April 21, 2014

Cricket Wireless Reminds Us That Adobe Flash Is Still Relevant

Think back to roughly a year and a half ago when the big stink in mobile was over how Apple refused to support Adobe Flash.  Remember hearing from people on the other side of the fence about how Flash was going to die and it would soon be irrelevant? Well, here we are today and Flash is still a pretty big deal.  Even with all the security issues and holes that come with it, Adobe’s Flash is actually bigger today than it was a year ago.

Cricket Wireless wants to remind us that Flash is not dead.  In fact, as Android’s market share grows, Flash becomes even more of a factor in the mobile space.  We received an email from a PR firm representing Cricket which breaks down a few reasons and rebuttals to claims that Adobe needs to be concerned over not having Apple in their corner.  We’ve pasted it below.  Enjoy!  Oh, and we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you that Cricket currently offers the Huawei Ascend II

Why Flash Isn’t Dead

Announcing that something beloved is now dead is a surefire way to ruffle some feathers and ignite the internet with controversy. That’s exactly what happened last year when Steve Jobs wrote anopen letter declaring that all new iPads and iPhones would not support Flash, Adobe’s ubiquitous platform that supports a large majority of animation and video on the internet. Many tech publications were quick to predict the impending “Death of Flash”, citing the loss of Apple’s business as the first nail in the coffin.

A year later, how is Flash holding up against the prophecies of its downfall?

Claim:  HTML 5 is a “flash killer”

Reality: A big part of Flash’s rise to prominence was due to the shortcomings of HTML, specifically its inability to support audio and video. The latest version of the programming language, HTML 5, does support audio and video and has led many to question why anyone would pay for Flash software when they could develop the same content for free with HTML 5.

It’s a valid point, but if HTML ever does overtake Flash in popularity, it will be a painfully slow process. Today, Flash is installed on 98% of internet enabled computers, and supports 80% of video on the web including Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube.

Plus, as a private company, Adobe is able to respond to changes in the marketplace more efficiently than the World Wide Web Consortium, the massive non-profit organization that oversees the development of HTML. It took years for HTML to react to the rise of video and audio, it could take as long for the language to respond to unforeseen changes in the future.

Claim: Flash is out of style

Reality: Anti-flash sentiment has been building for years largely because of irresponsible designers who favored graphic wizardry at the expense of usability and content. Think obnoxious intro animations and infuriating interactive ads. Poorly executed Flash concoctions are a running joke among programmers.

But the fact is that Flash is perfectly functional and appropriate when used tastefully and can provide a refreshing alternative to an increasingly static, text and graphic based web landscape.

Claim:  Flash has no future in mobile

Reality:  Despite Apple, Flash is thriving in the mobile market. Google’s Android is Flash capable and is the market leader, with 33% market share to Apple’s 25%. The smartphone market is rapidly expanding, with some carriers increasing their service offering to include prepaid smartphone plans. And most new smartphones, with the exception of Apple’s iPhone, are Flash capable.

 

There are many who would take Steve Job’s word as gospel, but the truth is that reports of the death of Flash have been greatly exaggerated. There’s no question that Flash’s stranglehold on the net will loosen as alternatives pop up and the web goes increasingly mobile, but Flash is not disappearing anytime soon. The web is changing and Flash will be forced to change with it.

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