There are two conflicting beliefs:
1. Apple is killing Flash and the world will conform.
2. Adobe and Google will reshape the market and Apple will die.
First, let’s look at this from Apple’s point of view. Three years ago Steve Jobs revolutionized the industry with the iPhone. At the time it was cutting edge – so cutting edge – no one cared it was closed to the world. The iPhone grew so rapidly worldwide making single developers huge profits. This started a new trend in the market – The AppStore. Services replaced technology and iPhone became the primary medium. Everyone wanted some type of service they could sell on the iPhone. The market changed and everyone wanted a piece. Developers, designers, programmers, investors, etc. They were all interested in the iPhone platform and how much money it could make them. In my opinion – a brilliant business model. Apple was so confident in their technology that they continued to perfect it over the years. Finally, releasing the iPhone 3GS – it seemed everyone was satisfied –and there was much rejoicing. I mean this is the best thing since the flash player without your mother.
Now let’s look at this from Adobe’s point of view. In late 2008 Adobe announced The Open Screen Project. It was a roadmap of partnerships to bring Flash technology across all screens to the entire world. They teamed up with Google,Nvidia, and Qualcomm among others to form a $10M fund for Flash Platform development. Unfortunately, everyone in the industry was so hung up on building services for the iPhone, The Open Screen Project went unnoticed. In 2009 the CEO of Adobe spoke at The Web2.0 Summit about Adobe’s partnerships in The Open Screen Project. There he announced the roadmap and goals of the project. It was now clear that Adobe was on the path to make Flash as accessible as HTML. The only Mobile technology company to reject this partnership was Apple. Even Microsoft are partnering with Adobe to include the full Flash Player in future versions of Windows Phone 7 as announced at the Mobile World Congress.
In late January of 2010 Steve Jobs announced the Apple iPad. A keynote that was… surprisingly uneventful. I think we were all expecting big things from Apple.
Mid February 2010 was the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. For the first time, Adobe reveals Flash player 10.1 for mobile and Adobe AIR 2.0 for mobile. All of which they displayed running on multiple devices including the Dell Mini5, Palm Pre, and Google Nexus One proving that Flash is ready to become the new standard for web and mobile publishing.
How does Flash fit into all of this?
The biggest disappointment in this firestorm has been the divide about the iPad/iPhone in the Flash community. This is a great set-back for all of us in that community. As a Flash development company we feel responsible for leading by example. We love Flash and will fight for Flash until the bitter end. We believe so strongly in Flash as the future of web technology our aim is to make everything on the web in Flash. Flash should be the interface of the internet. We wouldn’t want it any other way. We develop in Flash because of the amazing UX it allows. The beautiful graphics it is capable of and its power to play video and animation.
I read a shocking article by a Flash developer today. You can read the article here. The author speaks about the impossibilities of porting old Flash applications to the new multi-touch devices. His focus is on the iPad. Where the article fails is that the author failed to talk about the reality of multi-touch. iPad is not the only device with multi-touch… the entire world will soon be multi-touch. So, when he talks about impossibilities he is making a generalization for the entire industry and not just the iPad. Let’s face reality – in web and mobile technology, nothing is impossible.
Here are 3 key failures of said article:
1. Building an overlay controller for your game solves all of the problems discussed.
2. Use of proper OOP practices should allow a developer to port Flash projects to new screens without the need to modify the existing code.
3. Anything older than AS2 should be reprogrammed anyway. Even AS2 should be reported or reprogrammed for AS3 and Flash Player 10. If developers are still trying to make money on games created years ago then they have lost sight of Adobe’s vision for Flash.
Our Plea to the Flash Community
We are Flash developers and we should be trying to prove to the world that Flash is worth the struggle of its learning curve. Adobe has gone to great lengths to bring Flash back to the top of the web game over the years. They fought through all the “Flash is crap” hype in the 90s and they will continue their fight against all the “Flash is dead” rumors happening today. We will fight with them.
Flash is the future of the internet. Adobe’s partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and everyone in the Open Screen Project is proof.
Open hardware is the way of the future. Google has proven this by giving away free Nexus One Smart phones to thousands of people all over the world. Flash is now the leading web technology. As Flash developers, we need to knuckle down and show the world what Flash can do. We need to have pride in our work and not take a neutral stance on arguments for HTML5 over Flash.
We have been fighting the Flash battle for many years. In the past 6 months we have started to feel that we are alone in the industry. The Flash community has cut itself off from the rest of the world. We want this to change. We want to feel that Adobe has our back because we have theirs and not because we’ve made millions. More and more startups are giving up on Flash. Our mission as Flash developers is to change the world. That is why we do what we do. nothingGrinder will soon release its rapid Flash Development platform. We aim to bring the future to you now. Please get in touch if you would like to partner with us to aid in our cause.