Adobe: stop playing CalvinBall with Apple and move on
Great news from Apple today: their platform is such a success that they’ve decided to take over all money-making verticals. They already had communication and media, but now they’ll be in charge of advertising, social gaming, location, and especially development.
With less than 48 business hours to launch CS5, Adobe must scramble to change their story. If not, the news cycle won’t move on to Adobe’s new product and features, the story will remain “Flash blocked by Apple: is Flash washed-up?”
This isn’t time to keep playing CalvinBall with Apple. This is the time to quit the games and move on to your real platform: anything that isn’t iPOS.
Here’s my 5-part game plan for Adobe:
1) Cease all Flash dev for iPOS
Take the hit. The next 12 months belongs to Apple and iPad and the consumers who are willing to play along. Flash for iPhone was a self-satisfying distraction that used up expensive hours that could have been applied to your real future…
2) Focus on compatible mobile OSes: Android, Win 7, et al
The only reason iPOS is in the lead is because of the UI (and patents). Adobe has the support of the biggest creative community in the world and Google would jump at the opportunity to squash iPOS creatively. If your developers want to make great mobile apps, they’re going to need to make another mobile OS their darling and improve it not more than iPOS, but really beyond next year’s iPOS.
Clearly, the future of mobile Flash depends exclusively on this move. Android has to be 10x better than iPOS to be competitive. Between Adobe and Google it would be easy to smack down Apple’s finger toys.
BONUS: Google, ahem… how about an Obj-C cross-compiler for Android? (Remember, non-compete clauses are invalid in California…)
3) Remember your base: print, publishing, and interactive
Print is begging not to be moderated and censored by Apple. Give them what they want: a serious strings-free publishing process. While you tighten up the experience on Android et al, find easy-to-use solutions for InDesign/Flash/HTML unification…
4) Export to HTML5/Canvas for Flash & InDesign
I’m sure Adobe is already working towards this. Final answer: publishers need Apple-easy Export to HTML5 / Export to Flash settings for InDesign. (A professional publishing wrapper wouldn’t hurt either.) And Flashers could use Export to Canvas while you’re at it. (Easy, yes??) HTML5/Canvas will be your backup plan in case Apple really does conquer the next decade.
5) Change the Story
For launch day, acknowledge the change. Disavow Flash for iPhone:
“Adobe has no interest in Apple’s exclusive platform. We will continue to focus on providing fun, easy-to-use universal tools and experiences for platforms that benefit everyone.”
And move on to the CS5 spiel. Say nothing more about iPOS from that point forward. Anything else said would be a distraction and you’ve had too much of that already.
I’m nobody. Adobe is a real company who have real people who will really solve this the right way. I build on the Flash Platform exclusively and I have no interest in pulling down Apple (I also use Apple products exclusively). I think Adobe has put a lot of time into how to get more developers into Flash through diversity instead of innovation and features and that has to change. I’m looking forward to it.