During an e-seminar recently, Mark Doherty spoke about the demise of the still in beta – Flash Lite Distributable Player. The Distributable Player was meant to be a solution to check for the availability of Flash Lite on a Symbian device or Windows Mobile device, and download the latest player via OTA if not present.
However with the announcement, there seemed to be a little buzz around the news and after reading the blog posts by Alessandro, Philippe and BlocketPC, I decided to put a couple of my own thoughts on the topic.
Firstly the Distributable Player was never meant a mass market solution. It mostly targeted the cream of the handsets for which the user base was comparatively smaller. I remember talking to a potential partner just 2 days back and the first question he asked was – which handsets does the Distributable Player support, because if it is only the higher end ones then our discussion on distribution will not yield the targets we have in mind.
The point is, if the Distributable Player was available for larger handset list, i.e where it would check for a supportable player version on a handset and install that, instead of the latest Flash Lite player only, would have been a better solution.
Moreover the Distributable Player installation experience was not very good. It involved multiple installations and checks which equaled to users waiting long before they could actually start looking at a content.
From the distribution point of view, the Distributable Player definitely supported a large list of countries however developers still had to publish their own content via aggregation deals in those regions and aggregators ask for a large handset support.
So this just boils down to one thing – the Distributable Player in its present state would not have allowed mass market distribution.
From how I look at it now, Adobe is talking about the ‘singular experience, multiple device’ with the Open Screen Project and Flash 10.1 which is great, but they wouldn’t sideline developer efforts and investments with Flash Lite completely (no announcement from Adobe on this so far, just speculation from our end!). I want to assume they are working on a better solution because that is what we need right now. We need to reach out to users with good content without educating them about technology, runtimes or installation processes. We need to erase this line of conflicting Flash Lite player versions when distributing content and I hope Adobe would address all of this.
I eagerly await Mark’s next presentation on ‘What Next’ in Flash / Flash Lite for Mobiles and Devices with regards to distribution.
Interesting thoughts Mariam, I absolutely agree with you, distributable player is not a real solution for flash lite content at this moment, but it was created to solve a big problem that affects flash lite… I hope Adobe give us other tools to solve the problem that you talked about, that it’s the big deal when you try to reach real customers: “reach out to users with good content without educating them about technology, runtimes or installation processes”.
@Marcos I agree that the Distributable Player with all its glitches was there to solve an issue faced by us. But now as it ceases to exist, I hope it only to bring in a more stable solution.
I agree but why Adobe tried this wrong way for 5 years!
Moreover why Adobe asked the developer community to embrace Flash Lite technology and why they built so many OEM deals (Nokia for instance) and … why they ask business partners to trust them 🙁
Status: millions of device are Flash Lite preinstalled or enable (downloadable player) and ~0 are Flash 10.x compatible.
Fragmentation is key and Adobe did not succeed to propose a clear technology path.
Mobile industry is quite complicated and it was underestimated by Adobe.
My 2 cents.
A terrible new.
The worst of all it’s that the new “solution” will come in a few months, maybe a year, and we know that a year it’s a long time.
What must we do in the next year? What can we say to our costumers? “Oh, yes, patience, AIR Mobile it’s in the next corner”.
Im sure that AIR Mobile will be great, but as Philippe said, Adobe underestimated the mobile fragmentation.
Maybe they must have a look to Java, like they did on ActionScript 3…