Flash Fades Further As Adobe Renames Its “Flash Professional” Animation Tool
Now called "Animate CC" and out early next year, the rebranded product is another indication that Adobe is trying to position itself as the leading maker of HTML5 tools.
In another sign that the era of Flash is slowly fading out, Adobe said Monday that is it rebranding its Flash Professional animation tool as Animate CC.
The newly renamed product, available early next year and announced in a post on the company’s blog, will continue to provide creation capabilities for both Adobe’s Flash animation technology and for the new, standards-based HTML5.
“We completely rewrote the tool over the past few years to incorporate native HTML5 Canvas and WebGL support,” senior product marketing manager Rich Lee posted, adding that the name change will “more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond.” The “CC” in the name stands for Creative Cloud, Adobe’s software-as-a-service access to its products.
Lee said that Flash’s SWF and the related AIR formats will continue to be supported as “first-class citizens.” The post also listed some of the new features expected in Animate CC, including vector art brushes, custom resolution export and 360-degree rotatable canvases.
Adobe also announced that its HTML5-focused Edge tools and services will no longer be actively developed.
IDC program director and analyst Al Hilwa noted that Adobe’s paced transition is supporting the thousands who are still developing with Flash, as well as those who have gone over to HTML5 or are using both.
He told me that “HTML5 still has limitations” in terms of matching Flash’s capabilities, and he predicted it may take up to five years before HTML5 is equal.
In the meantime, Hilwa said, it’s “very likely” that Adobe will position itself as the leading maker of HTML5 tools. In addition to using the growing capabilities of Animate CC, he pointed out, many HTML5 animators are also regular users of Adobe’s other media and design tools, like Photoshop or Illustrator.
In a related post on its Conversations blog, Adobe also announced it will be releasing an HTML5 video player for desktop browser, complementing its mobile support for HTML5.
But the company made clear it’s not yet abandoning Flash.
“While standards like HTML5 will be the web platform of the future across all devices,” the entry said, “Flash continues to be used in key categories like web gaming and premium video, where new standards have yet to fully mature.”
It also announced a collaborative effort with Facebook so that Flash gaming content will run “reliably and securely,” and reiterated its commitment to do the same with Microsoft and Google.
Flash is one of the most illustrated — so to speak — veterans of the interactive age, providing wide support for animation and video throughout the web, in apps and in CD-ROMs. It began as FutureWave’s FutureSplash in the early 90s and was turned into Flash when Macromedia bought FutureSplash. In 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia.