Then came what I thought was the final nail in the coffin. Adobe cut the Flash player out of mobile development. I thought they had basically given up. Here's the thing that few people are talking about. Adobe had a solution months ago: Adobe Air. The ability to build native iOS Apps from within Flash, or Flash Builder, or Flex. Boom. iOS done right? But last April Apple went out of their way to shut them down.
Now it's back. Here's a screen capture of an app I built in Flash CS 5.0 (old school I know) during faculty senate in about 20 minutes. I wanted to make sure the integration was meaningful so I experimented with connecting to the GPS data received by the phone. It works. And presumably the same functions would work on an android or a blackberry.
What took considerably more time was setting up the certificate and provisioning profile so that apple could know who was writing code, what device they were writing for, and have a record of what the app name was. Keep in mind that all of this was purely for testing purposes--not for distribution either at an enterprise level or in the app store.
My takeaway from this experience is that apple is a much bigger barrier (did I mention it costs $99/year to even get on the testing ride?) to app development on iOS than Flash is but time will tell if that continues to be the case.
Note that the flash player is still dead dead dead, and that means no seamless integration with web browsers. No flash video players as the ubiquitous media wrappers. But as someone who uses an iPhone religiously I generally prefer native apps anyway.
I am now officially astounded at how long Flash has persisted. I've been teaching it for 9 years. It remains in my mind one of the best IDEs for people with no programming background, because you can engage in so much GUI development. I'll be curious to see when someone finally sticks a fork in it.