Adobe vs Apple: today’s opinion

So both sides have had their say and I don’t just mean Apple and Adobe. Both sides of the fence are barking up a storm about why this should or should not be happening. In the end I am left with a few core observations I think trump all other arguments I have heard thus far:

First, and I have said this before, Flash has been showing signs of aging for a while now and it is not limited to iPhones or iPads. As a professional services company we are on the front lines of customer request and guess who has been consistently sliding down the food chain for a number of years now? Yup, you guessed it, Flash. This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple or their lack of trust in Flash as a technology but rather more to do with certain obvious faux pas such as the fact that search engines by and large suck at digesting Flash content. This is not a surprise and had the iPhone never come out we would still be relying on Flash less now than we did 3 years ago. This is not my opinion this is what our clients are paying for.

Second, we are in a perfect storm of change presently. Cloud computing, while failed when we all called that very same thing an ASP a few years back, seems to have found its way now (I guess a rose by any other name really is better). The modifier “smart” is almost akin to the “www” in a URL insofar as it is no longer needed for the most part. We are just all going to have “phones” again. Finally, in the desire to free ourselves from the desk and work anywhere has all but consumed us. To this end everyone has to change to survive; everyone. Adobe (and the subsequent gang of pro-Flashers out there) seem to hinge on the basic notion that we “should” allow Flash because it is the biggest thing right now. Operative phrase here being “right now” and not “tomorrow”, “next week” or “next year” because in the next breath most will agree Flash is suffering due to this changing landscape.

While I wholly believe Flash still has a very comfortable place in our lives right now I do not think we should rely on this as a reason to forget evolution. Critics say that Apple is “forcing us”. Fair enough, in a way they are. However they also “forced” us to abandon SCSI and adopt USB. That didn’t end up so bad did it? In the end I can’t help but to think this whole thing is a bunch of hot air from both sides of the equation. If you as a developer don’t like it, simply don’t code for it. Don’t like HTML 5 and prefer Flash? Cool. Don’t make mobile versions of your stuff or make it for an incredibly small population. We will be here figuring out the next wave of innovation using the tool set we can. Solve client problems and innovate around that.