would give up work on Flash plug-ins for mobile browsers.
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Of course, the late Steve Jobs’ well-publicized disdain for Flash – he cited speed and memory issues among others – put Flash-on-the-iPhone into a skid well over a year ago. It had been perhaps the most ubiquitous web browser plug-in on PCs.
HTML5 has been on the rise in the mobile space, but why abandon a flagship product on the hot mobile platform?
Since the initial announcement met much concern among Flash development community members, an Adobe manager of developer relations looked to clarify things. Adobe’s Michael Chambers emphasized the cost of mobile development efforts due to mobile devices’ :
• Differences in screen sizes, resolution and interaction models between mobile devices and desktop PCs
• Generally slower, and higher latency network connections (which is often metered) on mobile devices, which makes it cumbersome, sometimes expensive, and sometimes impossible to repeatedly load rich content from the web on demand.
• The tight integration with the underlying operating systems that native applications provide.
• The tight integration between mobile app stores and the mobile operating systems, which removes most of the friction for discovering new content.
” For each new device, browser and operating system released, the resources required to develop, test and maintain the Flash Player also increases,” he continued. If it is true that this is difficult for one of the largest software companies, how vexing will mobile development strategy be for development heads at non-software companies? What do you think?