Adobe smacks back Apple over iPad, again

There’s a ton of chatter on Techmeme today regarding iPad and Flash and HTML 5. Again. In particular don’t miss posts from ReadWriteWeb regarding Flash vs. HTML 5 speed and PC World’s comparison of HP’s new Slate vs. the iPad and how the focus will be on Flash.

Yesterday I sat down with top execs from Adobe’s Flash team. I filmed two videos:

1. A video demo of a variety of things Adobe announced at the Mobile World Congress, including a new Flash player for Android and Palm Pre (I played with it yesterday, very nice).
2. A response to Apple about Flash’s appropriateness for including on iPhone and iPad.

Why won’t the iPad have Adobe Flash technology? Anup Murarka director of technology strategy and partner development for the Adobe Flash platform and Aaron Filner, group product manager of Flash platform, focusing on AIR, answer some of the reasons why Steve Jobs doesn’t put Adobe Flash onto the iPad in one of the videos I filmed yesterday when I visited Adobe’s offices in San Francisco. Things like:

1. It will chew up battery.
2. It will crash or be buggy.
3. It doesn’t work with touch interfaces.
4. It won’t perform well enough.

They take on each of these complaints about Adobe Flash and explain what has changed with the Flash 10.1 player.

My thoughts? I’m buying an iPad anyway (we’re even having a party at the Palo Alto store all night on the evening of April 2nd) and I have iPhones. My life would be better if Flash shipped on iPad, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. So, developers are going to be forced to build two versions of their web pages if they care about reaching me as a customer and one of those versions will need to have no Flash or Silverlight (Apple is also resisting including Microsoft’s Silverlight platform).

But Adobe is doing a pretty good job of keeping Flash developers’ skills relevant. You can build apps for iPhones or iPads in Flash and compile them using some new tools that Adobe has been showing off and will ship before July. Even Adobe’s own Photoshop app on the iPhone was built in Flash and compiled using these new tools. That’s a compelling story.

I have to admit, though, that I will be checking out other competitive devices from Google and others. I already have a Droid, which will use the new Flash 10.1 player just fine and I expect I’ll check out the new HP tablet and, especially, ones that will come with the Google Chrome OS later this year. Those, I expect, will support Flash and that could be a big deal in future device decisions.

How about you? Will you decide not to buy Apple products just because they won’t run Flash in Web pages?


  1. It's not going to stop me from purchasing an iPad in April. I'm confident that most worthwhile sites will provide Flash alternatives in the coming weeks/months.

    1. The problem isn’t about being able to view sites built on flash… but about viewing video sites built on flash. Why should youtube have a monopoly over mobile video?

      And HTML5 video seems unreliable on youtube. it takes to0 long to download. Same problem on mobile… you just dont notice it.

  2. Frankly, the first thing I do on a fresh install of any OS is to get a browser (Chrome or Firefox) and install a Flash blocking plug-in/add-on. Flash-based adverts are PIA. If I have options instead of Flash, I go for it. Heck, I don't even have Silverlight or Adobe AIR installed.

    I prefer my devices to be Flash-free! Apple is doing a great thing and hoping that Google will continue dumping Flash in favor of HTML5 (but they just bought a Flash-based web service, Picnik).

    And oh, Flash-based sites are problematic to the visually-impaired – no screen readers.

    1. “And oh, Flash-based sites are problematic to the visually-impaired – no screen readers.”

      Wrong. I have elearning content going back 3 years in flash that works with JAWS. It’s running in a state government deployment and they heavily tested it.

      More likely it was a failure by the developer to setup the content correctly.

    2. “And oh, Flash-based sites are problematic to the visually-impaired – no screen readers.”

      Wrong. I have elearning content going back 3 years in flash that works with JAWS. It’s running in a state government deployment and they heavily tested it.

      More likely it was a failure by the developer to setup the content correctly.

  3. I think that Adobe are being clever in the midst of a potential crisis. Although they continue to berate Apple for not supporting Flash they are moving around the issue by providing a way for Flash developers to build for the Apple platform. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to support the new iPad platform/SDK as opposed to that for the iPhone and Touch.
    Will I buy an iPad? Probably. I will buy it for the wife so that I can not feel guilty about buying something more suitable in the near future.
    In the meantime I like other Flash Designer/Developers will have to enhance my abilities even for environments that support Flash as the way users interact with a mouse or pen is different than the way they interact through touch (absence of mouse rollover being an excellent example).

  4. The tablet form factor is still a non-starter for me. It simply makes my life more cluttered rather than less so. It's one of the first tech devices I've seen in a while that replaces nothing:
    1) iPhone replaced my old phone
    2) TiVo replaced the VCR
    3) iPod replaced the Walkman
    4) GPS replaced maps

    The iPad replaces nothing. It's simply more convenient to hold when I'm standing up than a laptop. There's no place I'd go today where I take my laptop and phone where I would no longer take them if I had an iPad. And for the most part, I don't think I'd even bother pulling it out when I have my phone in my pocket. And with the newer phones, screen resolution will be competitive to even this 9″ display.

