Earlier this week Adobe announced plans to abandon Flash on mobile platforms, to much weeping and gnashing of teeth. They still intend one more major release, Flash Player 11.1, and it’s available in the Android Market now. The 11.1 update brings bug fixes and stability to the Android version, including a particularly nasty audio problem on the Samsung Galaxy S II.
11.1 will be the very last version update, unless Adobe changes its mobile strategy. Smaller bug fixes and security updates will follow, and a good thing too, since Flash is historically insecure. But there will be no more features added to Flash for Android, since Adobe has decided to focus on its AIR platform and HTML 5. The move has drawn ire from Flash developers and derision from Apple advocates, who recall the extremely public spat between Steve Jobs and adobe over iOS’ lack of Flash support last year.
The move came after a major restructure at Adobe, which saw hundreds of employees laid off. In this economic environment, Adobe simple doesn’t have the resources to pursue as many software vectors as it did before. (I note however, with a distinct lack of surprise, that the price on the Adobe Creative Suite hasn’t dropped in these lean times.) According to a former Flash manager, a lot of the issues Adobe faced came from a late start, after underestimating the iPhone and Android’s impact on the smartphone market.