A few years from now…
Even from around 2001 itself, I have seen most of the HTML developers are non-Flash supporters. I came across around 30-40 developers while working (in the span of 4 years from 2001 to 05), and only two of them had respect for design and animation all the remaining ones looked the Flash works as crap – no matter clients want that or it meets professional post-production quality or even 2Advanced’s expansion theme (you guys may remember the days when our clients asks TV program kind of animations/intros).
At the same time, in the same companies around 40-50 designers (still remember their names ) almost everyone was eager to learn Flash and even interested to code little bit so that they can achieve practical projects with dreamed effects. I am pretty sure they will be entirely disappointed with AS3 .
I guess addition to the Apple, Adobe and few issues, the mass developer bitterness towards Flash is the reason why it was allowed to touch the death (I am pretty sure Apple guys know this fact). This is just my personal observation from my own direct experience on webdesign work environments!
Even from around 2001 itself, I have seen most of the HTML developers are non-Flash supporters. I came across around 30-40 developers while working (in the span of 4 years from 2001 to 05), and only two of them had respect for design and animation all the remaining ones looked the Flash works as crap – no matter clients want that or it meets professional post-production quality (you guys may remember the days when our clients asks TV program kind of animations/intros).
At the same time, in the same companies around 40-50 designers (still remember their names ) almost everyone was eager to learn Flash and even interested to code little bit so that they can achieve practical projects with dreamed effects. I am pretty sure they will be entirely disappointed with AS3 .I guess addition to the Apple, Adobe and few issues the, mass developer bitterness towards Flash is the reason why it was allowed to touch the death. This is just my personal observation from my own direct experience on webdesign work environments!
I totally agree with this. Early days of Flash, HTML developers weren’t a fan of Flash. And then became big competition to HTML when it become popular, because all the big corporate sites used Flash and that’s where the big money was being spent, and the awards going out to. Now those HTML guys are having a party, and can’t wait to see the demise of Flash. So ya the first knock was the AS2 to AS3 jump, and second knock was Apple. Will it recover, we shall see. Flash is not dying because its been replaced, or it’s not good enough, its dying for business reasons only. Apple dropped it for power leverage, and then all companies dropped Flash on their sites because they worried people wont see their sites on an iPad. Like you don’t blame them, they had to otherwise would effect business. So seems for now money, power and greed are winning over creative user experience, sad times indeed.
^ Hope something better than Flash will fill the gap in the near future. Who knows, may be html/css capabilities grow in faster pace than now and standards are followed like never before.
Chrome really demonstrated as a better browser and hope others will follow.
For now, we go and create the next banner rotator!
Cant really imagine that flash will celebrate a comeback in a few years for obvious reasons. When Apple started to gain momentum with their first iPhone they had a tiny amount of devices out there (6 million sold) with an even tinier market share. But the customer question “will it work on iOS” emerged quite fast (and not only in the micro stock world).
Even if Android beats the crap out of iOS during the next 5-10 years the absolute amount of iOS devices will still be huge, and far higher than those 6 Million that were already enough for people to question every developer and designer and ask if flash is a wise choice for a website.
As we speak apple sells 150 Million iOS devices per year. Thats 150 million devices per year which will never support flash, and the number is growing. This number is already too huge to ignore, for either developers or business owners (expect if you have a very targeted audience of course). So Android “winning” over iOS wont be enough for flash to come back. Android would need to eradicate iOS.
Is there a possibility that it will see a comeback? Maybe. But the scenarios I would consider possible are very unlikely:
- Apple loses its midas touch and starting from iPhone 5 to iPad 4 no iOS device will sell well. (That would leave us with 300 Million current iOS devices, still a huge number, but during the next 4-5 years that number would go down because of other flash supporting devices)
- Apple starts supporting Flash because Adobe gives away control of the Platform to the general public and finds a way to support mobile devices without draining the battery
For me the only conclusion is that flash as a tool to power websites is pretty much dead. I cant tell if it will survive with FLEX or Air but I guess thats not really the initial question…
PS: I dont have a bias against flash. In fact I started my whole career as a Flash Developer (although a pretty bad one ;D ) I simply think the numbers are there and its easy enough to draw conclusions by looking at them. What flash can or cant do, what HTML can or cant do doesnt matter anymore. Only thing that matters is that there is a growing number of users who cant see flash content….
Good points Kriesi, but I think there is always something that is overlooked when comparing HTML jQuery etc to Flash, they do not create the same creative user experience Flash can. If it could then you’d expect browsing though ThemeForest files, you’d be immersed in an audio visual extravaganza for the senses, but you do not. You just see some very nicely designed websites, with some fancy banner rotators and image galleries. Where’s the rich multimedia web experience. It’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges here. Apple is indeed selling alot of devices that dont support Flash, but we will need to see what Microsoft Surface does. If anything the lack of Flash support may just convince people to go with Microsoft, so Apple has been safe for now and created a bit of lead on the tablet sector, but things will get interesting once the new tablet competitors come out. All we have known up to this point is what Apple is doing, but competition can change things up a bit.
Also the fact remains there is still a lot of Flash on the web, so people might be buying iPads because there is no other option, but given the chance to use Surface and view the whole web, we may see a decline in iPad sales… because you’d want to see everything, right? I think after a while of people saying “ohhh I can’t view that, its Flash… I have an iPad” people will start catching on to other competitor devices. So whats going to happen first, Flash gets completely phased out on the entire web, or competitor tablets that can support Flash take a serious dent out of iPad sales…
I do not compare jQuery/HTML to Flash. Truth is, I agree with you, that although native browser animations continue to improve, flash offers a much better visual experience.
I think it simply doesnt matter. If it would, then people would not care to buy iPhones or iPads. There are enough quality Android Devices out there that can compete. I think its simply a number game. If flash supporting devices take over during the next few years and really KILL iOS we might see a return. But if Apple continues to sell at least a few million devices each year no sane business owner will sacrifice a 20% mobile audience for the possibility of smooth-as-butter animations.
And truth to be told, although It seems the Surface is a great device (certainly the only thing MS built during the last 10 years which got me excited) I think that Apple will still see strong sales for the foreseeable future. And as long as that happens no visual feature that flash has to offer will be worth the sacrifice of visitors…
To sum it up: I think if Apple stays strong for the next 5-10 Years Flash is dead and wont return. If Apple fucks up Flash has a chance to survive…
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