flash_notdead
by RC Concepcion

Hey everyone – I figured while we were in the guest blog mood with no guest blog, I’d fill in and talk a little bit about something that seems to be a hot topic as of late – Flash on mobile devices. In what seems to be an open debate – Conan vs. Leno Style – the arguments have spilled out into the open as to whether the Flash technology will die because of its inability to be on smart phones. This argument reached fever pitch when Steve Jobs himself wrote an open letter – defending the decision not to run Flash on their devices.

Now, I personally disagreed with the open letter and posted my own rant about it on my personal blog arguing point by point why I thought Mr. Jobs was looking at it the wrong way. That said- I still don’t think that the iPod/iPad should be forced to have Flash installed on them. I’d like it.. It’d be nice… It’d be even better with an on/off switch.. but it’s ultimately Apple’s call – and you have to respect that. At its core, I just took issue with -how- the argument was presented and how I felt like the choice was limiting – but consumers should ultimately decide with their wallets.

This would beg the question as to whether Flash “is Dead” (as it’s clamored on the net these days). I’d say – don’t count them out yet. Here’s a few reasons why. Come on.. you know you’re curious.. :)

As Cool as Smartphones Are, People Still Use Computers
I love my iPad, and I love my Droid phone. I just don’t spend the whole day playing on either of them. That’s reserved for my Dell/Apple laptops – where I bang away on articles, content, video, and so forth. As much as we’d love to toll the bell for Flash because of what a mobile device does, I still think of it as something I use -part of the time-

Flash Can Handle Itself Nicely with Touch Based Events
Couple of days ago, our head web guy came in with an HTC Incredible – loaded with Flash. Anxious, I reached for it and went to my Flash portfolio to check it out. Then something magical happened. It -actually- worked! I was able to go around my portfolio (which has hover states) and get to each subsection, without wanting to slam the phone against the wall.

lee_flashLee Brimelow (of which I am a big fan of. Check this Twitter account) has posted a video on his website showing off how touch based events are working just fine on some Flash websites. The video is brisk, and interspersed in it are some basic explanations as to how the Flash experience translates to the mobile device.

Click here to go to Lee’s Movie on Flash and Touch Interface

Here’s another great video to check out from Ryan Stewart (his Twitter) from Adobe showcasing off how some websites appear on mobile devices- in this case, Android:

Here’s another cool example. Click on this link to see Michael Chaize from Adobe update his keyboard based inputs in Flash to touch based events in about three seconds.

Flash Isn’t just for Video – Just ask IKEA…
Or any car manufacturer for that matter. Over the weekend, I was trying to check out some stuff at the local IKEA. I pulled out my iPad and went to the website. Guess what happened – Large blocks of it were useless because of the lack of Flash. I quickly gave up on it and went to browse the Honda website (I’m trying to talk myself down from wanting a Honda Element.. they’re too cool!!!). Same thing there.. blocks of website were unusable because of Flash. Frustrated- I put the iPad down and grabbed my laptop. Now – I love the iPad, but if this becomes a common experience for me, I could see the iPad’s use be limited to specific things.. something that IMO doesn’t make it a magical transformative device. It just makes it a really cool tool for X and Y…

Flash is a great tool to use to create immersive environments – something that can really provide differentiation for you if you are trying to get on the internet. These days, it looks like people just relegate Flash to “Oh, that thing that uses video…” Not true.

The best examples I give people: Go to the Got Milk Website or browse on ANY website over at The FWA. These are GREAT implementations of Flash.. and something that I think create a lasting impression with your brand. We’ve just lost contact with all of this because in order for a normal person to do this, we’d need to become programmers.. but it still is viable.. and I argue very necessary. Heck, did you know that some of your panels in Photoshop CS4 and CS5 are written in Flash? They are…

Flash Versus HTML5 – Fight!
Much has been said about Flash Versus HTML5. Let me be clear. I happen to think that HTML5 is going to be AWESOME, and very necessary. However let’s not start the Pyre for Flash yet in terms of performance. See the video below from Michael Chaize (his Twitter) on

