Adobe Flash has come a long way since its beginning. It started as a program for creating animations in an interface that uses a timeline or coding environment for the animation effects in traditional Web sites for PCs only.
A powerful tool, Flash garnered a lot of attention in recent years, both good and bad about its sustainability with current mobile uses. Recent Android powered devices can support the Flash animations in most mobile browsers.
Apple does not initially support Flash to run in their iOS Web browsers, however apps built in Flash or Flash Builder interfaces are readily available in the iTunes store. This led to a period of questions if Flash would be able to transition as a technology to modern uses on mobile devices and if developers would use it.
Adobe is aware of all the recent issues to come about with this mobile transition, however. The Flash technology has proven too widely used to just go away, however. Web designers and developers both use it every day to create advanced animations for online advertisements, Web sites, not to mention wide uses in online video. For instance all of the videos and ads you see in YouTube are Flash based.
The advanced animations and interactivity it can produce in Rich Internet Applications is advanced and able to produce high creative and engaging animations with minimal effort as compared to other platforms like jQuery and even HTML5 and CSS3. These are powerful technologies on their own as well, though the extent of developing a high-quality animation in those would take far longer than by using Flash and Actionscript 3.
Now this year in March, Adobe unveiled Wallaby, a Flash to HTML converter. Wallaby technology has recently entered the scene to aid the mobile movement and is currently in a testing phase. The tool converts Adobe Flash artwork and animation found in FLA files into HTML5, which extends its’ use to more mobile devices, such as those running iOS.
Also, in June of 2011, Adobe also released AIR 2.7, which is a technology that allows development of Rich Internet Applications on a multi-platform development. AIR 2.7 allows even more advancement into the mobile developing compatability game with quicker loading and rendering in iOS apps. The newer version of AIR also allows apps to run on tablets such as the Playbook, BlackBerry tablet and iPad.
This is all good news for designers and developers, such as your author here, who has been developing in Flash for some time. This basically means that all the previous experience that has gone into making Flash Web sites can easily be put to use in creating advanced applications for mobile phones and tablets.
With Adobe being on top of the technology transition, it’s less likely that Flash will ever be phased out and more likely to be used to create highly engaging applications and mobile Web sites in the future.