By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 10:28 am
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I’ve been a Flash developer since Flash 2 in 1997, and even I think FlashPlayer has got to go. It’s ridiculous to continue to cut a hole in the Web browser and show another application through it, especially when the most common use today is just to create an audio video player, which the browsers can either do for themselves already (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera) or have no excuse for not being able to do themselves (IE).
The way forward for Flash (the authoring tool, not the FlashPlayer browser plug-in) has already been shown by Adobe. You’ve always been able to export Mac and Windows binaries from Flash, and now you can export iPhone binaries also. The presentation runs much better natively and has none of the bizarre security implications of FlashPlayer. Also notice that Flash runs currently on only one smartphone: iPhone. From Adobe’s bizarre PR you would think it is the other way around, but there are hundreds of 100% Flash iPhone apps in the App Store for some time now, and on other platforms they have only FlashPlayer vapor, promises that it’s coming soon now. The minimum requirements for FlashPlayer are Pentium4 2.33GHz with 2GB RAM and either Mac OS, Linux, or Windows. That is at about 10 times the system resources on a 2010 smartphone, so the wait is going to be long. What Adobe should do is make Blackberry, Android and Nokia export for Flash, so that Flash can be a universal mobile app development environment. That has a much better future than FlashPlayer.