Yes Yes, I know.. you’re going to argue more “But What about” points.. .
Yes, I know that there will be a group that will just contradict things here.. simply because .. well.. It’s the internet.. that’s what we do. Let me try to head that off:

(and yes.. these are all things I’ve heard at one time or another.. )

But what about Flash being resource hungry on your phone, taking up all of your resources?!?!
Don’t visit that specific site.. or better yet, Turn Flash off when you do. On/Off is a very easy thing to get behind. Much more so than not having a technology because “It was decided that not having it was better for us”. Hey.. some could argue that the iPhone is “User Experience Hungry” taking and monopolizing everything and preventing you from changing anything on your experiences.. These are small arguments. Let’s not give into them.

But what about my battery life? Flash is just gonna eat my battery?!?!
I’m sure it would. About the same as it would if you sat and watched videos on your phone all day.. or played video games all day.. or used Twitter all day. I mean, really.. are you going to spend THAT much time on a Flash website on your mobile phone that you’re concerned on power loss? It’s not like you visit 1 site and BAM 50% of power is lost.

Steve Jobs is the Man! He’s just taking it to the streets..
I agree.. Steve Jobs is brilliant, and he makes amazing devices.. I just happen to disagree with him on where he stands on -this- thing. And that’s OK too.

What do we Do? Diversify
I believe that Scott’s taken a great approach here on his blog by including both Jquery and Flash versions of his portfolio. I think anyone who is working in the Web space is best to be versed in both technologies, HTML5 and Flash. Android is taking a good footing in the mobile phone space, with NPD recently posting that Android sales have overtaken iPhone sales (small small win.. but good… I mean.. there’s a TON of iPhones already out there..) so it’s a good bet to say that neither technology will be burying the other any time soon.

In the end, we shouldn’t worry about which one hits the deadpool first. We should worry about how to use what’s out there to innovate what we want to do next.

The opinions expressed here are solely RC’s and not Scott’s at all.. so no grumbly hate mail for Scott please.. thanks!

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51 Comments

  1. RC, have you seen the new Sprint HTC Ebo 4g phone thats supposed to be out next month? It has an 8meg camera and a 1.5 meg front camera for webinar. It also has a larger screen (5in I believe).

  2. Good article. Personally, I really don’t care one way or the other. I love my ipad and my iphone, so while it sucks I can’t get Flash, I’m dealing with it. The thing that drives me absolutely crazy with Flash is when websites use it just because. For example, I was on my Ipad last night, and read about this soccer program for kids. I went to their website, clicked on the “Find Locations” link, and couldn’t go any further because for some strange reason, they had to make that in Flash. I checked it out just now on my computer (your article reminded me I wanted to, but otherwise I would’ve forgotten about it and never gone back to it), and yes, it’s a really nice map of the US, and yes, it’s cool you can rollover a state and it tells you how many locations that state has, but it’s not necessary at all. I would’ve been just as happy with a list, or a zip code search.

  3. Jobs and Apple are doing themselves NO favors prolonging this skirmish…picking a fight for no good reason goes against the Apple mistique of “Consumer friendly”…let it go!

  4. RC

    Thanks for thoughts and ideas. I often enjoy the knowledge you share. I know I’ll be in the minority here, but I’d like to offer a different viewpoint.

    In the words of Chris Rock “…I could drive my car with my feet but that don’t make it a good **** idea!”

    Do we really want plug-ins? I am not picking on Flash but all plug-ins (e.g. Java, Active X controls). If we were able to design and view compelling content without plug-ins would we? Of course, who wouldn’t!

    In the early to mid 90’s I worked quite a bit with Macromedia Director. One could really create some interesting content. It was often a challenge to get it to run on a PC forget about the web. Back in those days (Jeez how old am I?) just about all websites were very basic, text centric sites. Then Macromedia came along with Flash and Shockwave and it was a lot easier to get interactive content on the web! The rub was the plug-in, back then it could be a challenge to get it installed.

