Steve Jobs wins: Adobe kills Flash for Android for all the reasons he predicted
August 15, 2012 by Beatweek
Adobe, the maker of Flash, has yanked its availability for Android today, officially marking the end of mobile Flash for all devices. This gives a victory to the late Steve Jobs, who decided in 2007 that Flash was a bloated, insecure, battery and processor killing piece of outdated technology which didn’t belong on mobile devices like the iPhone. He took things a step further a few years later, publishing an open letter called “Thoughts on Flash” which detailed why believed the aging technology should be put to bed in favor of newer formats like HTML 5. But Adobe pushed forward with Flash nonetheless, releasing it for Android devices. Some Android hardware vendors even went so far as to run television ad campaigns based around the fact that Android had Flash while the iPhone and iPad didn’t. But in the end it turned out that Jobs’ negative predictions for mobile Flash turned out to be true on Android: it was slow, buggy, ate up battery power in unrealistic fashion, caused devices to crash, and was considered a disaster. Earlier this year Adobe announced that it was discontinuing Flash development for Android and all other mobile platforms, but it wasn’t until today that Flash was finally yanked from being available for download…
Flash is far from the only aging technology which Jobs single handedly put out to pasture. In 1998 he decided that the floppy drive’s time had come and gone, and removed it from apple’s first iMac computer. The move was considered controversial, as tech insiders predicted that its omission would cause the new computer to flop. Instead the iMac was a huge hit, putting the then-beleaguered Apple back in business, and within a few years the floppy had also disappeared from most PC computers. Some of these same tech insiders insisted that the lack of Flash on the iPhone would mean the demise not of Flash but of the iPhone itself, claiming that Jobs was omitting the technology for various supposedly underhanded reasons. But the demise of Flash on Android and mobile in general, for the reasons which he laid out years ago for not bothering to include it on the iPhone in the first place, has given him one more victory – albeit this one posthumous. HTML 5 development on the iPhone and Android platforms continues, even as major video sites like YouTube continue to phase out their Flash content. Flash still exists for traditional computers like Mac and Windows, but at this rate one must wonder for how much longer.