Editor’s Note: Matt Alexander is the owner and editor of ONE37.net, a writer, a technology enthusiast, and a contributing writer for The Loop.
Mobile Flash is, and always has been, pointless.
Regardless of platform, Mobile Flash absorbs battery life, heats phones, and provides an unquestionably lackluster end-user experience.
And yet, hardware manufacturers continue to tout Mobile Flash’s relevance. Best Buy clerks try to sell you on the advantages of Flash over sans-Flash platforms. Ads flaunt the apparent benefits of a Flash-enabled web on your tablet and phone. Meanwhile, reviewers across the web grapple with its usefulness and buggy implementation. So, the question is, why has there been such prominent exposure of one feature?
Simply put, Mobile Flash has been an excuse of a “feature” for platforms in the face of iOS.
In the face of the ever-growing App Store, hardware manufacturers have used Flash compatibility as a cheap way out. With the uneven distribution of media apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus on Android, Mobile Flash has provided vague, unfounded hope to the uninformed consumer.
Realistically, the majority of media outlets block Mobile Flash, thus rendering any hope of watching Flash video as limited to obscure situations, or victim to bothersome workarounds. The primary use for Mobile Flash has largely become rendering aging Flash-based ads, and older web interfaces.
Whether you agree with this assessment or not, Adobe seems to have sensed the pointlessness of the endeavor, and that speaks volumes.
The rise of web standards has cast renewed focus on the modernization of the Internet. With focus on HTML5 and responsive web applications, both Flash and Mobile Flash have stood out as the stubborn, pointless protectors of uninspired, 1990s-esque web design, and today, one of them at least, has taken a welcome, final bow.
Adobe has made a mature and sensible decision here. Let’s hope this is a pattern they choose to follow in future.
As for Apple’s Flash-offering rivals, how might they choose to account for this? Having pushed Mobile Flash as such a key differentiator, they’re looking at dealing with a whole host of confused and misinformed consumers.
This ought to be interesting to follow.