    Problem is, plug-ins are still a problem. I have worked in IT for over 20 years and in my experience plug-ins, all of them, are a pain! I am sure many users are saying plug-ins are no trouble, a couple of clicks and I am good to go. Ever work in a corporate environment? Many plug-ins are blocked, instead of being downloaded they get pushed to all users after testing. Trying to access that new full screen photo portfolio? You may not be able to view it full screen until IT pushes the latest version of the plug-in to you? Why? Many corporations for security reasons do not want users downloading and installing software. Have you ever seen a PC with that requires different versions of the JAVA plug-in? Can you say “…it don’t work?” There are many people who are uncomfortable with downloading plug-ins. They have issues, perhaps because of their Security or firewall settings. They have also been told not to download “stuff” because it may be bad. Bottom line, there are segments of the world that that would like to see plug-ins go away.

    In my opinion, plug-ins have been the bridge between the old text-centric websites of the 90’s and compelling interactive content. Plug-ins were the “work around” or the “doughnut spare tire” that got us from point A to B. Anyone who has created or worked with websites knows the biggest pains are cross browser compatibility and plug-ins. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan of Flash for a long time. It has to be the best plug-in we have ever had and a terrific tool. I use it on my own small website.

    In 2010, do we still need plug-ins? I would challenge Adobe to create the next suite of tools to create compelling content perhaps using HTML5? I suspect they are already working on it.

    Thanks.

    John

    • John, wanted to check out your site but can’t do it on my Ipad.

    • I understand your argument here, but I don’t feel HTML5 is the answer, rather just another alternative. As you point out, browsers are the real issue. The only reason things like Java and Flash are plug-ins is because they’re not built in to the browser.

      The same is true of HTML 5, CSS 3, etc. Until the developers build support for it into the browser, it’s still going to be a headache. Even then, different browsers (I’m looking at you, IE) are going to interpret these things differently. If Netscape had decided not to build support for JavaScript into it’s browser “back in the day”, we’d all be arguing about how clunky the JavaScript plug-ins are.

      The issue here is more about choice. As a developer, I should be able to use the tools I want (assuming said tool is considered somewhat “standard”) and have a reasonable expectation that people are going to be able to view my content. Likewise, as the end-user, I should be able to install what I want to install on my device (assuming we’re talking a consumer environment, not corporate). If I break it, or my experience is impeded by it, that’s nobody’s fault but mine.

      I know Apple is aiming for the best experience here, but the “it’s for your own good” approach is a bit chafing.

  5. I don’t see what the point is. Apple doesn’t seem to have anything to gain from not including Flash on their new gadgets, and Adobe isn’t really going to be hurt by this. Even if it does prove to be the end of Flash, it’s not going to be immediate, so Adobe should have plenty of time to plan the end of life for the product. It doesn’t make much sense, unless it’s just some petty gripe Jobs has with Flash sites.

    • Apple has a lot to lose here. It is all about money. If Apple allows flash then developers will find another way to make apps. Then Apple will lose control and money because developers are not buying the tools from Apple.

  6. I agree with you RC about everyone focusing on the video aspects of Flash. But like you, I tried visiting an auto website and there was little to no functionality at all. It was hard to navigate, let alone built my own vehicle (and who doesn’t like to do that?) I have been experimenting with the HTML5 video on YouTube (available as a beta site) and it has worked pretty well but I can’t even think of going to my gallery page on an iPad. All of my navigation and galleries are Flash-based. Until there is a change in the way that websites use, or get rid of Flash, I will do most of my web browsing with my Mac, not an iPad. But then again, it’s not the number one reason I got the iPad in the first place.

  7. RC,

    I took a trip this past week and left my laptop at home for the first time in years. I took only my iPad. I checked ahead of time and the hotel had free wireless in the rooms…so I thought it would be a good test. The only problem was that the website to accept the terms and conditions to use the wireless was Flash…so I could not accept them and could not get on the net. My iPad became a very expensive eReader.

    Bummer.

  8. I am so excited to hear that you have a Droid. I just landed my Incredible and love it and I’ve been itching to hint to the Kelby world that it would be nice to slde in some Android specific information (hint, hint).

