After nearly two decades, Adobe’s Flash is going by the wayside in favor of HTML5-based technology.
Adobe announced it is renaming Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC, starting with the next release in early 2016. Adobe Flash is a software platform for creating vector graphics, animation, browser games, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications and mobile games.
The company has protected its Flash franchise for years, even providing HTML5 support. However, lately, more and more of the developers have been opting for HTML5 over Flash. HTML5 is an open platform.
“Because of the emergence of HTML5 and demand for animations that leverage web standards, we completely rewrote the tool over the past few years to incorporate native HTML5 Canvas and WebGL support,” said Rich Lee, a senior product marketing manager for Creative Cloud Web products, in a blog post. He said Flash Professional is being renamed to “more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond.”
Adobe officials said the company has a history of pioneering and advancing industry standards—and where none exist, Adobe creates them, according to a post by Adobe’s corporate communications team. The company maintains that Flash has played a leading role in bringing new capabilities to the Web. From audio and animation to interactivity and video, Flash has helped push the Web forward, the post said.
Yet, “Today, open standards like HTML5 have matured and provide many of the capabilities that Flash ushered in,” Adobe said in the post. “Our customers have clearly communicated that they would like our creative applications to evolve to support multiple standards and we are committed to doing that. So today we are announcing Animate CC, previously Flash Professional CC, which will be Adobe’s premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content while continuing to support the creation of Flash content. Adobe Animate CC will be available in early 2016. In addition, Adobe will release an HTML5 video player for desktop browsers, which will complement Adobe’s support for HTML5 on mobile.”
Lee said that today more than a third of all content created in Flash Professional uses HTML5, reaching over one billion devices worldwide. “It has also been recognized as an HTML5 ad solution that complies with the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards, and is widely used in the cartoon industry by powerhouse studios like Nickelodeon and Titmouse Inc.,” he said in his post.
Lee further noted that Animate CC will continue supporting Flash (SWF) and AIR formats as first-class citizens. In addition, it can output animations to virtually any format—including SVG—through its extensible architecture.
Adobe Renames Flash Professional in Nod to HTML5
“This has to do with Adobe’s successful pivot in the capability of its tools to support HTML5,” said Al Hilwa, program director of software development research at IDC. “The renaming of Adobe’s animation tools reflects that it now emits HTML5 and is widely used for this purpose, and so the new name reflects this important change in the capability and usage patterns seen by its users. With respect to the other tools, it is good to see that some of the important features have found homes in Dreamweaver and other Adobe apps.”
In a tweet, Scott Hanselman, principal community architect in Microsoft’s Web Platform & Tools group, said, “Flash is officially dead. Adobe says stop using it. #openweb…”
Moreover, in a separate blog post, Jeremy Helfand, Adobe’s vice president of video solutions, said Adobe Primetime is committed to HTML5. Adobe Primetime is the company’s multiscreen over-the-top (OTT) platform, powering content delivery, monetization and personalization for live, linear and on-demand TV experiences.
“Our customer commitment to providing the highest quality, most reliable content viewing experience across platforms is paramount, which is why Adobe is further advancing its support for HTML5,” Helfand said. “As a platform-agnostic solution, Primetime supports HTML5 content delivery across desktops, mobile web browsers (iOS, Android) and connected devices for secure, protected playback—extending both reach and monetization capabilities.”
He added that Adobe’s TVSDK for HTML5 applies the company’s expertise in video solutions to the open HTML5 standard. TVSDK for HTML5 is a software development kit for Primetime customers that want to deploy premium video experiences to HTML5 environments across screens.
In addition, Helfand said the Adobe Primetime TVSDK is built on a multithreaded premium video engine integrated with Adobe Flash Player, with native support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and full GPU support for hardware decoding and rendering. The Flash failover for TVSDK for HTML5 leverages this same engine that is only available to Primetime customers and partners, he said.
Meanwhile, Adobe explains that, “While standards like HTML5 will be the web platform of the future across all devices, Flash continues to be used in key categories like web gaming and premium video, where new standards have yet to fully mature. Moving forward, Adobe is committed to working with industry partners, as we have with Microsoft and Google, to help ensure the ongoing compatibility and security of Flash content. In that spirit, today we are announcing that we are working together with Facebook to help ensure Flash gaming content on Facebook continues to run reliably and securely. As part of this cooperation, Facebook will report security information that helps Adobe improve the Flash Player.”