A popular thread on the Flash Lite mailing list right now is entitled: “Does Flashlite have a future with mobile devices?“. This is very alarming, but a very just question with all things considered…

In 2005 I started writing Foundation Flash for Mobile Devices (Friends of ED). This came about very soon after Flash Lite 1.1 was released, and writing continued right up until the release of Flash Lite 2.1 (we made sure we waited to include it). Before I give my thoughts on Flash Lite and its future, I should probably explain that in the last year I’ve pretty much taken a back seat in the Flash Lite community, and there are many reasons for that. The reality is my attention span is very short and I’ve been too busy keeping up developing prototypes and commercial sites and applications with every new technology, including Flex 2, Papervision3D, Silverlight, WPF and AIR. There are other reasons, but more on that later.

Let’s start by considering this… Do we need a special version of the Flash Player for mobile devices? I’d answer that with a definite “yes” right now. Right now that is.

But I think Flash Lite, in its current form, is not likely to be around for too much longer.

If you take a look at the evolution of computer hardware with regards to the desktop and devices it seems pretty clear that the two are converging in terms of capabilities. Until now desktop computers had vastly superior processors, memory and storage abilities, and it’s true that the size of a computer still has an impact on how powerful we can make it. But that’s changing for two reasons…

First of all hardware components are being manufactured in increasingly smaller sizes, they take less power and have fewer moving parts, if any. This picture helps to illustrate the point. All of this has an impact on what currently limits what devices are capable of, namely power requirements and size.

The second reason is that we are not necessarily pushing hardware as much as we used to, not in most applications. We used to really push the envelope with lower-spec computers, making every byte of RAM count. Now we write a lot of software in high-level languages without even considering the possibility of running out of RAM…. RAM is cheap, disk-space is cheap, and with software being deployed on the web, you might not even need disk space in the first place. So for a wide spectrum of games and applications, computing requirements are not that high, and as such devices are able to run the exact same software as the desktop or surface computers. So for this reason the convergence in capability between desktops and devices is not just about computing power… it’s also about the software requirements, and they are forever shifting.

So let’s take one device in particular… the newly released Nokia N810. If you don’t already know, the N-Series includes Nokia’s power devices, capable of most every-day tasks, some even have hardware accelerated 3D graphics for games or maps. But unlike most Nokias this particular device doesn’t have Flash Lite. Instead it has Flash 9. So it simply skipped Flash Lite all-together. It was able to do this because as well as being up to the challenge in terms of computing power, it is also a device that is up to the task physically, in terms of form factor. Along with WiFi, integrated webcam and an 800×480 pixel screen, it has a touch-screen with stylus input. My last post was on The Future of Mobile Devices, which looked at some of the devices Nokia will be releasing in 2008, and in that post I mentioned that I believe touch-screen with tactile feedback (not stylus pens) would be the norm for most devices in the coming years. What this does is help bridge the final gap between desktop and device, leaving only the screen-size as a concern, and it goes without saying there are solutions being tried in this area too, the N95 for example has TV out, other prototype devices have built in projectors.

Flash Lite has shown that you can quickly adapt something you have made for the desktop and have it running on a handset with minimal changes. In this case the software is moving to meet the capability of devices, but the devices are also moving to meet the software requirements…

Flash Lite3 has FLV support. That’s not because FLV is any better than MP4, but it does help standardise the platform. Taking this to its logical conclusion, and backed up by the gradual quashing of the problems devices currently face, it seems safe to say that Flash Lite is really only there as a stop-gap measure, and a very good one with a very real need right now, but eventually we should expect Flash “X” and AIR to be found on our devices, particularly when form-factors make the very distinction between “device” and “desktop” almost impossible in its own right.

So what I’m saying here is that in answer to the question posed in the title of this post, for now it’s a yes, but for the future it’s a no for me. Not for any other reasons than I believe the gap will be bridged so that two separate Flash Player profiles will not be needed, but you may still have to develop in such a way that it adapts to the target device for the foreseeable future, whilst the current concept of a “device” exists that is.