    I disagree with Mr. Jobs stand but when it comes down to it, I think he’s limiting Apple more than he’s limiting Flash. If they expect the IPad to be the world killer they claim it to be it can’t restrict itself along ideaological grounds. They are painting themselves into the same corner they’ve been in on the PC – an amazing niche product. I really see them at a point where they can break through with the IPod/IPhone/IPad. They own the market, but if they are going to be overtaken – again – if they aren’t on top of it. And from this stand it looks like they don’t care. They seem to like to be the top end niche company.

    If that’s where they want to be, so be it.

    Is Flash on its way out? Maybe. Technology changes and it must too, or it will die. But its out there now and ignoring it isn’t really feasible.

    My two cents…

  9. OK – so I can’t spell ideological…

    Sorry

  10. I agree with alot of what you said, and it drives me nuts not having flash on my ipod touch and I think Jobs is wrong with how he said his piece, but really i just wanted to say, get the Element!! I got mine a couple of years ago and it is the most useful and coolest vehicle i’ve ever had. You can hose it out if you want!

  11. Frankly, I don’t understand what this issue is even all about. Just because Apple doesn’t want to install Flash in their popular devices should not mean that Flash is dead for all the millions of computers and other devices that will run it just fine. I agree with RC on this point. If a consumer feels that Flash content is a priority in a device that they purchase, they should simply choose another non-Apple product. If Apple loses enough market share to other companies, they will eventually include Flash. This is simple economics. Right now Apple feels secure in their position in the mobile marketplace and as long as consumers continue to buy their products, consumers are unlikely to see Apple make any change. I like the iPod Touch and I do own one for some of the goodies than you can get on such a device, but I wouldn’t even consider an iPhone for a number of reasons…Flash being one of them. I happen to prefer the Windows Smart Phone personally as I do a lot of Microsoft work, however whether you prefer Blackberry, Droid, or some other platform, the point is there are other very competent, and in some ways (the Network especially…AT&T sucks) are superior to the iPhone. Let’s not let the tail wag the dog with this technology.

  12. I think that if a portable device like a phone or ipad is not capable of handling flash or any other installed item without causing problems for the user then its ok to block.

    HOWEVER, I have a real problem with service providers like VERIZON and others that BLOCK features on my phone for no reason other than GREED.! I know this in on a tangent to your topic but All cell phone service providers have blocked perfectly usable features on phones we pay for so that they can get more money from us by enabling those features.

    One specific thing is the ability of the Droid to tether to an iPad, unless of course you have “Upgraded” your Droid to the most recent op system. Then its blocked, and you cant unblock it unless you downgrade or potentially brick your phone by doing hacked updates.

    I paid for my phone and a premium price for my service, I should be allowed to use all the features that the phone is capable of.

  13. Well said RC. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the fact is Apple has chosen to push an agenda (what exactly, isn’t entirely clear) and consumers are the ones getting the shaft. Like you pointed out, there is a ton of content on the web that is unavailable to the ipad/iphone crowd. How can people support Apple’s decision and say “well, you shouldn’t be looking at that content anyway because it is slow and resource intensive”? And html5 won’t solve bad web design. If html5 lets people create rich content, there will certainly be richly bad content created.

    I’m just saying don’t jump on the Steve Jobs bandwagon people. Jobs is good at diffusing and diverting people’s attention. When the iPhone was first announced, Jobs said things like this tidbit reported by slashdot, about why there won’t be any third party apps on the iPhone:
    According to Jobs, ‘These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them.’ In a similar vein, Jobs said in a MSNBC article that, ‘Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'”

  14. The NPD thing those believe is an interesting number fails to address the issue that the iPhone today is only on one carrier, a single device where as Android is on multiple carriers and zillions of devices. The options are staggering to say the least. So let’s pretend that the iPhone goes Verizon as well, and perhaps another carrier in the near future. Do we see the gap closing? I suspect so, though probably only within a plus or minus 2%, yes that is totally a guess but I suspect that the gap will close significantly. I’m not an iPhone, I’m a blackberry guy, but one with an iPad. Will I switch, idunno.

  15. “Don’t visit that specific site.. or better yet, Turn Flash off when you do.” – Now that just sounds Microsoft-ish, make things less seamless and add more steps to a simple process.

