Business owners with Flash on their sites have long been crippled by Apple’s decision to make the technology incompatible with all of their iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). This meant that surfers on those devices received a suboptimal at best, or completely unusable experience when visiting those sites.
With Adobe now telling developers to stop using Flash completely, as reported by The Verge and start switching to alternatives such as HTML 5, the time has now come for all sites to ditch the technology completely and offer an experience that works for all devices. Lost sales and traffic due to continued use of Flash is now likely to increase as support for the technology will decline further over time in the wake of this decision.
It’s worth noting, however, that security updates will be maintained for the time being by Adobe so users will not be put at risk for now by the decision to deprecate the technology.
Tech Function reached out to several development shops for comment. Terry Ellis from H22 Solutions commented that while it’s a shame for some that Flash has finally closed up shop, many serious developers have not been using it for some time.
It is unfortunate that Apple and Adobe didn’t see eye to eye in the early days of the iPhone. That said, when the iPhone first launched, it did not even support copy and paste!
And so began the demise of Adobe Flash. Personally, I have not used Flash in any websites since 2004, so no big loss for me. There are other uses for flash, for example we support some vending projects in the USA where the UI is built using flash.
It is robust and just…works for months on end without a restart. Some secondary schools in the UK are using Flash as part of their programming syllabus. In some ways this is ok as the programming skills can be picked up and used in other areas, but I feel time would be far better spent using teaching students how to use Unity or something else that is at least used in the industry.
Perhaps, then, it’s not surprising that Flash has been a mainstay of the web for so long, and will continue to be used in some niche cases where a good alternative is yet to exist. However, business owners should seriously consider the decline of Flash a great opportunity to revisit their web site design, and look for the additional revenue a more modern approach will deliver for them, as the number of users without Flash installed is likely to start to grow over the coming months and years.
[Image By Adobe SystemsUploaded by Tkgd2007 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]