While Steve Jobs may have sounded the death knell of Flash as a dominating standard in Web development last year, it wasn’t until earlier this month that Adobe finally admitted defeat and announced it would halt future development of Flash, after releasing one more iteration of mobile Flash for Android.
From all appearances, Adobe will make its fond farewell to mobile Flash available to Android 4.0 users before the end of the year, starting with owners of Samsung Galaxy Smartphones--a handset already shipping in the United Kingdom and due to hit North American carriers on December 7. Along with its announcement of the availability of Flash 4.0, Adobe also announced that individuals currently using Flash-capable devices could expect to see a security update from the company within the same timeframe as well.
While this information doesn’t provide any data as to when the lion’s share of Android device users can expect either of these mobile Flash updates to become available for their devices, it does paint a picture of the time frame that webmasters and IT managers should keep in mind while devising a plan to upgrade their employers' corporate portals, e-commerce sites, and other connected resources currently leveraging Flash.
Given the steep cost most companies have paid to purchase Flash development tools or secure the personnel able to use it, it’s unlikely that we can expect a full-on transition to HTML5 in anything resembling a timely manner. That said, companies that support a Web-savvy client base, offer field personnel access to the corporate network via mobile hardware, or offer products for purchase online would do well to start planning for HTML5 deployment now, or be left in the Internet’s dust later.