Adobe’s Flash Platform Will Live on, But Not on The Web

Okay, I’m going to make this short and sweet. The general consensus and buzz going on about Apple putting the kibosh on Adobe is warranted.

I think Flash usage/adoption will drastically decline over the next 12 months. In fact, I’d go as far to say that no one will use Flash on the web at some point in the future. I very well could be wrong here, but it’s not looking good right now for Adobe.

However, I think Adobe’s Flash platform will live on in just one place, and that is the animation industry.

My girlfriend is a professional animator and she is trained in various pro apps including Toonboom Harmony and Adobe Flash. Using Flash as a full blown animation tool for producing TV shows is extremely common in her industry. Somehow I doubt Flash would be dropped for another program that far less people are adept in.

Flash is going to be here for a long time. It’s so pervasive and is so widely adopted that it’s going to take considerable time for it to go away. Who knows, maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

On desktop platforms, Flash pretty usable on Windows, however, on OSX their plug-in is extremely unreliable (cough CPU cycles).

Adobe labs is currently beta testing Flash player 10.1, which will add GPU assisted acceleration for video in Windows. This is something that won’t happen for now on OSX, which is really unfortunate.

On OSX, I’d love to be able to avoid Flash content completely. For the most part, I manage pretty well. I’ve come across a gem though that I can’t live without. If you’re running Safari, go and get ClickToFlash.

ClickToFlash works great for blocking Flash content. Since the only site I visit on a consistent basis that contains Flash video is Youtube, I rarely need to bother with it. Recently Youtube has started testing HTML5 video playback that you can opt-in if you want to try it. When you go to you can enable the option. Not all videos are available in HTML5, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

All that said, I’m pretty optimistic about what’s in store and I tend to agree with Apple that HTML5 in conjunction with CSS3 and Javascript will be the answer to many annoyances that Flash bring.

Speaking of HTML5, what Apple is bringing to the table with iAd is extremely impressive. I know it seems hardly intriguing or exciting to to hear about a new way of delivering ads, but Apple has managed to accomplish something truly elegant here.