Thursday, 9 February 2012

Flash is Dead, Long live AIR

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If you're on my blog, you probably belong to the group of us who appreciate Flash as a rapid development platform that just works, if you understand what you're doing.

If you're a Flash hater, you will no doubt have been delighted to read Adobe's latest press release, with yet more troll fodder.

So, where does that leave Flash actually? It will no longer be attractive for advertisers, as they want maximum reach, which will leave it to game developers, and serious application developers. Perfect.
Drop the ads you don't like in Flash, download the apps and games you do like as AIR (though you'll never even know what language they're written in, right?)

What about advertising? We all love free content, but how will websites pay the bills?
Here's a message to all the Flash haters, which I admit is a large, or at least very vocal group:

Prepare to become HTML5 haters.

Advertising pays for content creation, advertisers compete for your attention. Everything you hated in Flash will now be created in HTML5, and here's the rub, you won't be able to turn it off any more. You won't be able to disable or remove the plugin (not many flash haters actually do remove the plugin, strangely. Make your own conclusions).

As for flash developers, should we drop flash and become "interactive developers" as some Flash evangelists would have you believe? Considering the new firepower Flash 11 has got, it's never been a better time for actually making flash apps and games. The distribution model is changing, and definitely if you are a banner ad designer you should be jumping ship. For those of us that develop applications, Objective C or Java would make sense, to keep with the times and go mobile. But wait, why not just use AIR?
At this moment AIR with hardware acceleration hasn't been released, and despite all my efforts I haven't found even as much as a target launch date. But it is in closed Beta, and Adobe are showing it off  so why not stick it out, the last 10 years might not have been a complete waist of time after all...


Anonymous said...

AIR would've been called "Pugga" in Australia, and I can't say anything against that.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that Lee Brimlow post sent me sideways - can't bring himself to speak the truth about what he himself is saying.

As for me - well I build web aps that need the power of flash - so basically from now on - people are going to need to install an app to see the web page or look at it on their pc - great.

So that means - you will need 10-20million apps to see the web....its so stupid. said...

I agree that it's not optimal (== stupid) from a technical point of view. Why install an app when you can have it web based, right? After all, phones have limited storage/processing power. But there are 3 other factors that come into play; access to the phones resources, behaviour of users and not least the business model.

Native apps are probably going to be better if they can understand and use the input methods and data available (for example GPS, vibrate, giro, images from camera, etc.)
This is difficult and dangerous through a web plugin, and therefore hard to compete with native apps. AIR is built to make it possible to utilise what is available, when that in itself is not ubiquitous.

Users who want more than a text/image experience are more likely to look in an app store than on the web (this is an unsubstantiated guess on my part, but I believe it's true).

It is far easier to sell an app, then to take a subscription or one time payment for a website.
That certainly is true, and can be used as a sales argument. Naturally apps are going to be free in many cases, if they are an alternative to a web based experience.

I reckon a few years down the road we will realise that actually we don't want loads of apps, just access to them, the same way we would prefer many of our PC applications to be web based rather than purchasing them on CD ROM(!)

Anonymous said...

html5 sucks, is only that i have to say. Flash and air are by far powerful than html5.

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