All of this aside, one thing that still needs addressing is the number of handsets we can realistically target right now. I’m worried that people are being put off of Flash Lite because they consider the channels for distribution too narrow to turn a profit unless you are a one-man band or like taking a gamble. This is increasingly discussed on the list, on IM and brought up by people I meet, particularly now that a few of the original Flash Lite vets are rearing their heads and saying that it’s been a long time since they made anything, and still no sale. It’s also a hot topic with anyone I speak to in the industry (the industry I’m referring to being marketing and digital). Nokia have really embraced Flash Lite, but the others have let it fall by the wayside, with only Sony Ericsson making any sort of effort, whilst remaining at odds with how Nokia go about implementing it. The supported devices page is really very confusing, and we still need a way to ship the player with our applications.

This is a problem, I only hope that things can be improved before the community loses interest. Without developers we end up in a situation similar to where Director ended up (hopefully that is soon to change with D11), albeit for slightly different reasons. My feeling is that the manufacturers and operators have received a lot of love (after all, the operators pay the manufacturers and the manufacturers pay the licenses), but the Flash Lite developers are largely forgotten. They can get all the attention they want if they jump on the Flex and AIR train however. I was speaking to someone the other day who threw a lot into Flash Lite, fully intent on it forming the basis of a business, only to have to change those plans a year or so later. A real shame.

Thoughts on these topics are appreciated.

  • Rich

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    I've received some great comments about Flash always pushing the boundaries and supporting new hardware and abilities as they come out, therefore there will always need to be a light version of the player for lower-powered devices. I think that's true to some extent, but what I'm saying here is that we won't actually need a whole different player per-se, and eventually for most tasks the differences will be minimal.


  • Titus

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    I think if FlashLite can implement GPS technologies then it may be the "killer app" needed to push FlashLite now. Do you know if Flash can currently utilize GPS technology? I am learning FlashLite myself so I am eager to see where this discussion leads...I am also learning Flex :) just to be safe LOL.


  • Gareth Evans

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    It's a sad truth but you're dead right. I met up with most Flash Lite developing companies a couple of years ago in Barcelona and if you look at the blogs and company sites from then there's a few casualties and alliances that have happened since. Silk Mobile had an absolutely fantastic delivery method but couldn't find anyone to take it onboard with any real venom, and have since closed their doors. Pocket Marketing is against the wall and won't see another Christmas, and Mobisite will never see the light of day either (which is a shame as it was quite nice). We gave it two hard years but the reception you get when talking to marketeers is the same now as it was three years ago, "so will it work on my phone". It's going to be Pocket Marketing's epitaph. You see marketeers need figures and the one thing I've banged on about over the years, is figures for mobile devices to try and arm my fellow Flash Lite developers. I sat with the head honcho of a large Leeds agency discussing this now so long ago. It doesn't matter that Adobe have 300 million devices shipped, it doesn't matter that, that equates to nearly half of all internet users globally, it doesn't matter that the most lucrative demographic are exactly those people with devices running Flash Lite, making them even more targeted than a viral website; what does matter is that 300 million is 8% of mobile users and that my friend is just not good enough.

    The barriers for developers, the people who can make or break software, have been at times an absolute nightmare. Not knowing if a device has the player installed until you buy the damn thing is insane. The crazy thing is you can't even blame Adobe, the saddest post I've read this year was Bill Perry's post about the iPhone not having Flash Player. I won't pretend to understand the politics behind the scenes. From my naive perspective shouldn't Adobe know exactly who is and isn't developing devices with their play? maybe there's an NDA on Bill's desk, but if the main man in mobile at Adobe has to stand in a queue for 12 hours to find out, what does that mean for the little guy?

    I think the future of Flash Lite is as unknown now as it was when I first downloaded T-mobiles newsExpress to get the player. Yes in marketing terms, Flash Lite is the unwanted ginger stepchild. But then you have to think about the lifespan of the average mobile phone. Phones get handed down and passed on, not everyone gets a new handset every six months. Some people inherit phones and keep them for years. In 10 years time my mum might be using my 'old N95' who's going to be using WURFL to check for that?