    I despise Flash for annoying ads alone. Popup ads were the bane of every internet user for years and just when people thought they couldn’t get any more intrusive or irritating, here comes Flash-based popups/popouts. I also hate how much my computer struggles when on a flash site, CPU jumps from 15-18% usage to 80-90% on my MBP! I hate to hear my fan and I hate the heat but I especially hate seeing my battery meter drop like the gas gauge on my big F-150 when I go to pass another car.

    And it’s not just on the Mac. I can’t tell you how many of my daily issues were solved on my Windows work machine once I installed a Flash inhibitor to Firefox. I understand you guys are pretty heavily career-dependent on all things Adobe, but this whole ‘company man’ corporate cheerleader routine is getting old. Flash had its day, and like other technologies, it’s time to move on. It’s business. Adobe is starting to look desperate in the Flash argument, they look kinda like Microsoft still fighting to the end for Internet Explorer. Just walk towards the light.

    • Hey Lee:

      It doesn’t sound Microsoft-ish.. it sounds like having a -choice-. That’s different. To -me- Simplicity is choice…

      I spend a lot of my day researching all sorts of sites on the web.. and run into very little pop over the whole screen Flash sites.. Just because you despise Flash because of ads doesn’t make a case that all of the other stuff that’s done with Flash isn’t good. It just means you need to stop visiting sites that use annoying ads.

      Oh, and popup ads -have nothing to do whatsover- with Flash. If you’re annoyed with Popups.. you kinda need to take that up with Javascript

      Your computer struggles from 18% to 90% because Apple didnt let developers access the GPU (until recently). Try using the Gala Flash version on the labs website. It’s the first Flash player built for Macbook Pros that actually uses the GPU.

      I hate to hear the Fan and hate to feel the heat.. but guess what.. when i’m rendering something in 3D on my machine.. that happens as well.. again.. that’s stress on a machine.. not Flash all of the time..

      Id offer this as a tip: Try turning your brightness down on your Macbook pro when surfing on a battery. I’m running Flash sites pretty extensively (writing for these blogs requires research on this stuff, anyway) and on battery power with a not so bright screen, I get a couple of hours on it. If your battery is that bad -again- Not Flash’s problem -per se- I would actually investigate it a little diligently.

      I’ve used a Flash inhibitor on a website with a PC. Guess what.. the sites I tended to visit (outside of Google) were very impaired. I was looking for the whole experience.. not just blocks of “Picture with me if you will”

      We write on Adobe technologies, but we’ve been very good at pointing out where we think Adobe technologies really don’t work. I for one think that it gets pretty old when things like “Company Man” show up in a dialogue.. Consider this: We write to point out what the good things and bad things are about this software that we use passionately.

      Check this out: http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2009/archives/5646 – That was a blog post from Bryan Hughes – Product Manager of Photoshop where he talks about all of the JDI changes, and how a good deal of that -came from- sitting with Scott Kelby in the offices, Scott championing the frustrations that all of the users write in on. I like to see myself as an advocate for everyone I write for out there.. very different from a “Company Man”

      What get old are statements like “Walk towards the light” “Move on to new business” and “Cheerleader”.

      Spend some time. Look at the metrics. Check the reviews that show everything to be contrary to what you believe. Research!

      I’m a big Apple fan and also own a lot of Apple products.. that doesn’t mean I need to blindly listen to everything.

      :)

      • I think Lee makes some good points here. I too feel a certain ‘company man’ attitude from some of you guys when it comes to Flash. Flash has always been a pain in the ass- and I think Steve Jobs is just making this fact public.

        It also occurs to me that its folks like you who make a pretty good living with it have alot to loose if it goes away.

        But heck- Im sure I will get a copy of Kelby’s Down and Dirty HTML5 when it comes out! I think its really time to “walk towards the light.”

      • HTML 5 is where its gonna be. :)

        RC

      • Thanks RC! I couldn’t have said it better! I love the logical approach!

  16. Personally, I’m not too bothered by the debate. If Flash (or HTML 5) fail, something else will come a long as it always does.