    Probably not since the SpotWatch is there a device that I'm less interested in buying. I do want to play with one, but I'll probably spend 15 minutes at an Apple store to do that. I guess their job is to convince me in that 15 minutes that I need one. :-)

  5. I'm getting an iPad, mostly for easier reading in bed and while traveling. And given Flash performance on my MBP, leaving it off the iPad is a no-brainer. Especially given 3G download speeds.

  6. First, I think everyone is missing the point regarding iPad web browsing. The problem is not the lack of Flash, it's the lack of overflow div scrolling. I run into this issue constantly on my iPhone, and at appears this will continue to be an issue with the iPad.

    But it's funny how people are so quick to jump on Apple for the lack of Flash on the iPhone. The iPhone has been around for 3 years (!), yet there has been no reasonable mobile Flash solution from Adobe prior to version 10.1; and has that even been released yet?

    Even if Flash 10.1 had been released years ago and Apple had decided to adopt it, I would still disable Flash on my iPhone and iPad like I disable Flash on my desktop. At this point Flash is only good for watching video, and the sooner websites switch to HTML5 video the better off everyone will be. But that won't stop Adobe from working frantically to try and keep Flash relevant.

    Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on an iPad. I'll finally be able to retire my Newton!

  7. No Flash love from me. Click-to-Flash has restored the web browsing experience. But it isn't the technical issues that are blocking Flash from the iPad. It's Apple's insistence on controlling the run-time. Wil buy an iPad once the hype has died down and OS 4.0 features have been announced.

  8. I know Anup Murarka needs to spin the positive company line but seriously. Has he actually used his own products on the Mac Platform?

    I used to love Dreamweaver. Then I moved to a Mac with the result of having all but given up on Dreamweaver. It was buggy and more importantly slow to the point where on complex documents would be painfully slow to work with.

    Photoshop is great but again I can't but help think things have gotten a lot slower since moving to a Mac. Just leave Photoshop running with a large image open… eventually it will either crash or bring the Mac to it's knees. A full OS restart usually fixes issues.

    Lastly, the Flash plugin keeps crashing so much on my Safari, Chrome and Firefox install that I have certain pages I don't even bother visiting anymore. I am sure a lot of the Flash issues have to do with poorly developed Flash content. After all I don't seem to have any issues with some pages but can have an almost guaranteed crash with others.

    My sneaking suspicion is that a lot of Adobe products on the Mac platform are held back by tons and tons of legacy code. That code takes time and money to fix or migrate. I'. only guessing that Adobe management doesn't see the need to invest money in that area. So I think Steve shouldn't say Adobe are lazy… what he should say is Adobe management is greedy.

  9. I'll be getting an iPad with or without Flash. It's a minor annoyance and I'm sympathetic with SJ's feeling that he doesn't like the way Flash needs to get deep into the OS to operate decently esp as Apple developed all the core technologies for programmers to use and its only recently that Adobe have given this any effort. It's a culture clash, Jobs likes things which keep their distance from his work. Adobe seem to be a bit disorganised in their approach.

    Jobs has been so innovative and so successful so often and since I've really enjoyed using his products I”m always interested in what they're going to put out next. OTOH if Sony or Google or Samsung or HTC or Microsoft came out with a significantly better product for my needs I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. But having flash would not be any kind of incentive for me to consider a differnt tablet.

  10. Apple blocking me from using Flash just makes me want to use Flash more, and Apple less. I'll be developing mobile apps soon, and I will absolutely not be developing apps for Apple's platforms due to their insane anti-developer, anti-user stances of late. Apple made my first computer. :(

  11. So, you're going to ignore the Apple platforms and be a down-n-out broke software developer? That's smart. Hope you enjoy the free soup at the Salvation Army.

  12. Deliberate Flash incompatibility is a feature, not a bug. They have had a decade or two to get the thing right and only now that the farm's on fire have they bothered fixing fundamental problems (presumably the constant stream of security issues will however remain).

    And no, developers won't have to develop two versions of their sites – just one – in standards compliant HTML. Flash UIs are more often than not noticeably slower than native interfaces and they “feel” buggy due to cursor behaviour, tabbing order, copy & paste, etc. The sooner more companies follow Virgin America's example by ditching Flash interfaces the better.

  13. I didn't read all the comments, but the number one reason Flash is not supported on the iPad is because rich internet applications and interactive games can be built with Flash. This fact brings Apple to the conclusion that developers will bypass the App store. Which therefore means Apple cannot make money from non-App store software.

