Adobe has released the last major update to Flash Player for mobile devices. Flash Player 11.1 is now available for download for Android devices and for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The update promises better performance and security and stability improvements.
From here on out, Adobe is only promising to fix bugs and provide security updates. We won’t see any major performance improvements or new features… and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Adobe abandon even those minor updates in another year or two.
A few days ago Adobe announced it would cease development of Flash for mobile devices. Instead the company will focus on supporting HTML5 and offer Flash developers tools to create native apps for Android, BlackBerry and other platforms by using Adobe AIR, which is basically a platform for turning Flash apps into apps that don’t need a web browser to run.
Part of the nail in mobile Flash’s coffin was probably delivered by Apple. The company has never allowed Flash to run on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad models — and since those devices are kind of popular, the move has helped spur the growth of alternatives to Flash including HTML5 and other web technologies that allow for rich media on the web without the use of browser plugins.
Adobe will continue to develop and support Flash Player for desktop operating systems.