Adobe isn't killing Flash, just changing the name of the tool that makes it

Adobe is changing the name of Flash Professional to Animate CC to remind you that it supports modern formats too.

no flash

Score one for the late Steve Jobs. Adobe is changing the name of Flash Professional CC, its web animation tool, to Animate CC. The goal is to accurately reflect the reality that web developers are using the tool to also create HTML5 content—“over a third of all the content” created with the app, according to Adobe.

In a blog post announcing the change, Adobe credited Flash with “[pushing] the web forward.” But the company also conceded that HTML5, which is friendlier to laptop batteries and not the security nightmare Flash has become, has matured enough to “be the web platform of the future across all devices.”

To that end, Adobe is updating Animate CC in January with new features, along with releasing an HTML5 video player for desktop browsers.

But Flash isn’t going away. Animate CC will still support Flash creation, along with HTML5, WebGL, 4K video, and SVG. And you’re still going to run into content online that requires Flash Player, such as Facebook games and, yes, even some Flash video. Adobe says that Facebook will be sending back “security information” to Adobe so the company can improve Flash Player’s security. Adobe’s blog post also mentions having worked with “Microsoft and Google to help ensure the ongoing compatibility and security of Flash content” in browsers.

The story behind the story: Missing from Adobe’s list of partners is Apple, which stopped bundling Flash with new Macs five years ago, and later helped Adobe sandbox the Flash Player in Safari to restrict potential damage if Flash Player was compromised. Apple’s contentious relationship with Flash dates back to Apple’s decision to not allow Flash on iPhones and iPads, sticking instead with open standards like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. Steve Jobs penned an open letter called “Thoughts on Flash” in 2010, calling for Adobe to do…pretty much what it just did.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

At the time, Adobe fired back accusing Apple of “[taking] a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web,” referring to the transition between desktop and mobile browsing. Now, Adobe is also praising HTML5, saying, “Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards.”

In other words, not Flash.

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