  14. This is all so strange. When did the open web go so wrong? When did developers decide it is o.k. to build websites based on closed proprietary software?

    This is not Apples problem. It is not even Adobe's problem. It is a leadership and a visionary problem when designing websites. Anyone should be able to build a device that renders the web. Anyone. Even Apple. It should not require the blessing of Adobe Inc. to build a web-surfing device.

    This has nothing to do with the quality of the plugin (even if Adobe mismanaged this – big time). Nor does it have anything to do with Steve Jobs needing control (well maybe for him it is – but I dont care). It has everything to do with a free open web.

    Or maybe we should put W3C, WHATWG to sleep and just rely on Adobe Inc. to decide who gets to build rendering devices and who does not. And have a monopoly on licensing the needed parts.

  15. I develop stuff for the flash player, but I'll believe these performance claims when I see them.. I'm watching the video with 10.1 public beta 3 in Safari 4 and WebKitPluginHost is using 65% CPU and WindowServer another 20% CPU. This is on a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo MBP. On a mobile device with a fraction of the CPU power it'd be killing it.

  16. I always find it odd that proponents of 'openness and freedom' on the web actually hypocritically mean 'only use what we dictate'. Since when does 'freedom' and 'openness' allow you to dictate what I can and cannot use? Perhaps we shouldn't be allowed to use proprietary operating sytems?

    TRUE freedom is allowing people to make CHOICES and implement whatever technology they want to on the web. Whether that choice is the best fit for the task is neither here nor there, developers should have the freedom to express themselves using flash content if they so choose, just like viewers can choose to install/block flash player if they so choose. You can buy or not buy restricted devices like Apple create – you have choice.

    However, most of the anti-flash lynch mob hysteria I see is all about reducing choice and expression – 'kill the evil flash witch'.

  17. I missed flash on my iTouch for about a week. Now, when confronted with various required “upgrades” on my Mac, I am more disappointed with each interruption. If the iPad will run Skype, I will buy it.

    1. Matthew,

      that’s a totally silly comment – an absurdly false generality. I’ve been doing web development for going on 15 years, and no, I don’t hate Flash. And to say “it’s only good for web video” is ridiculous. It’s obvious you don’t know too much about Flash and it’s capabilities.

    2. Matthew,

      that’s a totally silly comment – an absurdly false generality. I’ve been doing web development for going on 15 years, and no, I don’t hate Flash. And to say “it’s only good for web video” is ridiculous. It’s obvious you don’t know too much about Flash and it’s capabilities.

  18. Perhaps flash is just the cat's meow on other smart phones. However, the Adobe engineers fail to explain why flash sucks so many CPU cycles when running on a variety of browsers in my Macbook Pro.

    You also missed one of the major problems with Flash: flash cookies allow another way for my identity to leak out and for advertisers to cross-connect data.

    Between buggy software and designed-in identity leaking, I try to avoid flash.

  19. From what I heard, in Flash CS5 developers can export flash games to an iPhone app; at the click of a button. So I think Adobe is playing it cool, I don't understand why Apple's so stuck up though! Absence of flash alone is no reason to NOT buy an Apple product, but if competitors are providing something equally good, or even better then Apple might lose out in the long run.
    Also, if they enable flash support later on, what happens to all the apps? What happens to those devs who were depending on these apps for revenue?

  20. It sucks on Macs because Apple doesn't let f;lash use hardware acceleration on Macs, if they let flash use it, it would suck less (CPU power)

  21. I'm skeptical. Flash apps consume 66% of a CPU when it's sitting there is nothing to update in the display.

    Compare the performance of Adobe Reader with Apple Preview (PDF and graphic image viewer). Neither of them use any HW acceleration of the mac. Apple Preview runs rings around Reader: much faster, and far more features. Preview can crop all of the pages of a PDF document at once — great for trimming unneeded whitespace to allow a bigger image of the copy on the page.

    Further, Adobe Reader is subject to hacker attacks because it both includes javascript functionality and has it turned on by default. Search for Adobe in to see the latest threat. I have no #$!! idea why anyone would ever need javascript functionality in a PDF document.

    You also failed to explain why Flash needs to have a separate place to stash cookies that is unknown to most customers. Why aren't regular cookies good enough? Why must someone be an uber-geek to even know about things like flash cookies.

    Adobe lost my loyalty a long time ago. The only thing that I need something like flash for is video; YouTube, uStream and others have already provided H.264 alternatives for that. I've gotten along just fine without flash on iPhone and iPod Touch. I do NOT want flash apps to launch on webpages I view on those platforms.

    I am happy that Apple has excluded flash from their sub-laptop products. I hope it accelerates the demise of flash apps on the Internet.

