October 31, 2014

Will Google Go After Flash Developers Next?

We’ve learned over the last few days that Google is proactively seeking Apple developers, attempting to woo them with free phones.  Not a bad strategy if you can afford to toss a few hundred bucks at each person you want.  Now that the platform is established and super phones are coming out all the time, Google no longer has to worry about developers taking the “wait and see” approach. Rather, Google is now taking the “who else can we get?” approach.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a pretty heated spat going on between Apple and Adobe over the iPhone’s refusal to allow Flash.  Both companies have been twisting the words of the opposition to help justify their respective stances.

While it may very well be true that HTML 5 is the future of web,  the fact is that Flash is what works today.  It may be a few years before HTML crosses the tipping point and Flash becomes the minority.  Refusing to allow for Flash on the iPhone is like General Motors  refusing to use unleaded gasoline because bio-fuels and electricity are the future.  I believe Apple is shooting themselves in the foot with this long term play.  I also believe that Google recognizes this and is buddying up to Adobe for what may end up being a short (hop term relationship.

Adobe recently started offering beta signups for of a couple of their apps and service for Android.  We’ve heard that Flash 10.1 will be supported on nearly all Android devices going forward.  I think the chances are very good that we’ll see some sort of early look at some Android/Adobe apps at next month’s Google I/O conference.  Last year saw sneak previews of some Android features that later rolled out in Donut.  It stands to reason that the Android team will show us what’s capable in Froyo and with Adobe integration come May 19th.

For all I know Google has been going around secretly working to bring some Adobe applications to Android.  Whether that involves giving away free phones or not is hard to say.  I’d like to think that some of these developers would love nothing more than a chance to stand on stage at Google I/O and demonstrate their apps and games to the thousands in attendance.