Will Mobile Flash Be Relevant When It Finally Works?

John Gruber linked to the sizzle in Jeff Croft’s post:

In the [FlashCamp Seattle] opening keynote, Ryan Stewart, a Flash Platform evangelist at Adobe, demoed Flash Player 10.1 running on his Nexus One phone. […]

Here’s what happened: On his Mac, Ryan pulled up a site called Eco Zoo. It is, seemingly, a pretty intense example of Flash development — full of 3D rendering, rich interactions, and cute little characters. Then, he pulled up the same thing on his Nexus One. The site’s progress bar filled in and the 3D world appeared for a few seconds before the browser crashed. Ryan said (paraphrasing), “Whoops! Well, it’s beta, and this is an intense example — let’s try it again.” He tried it again and got the same result. So he said to the audience, “Well, this one isn’t going to work, but does anyone have a Flash site they’d like to see running?” Someone shouted out “Hulu.” Ryan said, “Hulu doesn’t work,” and then wrapped up his demo, telling people if they wanted to try more sites they could find him later and he’d let them play with his Nexus One.

Here’s the steak:

[W]ith media sites (and yes, porn sites) developing HTML5 video solutions for mobile devices, Hulu and many game companies moving towards native platform apps, and Apple’s impending release of iAd, the question on my mind is: by the time Adobe has Flash working well on mobile, will anyone still care?

There’s a lot more nuance in Jeff Croft’s post, including a clear admission that HTML5, JavaScript, and all the other  open web standards can’t yet do what Flash can. Indeed, I’m glad to admit that Flash development is easier than standards-based development for some sophisticated things.

Let’s hope that Flash development is moving slowly because Adobe only has half their engineers on it and the other half working on a sweet HTML5 + JavScript + Canvas + etc authoring app.