Adobe to kill off Flash in Januarys Creative loud update

Adobe Flash logoAdobe's embrace of HTML5 has created its first big casualty: Flash. Not the Flash Player browser pluginAdobe said in 2012 that it would continue supporting the plugin for the next five to 10 yearsbut Flash Professional, the main authoring tool used to create Flash animations.

With the Creative Cloud update coming in January, Flash Professional will sport a new name: Adobe Animate CC. It will still be able to produce Flash (SWF) files and will also continue to support Adobe's standalone AIR runtime, but it also supports building for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL. Adobe says that a third of all content produced in Flash Professional is now HTML5-based, showing that the shift away from its proprietary browser technology is well underway. Flash Professional isn't just for Flash; it's for all kinds of timeline-based interactive animations. The name change makes sense.

This is the latest step in Adobe's multi-year transformation away from Flash and toward HTML5. In 2012, the company released a range of new HTML5-oriented applications under the Edge brand. These included Edge Reflow for easier development of pages using responsive design, Edge Animate for producing animations, and Edge Inspect for multi-device debugging. These three products are all being discontinued not because of a decrease in support for HTML5 but instead because their functionality is being incorporated into Adobe's other creative products.

For example, Reflow's support for responsive design has led to integrated responsive design support in Dreamweaver, the company's venerable HTML development tool. Adobe's new Web design app Muse, which boasts of not requiring designers to write code, will also include Reflow-derived responsive support. Edge Inspect's multi-device support is substantially replaced by Photoshop and Dreamweaver's Device Preview feature. Flash Professional, with its HTML5 Canvas and WebGL support, obviously replaces Edge Animate.

Adobe's open source editor system, Brackets (which is used in the Edge Code editor), is also going to be integrated into Dreamweaver in 2016.

The integration of the Edge capabilities and end of development of the standalone products, along with the renaming of Flash Professional, demonstrates just how integral HTML5 now is. Over the last few years, Adobe has arguably put together the most comprehensive suite of HTML5 design and development tools. A big element in Flash's enduring longevity was and is that its timeline-based animation system is easy to use and understand, and there are few competing products doing the same thing. This made it the go-to choice for Web animations and interactive content.

The Flash browser plugin is starting to be squeezed out of the Web as it's much less necessary than it once wasHTML5 now offers comparable capabilities. But rather than ceding its position as a creator of Web development tools, Adobe has instead redeveloped Flash Professional to bring its traditional strengths to the HTML5 world. There's still no strong alternative to Flash Professional for creating interactive and animated HTML5 content. Adobe has successfully handled the transition away from plugins toward to a Web standards world.

The company has its eye on other markets, too. Earlier in the year it announced Fuse, a 3D design application that integrates with Photoshop. The company says that 3D design is in high demand and that Fuse is a 3D design tool that will be comfortable even for those without 3D design experience.

A preview version of Fuse CC is now available along with updated versions of Lightroom, Photoshop, and more. Across the major apps of the Creative Cloud suite, touch usability has been enhanced. Photoshop now supports a customizable toolbar and a new, flatter appearance.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Adobe, Flash, graphics editors

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