    What DOES bother me is how these products (in particular Flash) get used. RC points out some sites that are, in his opinion, great (got Milk etc). I disagree. I’ve rarely come across a flash based site that makes sense in the way it was used. They’re slow, a pain to navigate, and the whole experience is, more often than not, horrible.

    Yes, the sites look cool, but after that you’re left with all Flash and no substance. Just last week I had to call a certain major corporation for product info as their flash based site was still loading after 15 minutes. Ask around in web developer circles and most agree that over use of flash as a design tool is a major mistake. Ask everyday users, and most would also agree.

    There are ways to make a site look great (even a portfolio) without using Flash. At the very least techniques to minimize the negative effect it has on the very people those sites are trying to reach.

    So, long story short, I don’t have a problem with flash. I have a problem with how it’s used (or over used) by a vast majority of sites.

    Of course, that’s just all my worthless two cents :)

    • This is probably the closest comment to my own feelings on the Flash vs HTML5 debate that’s raging on. I totally agree that using a technology solely for the sake of using it is not good design at all. The W3C school of thought is what should ideally be the case because there would be an implementation of standards for browser behavior…which means it’s in the code:

      XHTML
      CSS
      PHP
      JS

      These four code sets alone can produce wonders. I give you exhibits A & B:

      http://www.csszengarden.com/
      http://www.alistapart.com

      The most intriguing commentary I’ve seen comes from the latter, where contributer Don Hall says, “What matters… isn’t technology, but people.”

  17. Apple has lost a sale from this customer. I would buy an iPad, but not unless I can view Flash websites, games, videos, etc. on it.

  18. I have been creating Flash content since version 2. I will most certainly create content in CS5 once I have a computer robust enough to run it. I already have a project in mind. (Thanks for the technical data at today’s webinar, btw) That being said, why won’t Adobe address memory usage, garbage collection, and other problems that make Flash crash so frequently, run down the battery, and use so much memory? Obviously, content creators can, if they know how and if they test, mitigate these issues. Programming languages like Java and the .Net family have incorporated features into the languages and the IDE’s for a decade.
    My ability to use Adobe products is a big portion of my value proposition to those who pay me. They’ll take my Photoshop license from my cold, dead hand. I will continue to be a loyal customer, but why won’t they fix it?

    • Hey Kathy:

      Garbage Collection is one of those things that is commonly talked about in an effort to build better performance, and I agree – you don’t see a lot of press on that matter.. One of the things that makes me hopeful about whats coming down the pike is FP 10.1’s ability to handle video decode via hardware as well as graphics accel through hardware..

      They’re touting 10.1 as being able to prioritize SWF loading, suspending SWF activity during dormant application times, and outright shutting down the player before a crash happens.. I’d be really hard pressed to believe that they hadnt given GC any more thought.. I know FP9 was said to have made improvements on it.. but i’m gonna look into that one further out of curiosity!

  19. My Nokia 5800 runs Flash perfectly in the browser. It also multi-tasks as a GPS navigation system, an MP3 player and a phone at the same time!

    While I wouldn’t be unhappy to see less Flash used, (especially on websites where its use does nothing to enhance the user- experience), the issue still remains that Apple doesn’t make robust products that can cope with big loads on processors without over-heating, no matter how Steve Jobs tries to spin it.

  20. As an owner of both an iPad and iPhone I really don’t like the stance that Apple is taking. While the technology is wonderful why wouldn’t you want it to be accessible to the entire internet experience. It just seems that the arguments that Jobs is putting out there are just him trying to flex his influential muscle. It’s almost like he just wants to see if he can bury a certain type of technology just by excluding and criticizing it.

    As far as the Element goes. You should go get it now! I’ve owned two and absolutely love them. They are extremely versatile and surprisingly roomy. People laugh at me when I say it’s my dream car but if I were to purchase a new car tomorrow it would be an Element.

  21. Thanks RC for these thoughts!

    Hey, I wanna hear more about your Android phone….any chance of a in-depth review??

  22. As far as I am aware Flash Mobile is not available and was delayed for another 6 months just recently. We have just started seeing it demo’d and the demos have been buggy.

