Disappointed with Adobe
The Future(?) of Adobe Flash and Adobe Air
The loss of Google Maps for Flash/Air feels like another nail in the coffin for Adobe Flash. Flex developers may recall that Adobe launched Air more than three years ago as a stand-alone Flash application platform. Adobe Air provides a run-time environment, similar to the Java JRE, that offers developers a richer feature set and more customization than a standard web-based Flash application allows. Unfortunately, with the growing mobile market, Adobe has virtually abandoned all efforts to market the Adobe Air platform. In fact, I can count on one finger the number of individuals, myself included, who I know have the Adobe Air runtime installed.
The last few years has seen the rise of mobile platforms in a big way, so much so that proprietary web platforms like Flash, Silverlight, and others have fallen by the wayside. I think Adobe’s biggest mistake regarding Flash in the last few years was in not actively pushing Adobe Air as a general purpose platform. Despite adding a number of Flash-specific features in the latest CS5.5 release, Adobe has not done a lot to encourage developers to stick with the platform. The loss of Google Maps for Flash may be just one in a series of events that leads to the end of the Flash platform as we know it.