    Anyway, it can't all be bad, Blue Sky North are hiring maybe we should ask them how it's done?


  • Alessandro

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    Ciao Richard,

    very good points. I will try to continue the conversation with a post on my blog since this topic is fundamental for the FL community.

    Alessandro


  • Andy Mac

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    Yes Flash Lite can access GPS or alternative - just feed it the data. I've been watching this space develop over the past 2 years and agree with many of the points Richard makes - convergence is blazing on devices (unlike the penetration of Flash Lite!!! although Browser based bundles from the likes of Opera might change all that...or maybe not) eitherway new form factors are quickly emerging to create new revenue and deployment possibilities...there's also various other rich media device technology that's possibly better than flash and more widely supported...im sick of hearing the words Flash Lite and Future - if you want to build successful wireless products and services - stick to great ideas rather than future technology assumptions...


  • Anders Djurhuus

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    I think this subject is kinda sad. We are a copenhagen based development house - and we only do Flashlite. No it is not easy - but it is not impossible either :-) I think maybe this subject is only relevant as long as you focus on technology... and the users just don't care...So whether its Flashlite, Flash 9, J2ME or any other cool abbreviation you can come up with does not make any difference - the point is we are - all of us that are involved in this business - learning a new market. This is exactly like the web 10 years ago - 20 billion standards and no users knowing what the hell they were doing - and still the internet turned out ok ehh? We as developers have a lot to learn - and a lot of users to educate - as well as a lot of clients to educate - but everytime we demo a flashlite app our potential clients go "WOW" - and they instantly see the potential. Not all of them are ready now - but some are and more will be soon. So did we start pushing this early? Yeah we did. Did Adobe start pushing this too early? Yeah they did. But new development has to come from somewhere and if we give up pushing this technology it won't just dissapear - some one else will pick up and continue because this market is just huge :-) And yes we will make lots of mistakes on the way - but for us at least its a lot of fun along the way :-) So maybe what i am thinking is that we need to hang tough now - the world will be changing soon. And also i think that we need to get out of the misconception that the mobile space is just an extesion of the web. It is its own beast entirely and cannot be compared to web. There are just to many variables in mobile space that web never had to account for. And I think once we all get that concept into our heads and start seeing mobile as being something new entirely we will see a similar development in the number of mobile connected services as we saw on the web 4-5 years ago and still are seeing today.


  • Carlo

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    Cheer up! I would put the question in a different way... "may be in a future we wont need a Flash X player but just a Flash Lite X".
    As you say desktop and handhelds are converging as platforms but the winner will be clearly the handheld. Look at the numbers of mob vs pc owners.
    I can clearly see how only the power cable and the monitor(s) will survive on my desk. Yes, there will be a nice market for desktop of course.
    Handhelds are evolving exponentially compared to desktops.
    Though the Mobile ecosystem is a funny one and will still be asking for different implementations of Payers with the xyz function removed for a reason or another.

    Cheers,
    Carlo


  • Mark Doherty

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    This is an interesting view on the world of Flash mobile, though you are forgetting that the world isn't full of people with iphones, that's naive.

    If you want a clear indication of where Flash Lite is going then look to the various OEMs that are rushing through touch screen UI's. Look to the operators that are opening their networks to new services and consider what types of UI's the leading brands and services are going to ask for. They will ask for a new experience but will always opt to use the Flash experience.

    Also I've just taken on the role of Developer Evangelist for Europe along side Bill Perry, that in itself in an indication that something is happening at Adobe. My central role is to ensure a path to market and work with OEM's, operators and content producers to do just that.

    As for Bill queueing for his iPhone, maybe he was taking it back after finding out that it didn't have Flash ;-)

    Mark





  • Henry

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    why only Nokia? If Sony Ericsson, and other brands can run Flash Lite easily (like J2ME), then maybe Flash Lite will have a future.


  • Rich

    Posted: October 23, 2007


    Thanks for all of the comments. Some positive, some negative (and quite painful to hear), some are slightly off-topic but they are all welcome.