    I am amazed at how easy people on here seem to dismiss Job’s letter. I thought it was eloquent and to the point. Flash does not work yet on Mobile and Adobe has a piss poor history of supporting the Mac for Flash. Why Apple would want to tie their train to corporate one size fits all software tooks just to make Adobe happy is beyond me. Then someone says that Flash should be built into the browser — hello earth calling, Flash is not open, it is wholly owned by Adobe. What apple is saying is build it using open standards. It really is that simple. No one else can create tools for creating flash, no one else can modify the Flash specification. I find humor in Droid fans being Adobe fans when the two have nothing in common in spirit or history.

    • The “Open Standard” Argument – Can one put an application on iphone, itouch or ipad WITHOUT going through Apple and itunes? Seems Jobs wants to CENSOR and control the open standard. 1984

  23. Excellent points from all around and I respect both viewpoints for and against.However, Apple has to stop playing god and let customers decide what’s good for them and what isn’t. If company A makes crappy product and if it sucks the life out of its host product, so be it. Let the customers decide whether they still want to run it or not. Give us a switch that reads ‘Do you want to run flash content on this site’ Yes|No with a don’t ask again option. How difficult is that?

  24. Personally, I think all these ‘resource hog, battery use… blah blah blah’ arguments are not the real reason. Watching YouTube, playing games, watching movies etc all use up battery and resources. iPhone/Pad only runs one app at at time anyway (until OS4), so how much resource can they really hog?!

    I believe the real reason why Apple do not want Flash on their devices is all about money! Apple makes a shed-load of money from selling game apps. If Flash was enabled, then we’d all go onto to all the Flash based games websites. There are hundreds of them and we visit them and waste a few minutes/hours everyday when at work. If Apple enabled Flash, their App market would shrink! Loads of people would simply stop buying Apps (or buy fewer) and websites would spring up offering them Flash based games and Apps.

    I think it’s all about revenue and there’s nothing wrong with that. Apple are in it to make money for their shareholders. That’s my 2 pence worth!

  25. Adobe professed its love for Apple in a full page ad in the Washington Post. The online commitment is posted here: http://www.adobe.com/choice/

  26. This is getting really old, and this post is doing nothing more than prolonging a tired issue.

    It’s as bad as working for a company/school that has content filtering, then whining because you can’t see some page/site (that has nothing to do with your job or education). It’s really simple, go home and do whatever you feel “needs” to be done (yes, ‘needs’ is in quotes for a reason).

    How many times has any of us lost out on a client, job—or another actually important matter—because a mobile device could view a Flash-based site? Yes, it may be annoying, but seriously.

    And for those, like RC, who have Flash-based portfolios, maybe an alternate approach should be looked at. Just like any other good content provided, if you feel that it is that vitally important for a visitor to your site to see your portfolio, then maybe using another method to create the portfolio should be looked at. It is no different than still coding websites with hacks/fixes for the old lame-duck versions of Internet Explorer (or any other non-standard-compliant browser).

  27. Forget about flash for a moment.
    I own 2 PC workstations at home and I at work I am working on Mac.
    I am no PC lover or Mac hater… however I run Adobe Suite on both platforms….

    I am trying to say that, I can live without Apple or Microsoft, but it’s hard to imagine to live without Adobe tools…

    iPhone/iPad are only 2 devices – cool but more devices will come… not to mention that they will be competitve (support flash with better pricing)

  28. I appreciate your comments both here and on your own web site, but I really think you brushed off the issue of Flash’s instability. The number one thing that makes my computers (Dell laptop and 24″ iMac) lock up is Flash. It’s almost a daily occurrence. On these machines running XP and OSX, this is not much more than an inconvenience because it usually doesn’t freeze the whole machine up. I can jump into the task managers and manually close my browser when Flash seizes and then start again.

    But it’s different with small appliance computer devices. Smart phone OSes and hardware are not as robust and they are less able to manage software failures like this. How would people like their iPhones if they had to do a hard reboot at random times on a daily basis?

    Apple does not block Flash on its laptops or desktop computers. But you have got to face facts, (like nearly every Adobe product) Flash is a memory hog and it has real stability problems. Until Adobe resolves these issues, it doesn’t belong on a mobile appliance device.

