Adobe just released, a month ago, their new animation tool: Animate CC, which replaces the Flash Professional. Nothing unusual, so far, except… the tool itself. Why is this release so important?
First: the name.
Why did Adobe drop the word “Flash” from the name of the tool? Despite the fact that they don’t fully admit the rot of the Flash within the last decade, the reality is cruel. Even Adobe recognizes that:
“Today, over a third of all content created in Flash Professional uses HTML5, reaching over one billion devices worldwide. It has also been recognized as an HTML5 ad solution that complies with the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards, and is widely used in the cartoon industry […]”
And the trend is clear. We expect HTML5 to overtake Flash within a couple of years, if not sooner. Even this new Adobe’s tool will merrily contribute to this decay (we’ll see later how). And, along with Flash, the other related toys will follow the downfall: AIR (which has no more support on Linux), Flex (which is already handed since 2011 over Apache), ActionScript 4 (whose long-awaited standard was cancelled). And, the most important: Adobe dropped the support for the mobile flash player.
Second: the aim
Now, what is so intriguing in the new tool? After all, Animate CC preservers the same layout, structure, menus and the same working methods as it predecessor, Flash Professional. Of course, it comes with a lot of new facilities and tricks
It creates the same old Flash animations or movies as before. Yes, but Animate CC has now something absolutely new: It works as an editing platform for HTML5 animated products, as well. This clearly shows that Adobe understood that they have lost the Flash battle, yet they intend not to lose the battle within the new HTML5 editors market. To do that, Adobe has also lunched another creative tool, which should permit the totally non-programmers (well, hm… J) to create their own HTML5 web sites without writing codes. They call it Muse CC
Why is Flash on its way to the grave, after all?
The answer is not so simple. There are, probably several reasons for this decay.
One could be the aggressiveness of the Flash advertises in all these years of Flash supremacy. Could be, I say, because, in fact, HTML5 could be now as aggressive as Flash, so that there must be something else.
But probably the most important reason was the Flash’s lack of “transparency”. Once created, a SWF compiled file cannot be open nor modified in the absence of its correspondent FLA authoring file. And, of course, the Flash Professional tool is needed. Which tool, again, means money. Because the final client had either to buy Adobe’s tool and to hire a qualified designer, or to pay to a third specialized company each time when he wanted to make small changes in, let’s say, some of his advertise Flash banners. And, of course, Flash needs a plug-in to be installed within the browser. HTML5 needs nothing but the browser.
Finally, the last but not the least, there were, and there still are, some security problems related with the Flash products and players. Some of them critical like:
Back to the Animate CC
I don’t intend to make a review of the new Adobe’s toy. Apart from creating new HTML5 apps, what I consider as very important is the possibility to open the old Flash projects and export them as HTML5 projects. And that tells us that Adobe is ready to give a helping hand in burying his favourite child, if necessary, in exchange of conquering the market of the future HTML5 animation tools. Will they succeed? One never knows, as they are not alone in this attempt.
Another interesting and less known, alternative, mainly for mobile, and especially for mobile games, is OpenFL. Based on the “Haxe” open source toolkit and language, and genuinely created as an open source tool to build Flash applications, OpenFL switched rapidly towards HTML5 since the spring of 2014. This open community sensed the danger before Adobe J. OpenFL has a small, yet impressive, portfolio of games written using this tool, so far.
What do you think?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us and tell us more about the new toolkits, solutions, optimizations regarding the animation on web, and not only..