    @Mark - Congratulations on the new position, we definitely needed more people pushing Flash Lite in the EMEA region in particular. Can I ask who you were speaking to with regard the iPhone references? Also you mention we should look at the various OEMs and leading brands with regards to new UIs... fortunately both of these are exactly the things that I and others who have posted in the comments are actively involved with in our jobs, so it's probably the case that any concerns are genuine and not unfounded. I'm looking forward to lots of news and feedback coming out of the blog and hopefully a strengthened developer relations for EMEA.

    Thanks again to all. Any more comments still appreciated.


  • Bill Perry

    Posted: October 24, 2007


    Richard - this is a great article because it's an honest assessment of FL and the pain points you feel as a Flash developer. Thanks for taking the time to raise these issues. You mentioned several points in your post and I'll try to address them.

    **Flash run time on devices
    Yes there are non-PC devices in market today that are using Flash 9 instead of Flash Lite and this is a choice of the licensee. Even with the various versions of FL in the market today (1.1, 2.0, 2.1) it can be confusing and we're working directly with the OEMs to make sure developers understand what they can do on their devices (content types). I can't comment on the future direction of our run-time on mobile devices but I believe it's in the right direction.

    **Supported devices page
    Yes it's out of date and really needs to be updated. I'm working with the Adobe web team to have the page updated but it currently has old devices that developers could use to test FL content - not necessarily devices that have FL pre-installed. Until then you can reference this PDF I've put together to help developers better understand what devices are in market (http://www.flashdevices.net/downloads/Devices-with-FL-pre-installed.pdf). I still need to add the Sony Ericsson devices and hope to have those included by the end of this week. Email me directly and let me know if there's anything else you would like to have listed per device.

    **Flash Lite Developer support
    For the longest time it's been just me supporting the global FL community and it's very, very difficult to ensure that individual developers feel the same level of support that larger companies receive. Now that Mark is on our team there are 2 of us, Mark focusing on EMEA and I'm focusing on the Americas, APAC and Japan. Our goal is to grow our developer relations/evangelist team to ensure that we have regional coverage for those FL developers to have a point of reference and someone they can go to with questions. Give us some time and provide us feedback on how to improve things for the community - whatever we can do to ensure that FL developers feel they can pursue FL development is important to us.

    **Selling FL content
    This is the biggest issue I see today, the ability for a FL developer to 1) understanding how to sell their FL content, 2) being able to sell their content, 3) make $ from their efforts. Today we have 7 content aggregators signed up to buy FL content from FL developers (Mobibase, Handango, Moket, Iguana Mobile, Smashing Ideas, Shockwave, Verizon Wireless) and we're in the process of signing up additional regional and global aggregators. We're also looking at other options for developers to sell their content and we hope to be able to share that information soon. You guys need to hear these things and what's coming so you see that there is growth.

    Please continue to share your comments and email Mark or myself directly if you have additional questions.


    best,
    Bill


  • Rich

    Posted: October 24, 2007


    Hi Bill, Thanks for these excellent comments on the various topics mentioned. I hope the post didn't sound negative toward Flash Lite development (just in case anyone did get that idea, this is not th case and I still recommend it to everyone that asks), it was more a question of whether devices would eventually meet the capabilities, on the whole, of what we now consider the desktop, and whether that would mean the two player profiles could also meet, as opposed to anything else. I am always impressed with what Flash Lite allows you to do on devices (increasingly more with each new version), the only concerns were deployment/distribution. So these answers are very re-assuring, and thanks again for taking the time to address the questions.


  • Chris

    Posted: October 24, 2007


    Richard,
    This is a very interesting article and echoes many of the points being made by developers at MAX in Barcelona. We sat round a table with many companies and heard their concerns that until Flash Lite is esentially a fully featured 'Flash 9' type experience, they couldn't see an entry point to make it worth their while - how could you make a decent app with anything less? It's interesting to note that these are exactly the same arguments we were hearing in 2004 - only the version has changed. From my personal experience I can only say that the reaction to Flash Lite casual games and handset personalization content from major operators and aggregators has been uniformly positive for us over the past year. This is now extending into applications and UI work.