    • Hey William:

      I agree.. Flash has been known memory hog, and the point of the post wasnt to say that Flash -wasnt-. The point was to say that saying it’s “Dead” is a little off-target, considering these specific scenarios on the web.

      As a more techy user, I’m also one to check the labs.adobe.com website for the latest on the Flash 10.1 – and note that a lot of the things that you were talking about (Freezeup, resource allocation, etc) they are -saying- they’re addressing.. They’re also saying that the 10.1 releases for mobile has specific contingencies in place for dealing with memory scenarios; you can read the whole excerpt here:

      http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/features.html

      I’m under no Illusion to believe that what they -say- and what they actually do may be two different things. If they happen to be – as a user I would then say “You know what.. this Flash player sucks” and I would uninstall it.

      I bet that if tons of people did the same thing and Adobe saw that penetration rate drop, they’d put some bodies in there to stave the bloodleeting.

      And -thats- my point. I’m sure Flash can have many faults.. I’m just saying that as a user, I appreciate having the ability to decide whether I want to be exposed to it or not. I also think Apple is completely in the right in -not- letting Adobe in. It’s their product.. they control the experience.. and you know that when you buy it.

      I dont have to agree.. but i’m using an Ipad anyway… my choice.

      RC

      • “I would then say ‘You know what.. this Flash player sucks’ and I would uninstall it.”

        That’s easy for you to say. But the whole point of appliance computers is that non-tech oriented users never has to bother with doing this kind of stuff – its as easy and intuitive to use as a rotary telephone, dishwasher, or gasoline pump.

        Apple has made this decision so that grandpa so-and-so [I apologize for this agist comment] who has never used a computer before and who has no idea what Flash is, never has to ask the question, “How do I uninstall it?”

    • William:

      I was thinking of this as well:

      “How would people like their iPhones if they had to do a hard reboot at random times on a daily basis?”

      That would suck…

      I just find it Ironic how Apple isn’t locking down AT&T from hosting their phone after droves of people are subjected to subpar performance there.. If they are all about managing the experience then where are they in making sure that the Iphone can be used as a -phone-.

      Kinda like Jon Stewarts rant: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-28-2010/appholes :)

      RC

      • It’s well known that the relationship between Apple and AT&T has been strained from the beginning. Unfortunately for Apple, which seems congenitally incapable of playing nicely with others, they can’t have an iPhone without a provider.

        I predict that when [not if] they split, that it will be much uglier than this spat over Flash with Adobe.

  29. I wished we could bury this dead horse and quit beating it!!!

  30. I love my Ipad and so want to watch my Kelby Training tutorials on it instead of opening my laptop and booting up and dragging my power brick over to my chair or couch. Any chance Kelby Training is going to somehow convert its vids to something watchable on the ipad?

  31. Apple has every right to decide whether or not to allow Flash on their products. As you say, consumers can decide with their wallets. Then again, there’s only a couple smartphones that do support Flash, namely the Blackberry Bold, the Incredible and maybe 1 or 2 others. Since I bought my iPhone, I’ve stopped shopping for my next phone. And who wants Flash Lite. Please!!! You cannot seriously expect to FORCE Apple to do ANYTHING, do you? Really? It’s their sandbox, they set the rules. You don’t have to play.

    Web designers make big bucks these days. If lots of iPad users want to view their site, I don’t see why they don’t make a mobile-friendly version of the page. A lot of websites do that and I don’t see them complaining because they HAVE to. Actually, they do it because they want to.

    Keep using Flash, don’t use Flash. I don’t care. Just don’t rely on it for your main content. After all, it’s called FLASH, not CORE or something like that. Besides, Flash is not friendly to the sight impaired. I would think web designers would care about them too. In the same way, the lack of flash should only handicap a website, not kill its message.

    Thanks for the post.

  32. I don’t believe that Flash will be dead soon and besides Flash will run on smartphones quite soon with Flash Player 10.1…

  33. Is Flash Player 10.1 running well on any mobile devices yet?

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