As an official Adobe blog hailed a ‘new era’ for Flash Professional, the software company seems to be sidelining its creation.
Apple boss Steve Jobs once famously dismissed Flash as proprietary software from the PC age. Now Adobe appears to be admitting it doesn’t have a role in the age of the cloud. While updating readers on developments in its Creative Cloud, Adobe reveals that Flash Professional CC is to be re-branded as Adobe Animate CC in order to “more accurately reflect the content-formats produced by this tool.”
Flash has long been heavily criticised because its proprietary nature made it unsuitable for the web. Jobs said Apple would never consider Flash for any of its phones tablets because “we know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps.”
Latterly, the high power needed by devices running Adobe would make it unsuitable for the cloud, while the lack of openness would, in Jobs’ words, “hinder the progress of the platform.”
Adobe explains, in its blog, that “open web standards and HTML5 have become the dominant standard” and that “Flash Professional CC product team has embraced this movement by rewriting the tool from the ground up”. Adding native support for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL, in addition to supporting output to any format was such a ‘hug hit’ with Adobe customers that, in a short space of time, a third of all content produced in Flash Professional CC is HTML5-based, reaching over 1 billion devices worldwide.
The name change reflects the downgrading of Flash’s role in Creative Cloud. However, in another official blog post the vendor explains that Adobe Animate CC will continue to support Flash (SWF) and AIR formats ‘as first-class citizens’, as well as other formats like broadcast-quality video. “We will continue improving Animate CC’s HTML5 capabilities over time, while optimizing its core animation and authoring feature set,” said Rich Lee, senior product marketing manager for Creative Cloud web products.
In the cloud, it was the lack of stability and security that dissuaded Apple from using Flash.
Flash was highlighted by Symantec for having one of the worst security records in 2009. Steve Jobs once said he knew first hand Flash is the top reason for Apple device crashes. “We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash,” Jobs once said. Now, it seems, Adobe has accepted that Flash isn’t right for the cloud.