    Flash Lite is still a very small pond and I guess now is probably not the time for developers sitting on the fence to jump in. There are still significant distribution problems and it requires a whole change of mindset in terms of working with aggregators on a rev share basis - it often feels the destiny of your content is out of your hands! But I must agree with Mark's point, it may seem like nothing is happening but many OEMs Operators and Brands are getting very serious about Flash for Mobile and I think there will always be a place for a specialized player allowing for integration with Handset APIs to allow us the best chance of exploiting these opportunities

    Chris


  • Stefan Wessels

    Posted: October 24, 2007


    Wow guys I think we are really on to something seeing the level of emotion concerning this topic - I don't know about you but I don't write anything anymore if I don't think it's important, and I seem to be writing about FL a lot!

    We are very lucky to be doing a lot of commercial FL work, we had to move to Asia, but we are not living like rockstars to be honest. There is absolutely no serious money to be made out of selling FL content to aggregators (the holy grail of "passive income"), the only money is in works for hire - which at the end of the day doesn't really give FL developers any more freedom or independence. We are feeling more like plumbers than mavericks to be honest, since there is no way for us to make money out of FL that we create for ourselves. So what developers are really starting to see is that the dream of a small team creating (and owning) a mobile million dollar smash hit in FL is probably not happening anytime soon, and definitely not world-wide.

    The simple fact is that the FL market is just completely different based on where in the world you are. I would rank the FL markets in the following order: Japan / Rest of Asia / Scandinavia / UK / Rest of Europe / Americas. I sense the most frustration with the US developers - during the internet boom being in the US was THE place to be, but unfortunately now, probably the worst place to be pushing new mobile technology. Adobe, due to the fact that many of their human resources are based in the US, naturally have a more US-centric (and thus limited in terms of mobile) view and less resources to push their technologies in the emerging FL markets where they are most needed. You will see the companies in Scandinavia barely surviving but growing and in Asia it's happening but there is no one to do the work! Japan the darling of the FL empire is almost impossible to penetrate from the outside.

    The news about Bill finally getting someone to take over Europe is great, but looking at the big picture, why hasn't this happened earlier? I think Adobe only adding one more person to support Bill is outrageous! If Adobe really knew what they were doing in terms of getting FL out there, Bill should have had 5-10 fellow evangelists 6 months ago! One in every major market at least! How does one person cover the US/APAC/JAPAN (all markets that are hugely different) - that is frankly impossible AND irresponsible! Adobe might say they are doing everything they can, but if you look at the actual tangible resources they are putting on the line for FL, I would beg to differ.

    I don't know any of us know what happened to FL strategy when Macromedia and Adobe merged, but I believe someone there demanded that they start making money as soon as they could, and that forced them to sign the agreements with handset manufacturers that in short-term made money (or not?) but in the long term really made it difficult to deviate from that licensing path. Parts of Nokia are loving the fact that they have FL support but they don't really do anything with it - making them pay for it didn't really work out as Adobe has planned. First making a platform popular should come before extracting profit out of it.

    I think the positive aspect of all of this is that we are asking some questions that a lot of people are only going to be asking in a few years time - playing around with these advanced technologies and platforms brings you so much closer to knowing what is going to be THAT technology that is going to make our collective dreams come true.

    Stefan (Singapore)


  • Rich

    Posted: October 24, 2007


    Chris and Stefan, your unique outlooks on this subject are absolutely great. I think I should do a follow up post highlighting some of the responses. Thanks again guys.


  • Sasha

    Posted: October 25, 2007


    1. It would be nice if Adobe could treat and position the FL (and FP) as a VM, not just a player.

    2. I had a chance to talk to few key Adobe guys at MAX2006 about Flash/FL and I had a feeling after those conversations:

    All Flash players (desktop/web/mobile) and development tools will eventually converge at Flash-9/AS-3 as a base line.

    3. FL could still learn from J2ME/MIDP
    Mobile Java had similar problems and came out with acceptable solutions.


  • Al Ramadan

    Posted: October 26, 2007


    Folks thanks for the terrific discussion! We read this stuff and want to hear from more of you about your successes and challenges with FLash Lite and Device Central. You are right - Bill is a fantastic guy and has been working too hard!!! We are adding more resources and we hope this will help.

    Flash Lite was created to meet the need of a mid-high end mobile phone. It's very unlikely that these mid-high end handsets will be able to run the desktop player any time soon. Certainly the N810 and other *very* high end handsets have the CPU and memory but I suspect that this represents less than 5% of handset shipments. Flash Lite addresses more like 50%+. For Adobe to have a ubiquitos platform, we need to address more than 5% of handsets...

    If you think about it, Flash Lite has always been "behind" the desktop player - in some cases by up to 3 versions. FL 3 is now FP8 based at the same time that the desktop is at FP9. Thats a big step forward! The FP8 VM is pretty nice... So is the web compatability and the Video...

    What we hope to do is continue on this path and hopefully get the programming models / VM's completely aligned at some point in the future; but I suspect that we will want to have different "profiles" for different market segments. As soon as we can, we will let you about our plans.

    BTW, take a look at Device Central in CS3. We spent a lot of money trying to help with the mobile content and application workflow. Let us know what you think.

    Also, have a close look at Flash Lite 3, its a huge release for Adobe.

    Al Ramadan
    SVP & GM Mobile & Devices @ Adobe


  • dc

    Posted: October 28, 2007


    wow! what a whos-who of commenters here! its like the flashlite list when this whole thing started two years ago. which is a good thing i guess; chris, stefan and other guys are hanging in there persevering with flashlite!

    over here in japan flashlite is a great business. distribution is almost 100%.
    my position is that mobile 2.0 IS about flash - much more than ajax or other technologies.
    I did a speech the other day for USC, and there are some slides here (currently) that argue the "mobile 2.0 = flashlite" theory. with a bunch of our app screenshots as examples.
    http://mangajam.com/demos/usc/labs/intro.swf

    maybe the desktop convergence your post was about - will be flashlite's saving grace. if you can bring a community of a million members from a PC site, and do a mobile version of part of it, it may wake up the operators.

    but its totally black and white for outside japan. I'd love to know more about why there's only one major handset licensee thats taking it seriously. i guess the operators don't ask for flashlite compatibility, so the handset guys don't emphasize it. the word "incumbent" was really invented for western telcos. they seem to want to protect their java business - even though only a tiny fraction of people will ever go to the effort to download/save/find/etc a java game, compared to the seamless flashlite experience.

    flashlite is just a symbol of the top-down telco malaise for the whole mobile content biz. nokia, qualcomm, adobe and others are coming up with great new technologies, but the operators *outside japan* seem to have zero motivation to introduce any of this stuff. Looking at youtube, yahoo, google, even SL - all the incredible new value created in the PC internet - in mobile its forced through an incumbent operator. despite a platform with billing, huge numbers, location awareness, and the single thing most people would not be parted from - the only success story is Tetris?

    Regarding love for developers - not needed. I would prefer Adobe spent their money convincing the carriers to request FL in the handsets, and enable it on their decks. If we can get >50% of handsets with FL support then FL producers will get all the love they need!

    I left San Francisco for japan for exactly the reason stefan states above: this is the most fantastic place for mobile content right now. Lets hope it gets real overseas too. I hope some of these virtual 300M units on the adobe powerpoints translate into a single device i can sell content to sometime soon!

    /dc

    david collier
    ceo, pikkle kk @ tokyo


  • Miikka Lyytikäinen

    Posted: October 31, 2007


    Hello,

    I agree on the fact that it is hard for a developer to make any money out of currently available distribution channels outside Japan. But I also know that there's a lot of work going behind the curtains (mainly aggregators doing it), and am somewhat positive about the distribution possibilities during year 2008. Like Stefan said, I don't believe FL ecosystem will see runaway hit titles that will turn the developers to millionaires anytime soon.

    To think outside of the box, what can you do to earn some cold hard cash if you have existing Flash Lite skills, and are waiting for the release of your titles (and waiting, and waiting... and after the launch/release will notice the revenue ain't that good) -- these examples are not hypothetical, but come from real life experience.

    1. Can you write?
    If you can, there is a possibility to get your articles published (Sony Ericsson, Nokia). Or possibly a book. Don't spend your time only thinking about the global market, look closer and localize. Yes, takes time, and connections -- everything does.

    2. Are you a trainer type of person?
    Can you train others, to learn FL? Possibilities are quite endless; some major handset manufacturers are in constant need of FL training, multimedia/game courses in various schools have been/are interested in FL, there are open courses (or maybe you can create one around your area) by some companies that sell training to end users etc.

    3. Work for hire
    Mainly adver-stuff at the moment; for ad-agencies, public organizations (health care for example; or consulting companies that are doing mobile stuff for those organizations - do remember that various organizations may have only one type of mobile device that is used by all [or key] employees, which is really nice when it comes to testing time), TV-channels (better TV guides as promotional tools), Rock bands (info for fans, exclusive content only on mobile), or porting some existing titles (web Flash, J2ME) to FL.

    Cheers,
    Miikka
    CEO, Aniway Ltd., Finland


  • Jose Llisterri

    Posted: January 20, 2008


    I'm not Nostradamus but I expect 7-12 years of life for FL, until the commented "convengerce". 4-7 years until its height, and about 5-6 years of decadence/disappearance. Like all the products it will have a life cycle with expansion, fragmentation, consolidation and inevitable termination.

    Nowadays not everybody can afford a mobile device with the latest technologies but in a future (not far) all this technologies will be obsolete and cheap. Simply look 10 years backward and you'll see the answer... now all the people can take photos or listen mp3 on the mobile! :)


    What i'm trying to say is that between now and a decade 100% of mobile devices will come out with this technoligies for 0€, $ or whatever currency, and with newest as well(paying). And also will be sold with processing capabilities that multiplies x4 (or more) the current capabilities... So I think that FL won't be necessary, maybe Astro or other AS3-based future Players, integrated in touch screen terminals with qwerty keyboard...


    Its only my viewpoint.

    Ciao


  • Jeff Walden

    Posted: March 12, 2008


    I will have to agree, i don't think flash light will still be needed for long. Yeah, it's very useful right now and it was a great idea to develop it, but i mean, things are going so fast, in 5-6 years a cheap mobile phone might be as strong as today's desktop. So let's use it today for our games and graphic applications, but let's not put to much energy in trying to keep it alive :)


  • Dave Williams

    Posted: June 9, 2008


    I wonder how many games/apps your geus have actually sold? As for me most of my sales have been from Handango.com where I've made just under $500. From my own site I recon Ive cleared just about £60! Not good for three years is it.

    I'd be interested to know if ANYONE is making a living from Flash Lite (I doubt it). As for me I am redirecting my chatebot site to my www.freegames.media-fix.co.uk site where I have started to dot Flash lite apps around it having reduced the price from $7 to $1. I recon I will make more from my adwords though !!!


  • Thommas

    Posted: November 18, 2008


    What an amazing discussion about the future of Flash Lite.

    Here in France, Flash Lite is like Science Fiction for mobile users. Geeks are buying an iPhone and get stuck by the AppStore. Others like me are buying emerging Windows Mobile device ... where you need to manually install Flash Lite 2.1 (FL3 coming to WM in November 2008... bullshit !). And finally most people buy Nokia mobile phone without even knowing Flash Lite 3 capabilities.

    I am working as a R&D engineer and tried to show the potential of Flash to unify mobile application development. It's faster, easier, and we can do everything (even GPS, camera, etc. thx to Kunerilite & Janus-Flash).

    This topic really gives a clear overview of the Flash Lite situation in the world. But we all feel something is going to happen ... something good for Flash Lite developers.

    When I see people using J2ME ... how can they spend so much effort to develop a single game/app ?! Is adapting 200 times the same code to work on 70%+ of the current market a clever way to make profit ?? ... damn here in France, it is !


  • Sachin Athreya

    Posted: March 18, 2009


    Seems Adobe is trying to revive Flashlite through "Open Screen" initiative. Will this herald the "re-birth" of Flashlite and it's acceptance?