  22. Yes, Adobe reader has become worse with every version on every platform. I prefer opening pdf files on google docs these days. But same can't be said about flash because, flash is not just about video, it's also about the games (farmville anyone?). The flash games market is bigger than video, If not H.264 some other codec will replace flash video, but what about flash games? How long Apple look past flash as if it didn't even exist?

  23. Well, that's sort of true. If you just took a regular Flash game and exported it for iPhone the performance would likely be woeful. You have to do a lot of very specific mobile optimisation to get decent performance out of Flash based iPhone apps (mainly to take advantage of graphics hardware acceleration). Most of these optimisations will apply to other mobile platforms that will run the FP10.1 player, so there is that benefit, but for iPhone only you may as well just write it in Objective-C.

  24. You have a point, but let's wait for CS5, I want to see for myself what exactly they have in store for devs.. if they can make a good iPhone port with the click of a button, it would be fantastic.

  25. Mr. Scoble :) I was talking with a grocer whose site is somewhat dependent on Flash in some important places. Their VP of Marketing who has ownership of the site says he's giving up on Flash… it's just too little too late (as of yesterday) and the whole author twice approach dings his return on investment. Bells and whistles aren't enough… it's down to transactions, ease of authoring and productivity of his (shrinking) staff/consultants.

  26. I won't be buying an ipad or iphone specifically because of the lack of flash. I'll just grab a chrome OS tablet when they hit. I have 2 macs, appletv, time capsule, and airport express so I'm fully mac but I have no need for apple's vision of the internet. Let people choose what they install.

    Useful info on 10.1 performance:

    I think this has nothing to do with open web so do not delude yourself. It has everything to do with all content flowing through the app store. That is why silverlight and even java plugins are not allowed, apple wants the cash flow. I wished they'd be honest about it and say that.

  27. I'm glad the iPhone/iPad doesn't use Flash. Flash represents a buggy, resource hoggy and proprietary branch of web development that is better truncated sooner rather than later so we can get back how the web is supposed to be: open standards that don't require installing plugins or add-ons.

    My guess is there are two groups who are upset about Flash being redundant. Lazy developers with deep Flash skills who need to retrain – guys, keep up with the market? And advertisers / marketing agencies who see eyeball figures decreasing for their ads, and haven't figured out yet how to deliver the same jazzy animations to their web 1.0 clients as they used to. Hint: users didn't like them anyway and they only pissed us off. Ads that don't annoy – using proven open web technologies – will be better for your clients in the long term.

    Where is the user backlash? There isn't one. Because for 90% of users video is all they care about when it comes to Flash, and HTML5 already has that covered. Just watch how many sites follow YouTube and Vimeo in offering HTML5 video over the next few months. People will surely be glad the era of flash ads polluting the web is over.

    Sorry Adobe, you bet on the wrong horse. And every time Flash crashes Chrome on my Mac, I'm glad you did.

  28. The iPad isn't aimed at replacing anything, but at creating a whole new niche; a product that you never had before, and didn't realise you wanted / needed.

  29. Tim, you'll be in the minority there. Dropping support for Apple's platforms is only going to hurt you as a developer in the long term. And all for the sake of tacitly supporting Adobe's all-eggs-in-one-basket business strategy. Well, good luck.

  30. Adobe has created a toolkit for porting Flash applications to the iPhone/iPad environment. If developers of flash games want to have their games on the iPhone/iPad, they can port them using Adobe's tools.

    This has the added benefit of compartmentalizing any inherent security problems in the Flash engine to those particular apps.

    For developers, this gives them options to monetize their games on the two platforms: they can charge for the app and also charge for additional downloads to the products. Don't people pay real $ for their virtual goat and chicken feed in farmville?

    The problem with Flash is that too many things use it. Flash was severely degrading my browsing experience until I found the flash-blocking addons to Firefox and Safari (and, hopefully soon, for Chrome). There are far less flashing and bouncing things now, and I'm consuming far less power.

  31. I wanted an iPad to give to my son (5yrs old) as he uses my iPhone like its second nature. But I want lots of educational content for him to play with. It is however all Flash based. So I'll be waiting for a slate device with Flash support as there is no way all that content is going to get dual platformed anytime soon.

    So the iPad is a complete non starter for me, which is a shame as otherwise it would be a fabulous form factor for children and schools.

    In the meantime he gets to play on my macbook and the flash is running just fine on that. No bugs, no crashes, no performance problems. Maybe its because I'm only surfing a subset of sites and haven't let farmville etc…. onto it yet.

    Of course the macbook also has parental controls and other things that are essential for a 5yr old, that I'm guessing the iPad doesn't have. So maybe I'll just get him a cheap macbook…

    Not quite as portable but it isn't like he lugs it around anywhere, just from room to room.

  32. Say it with me Apple Fans: APP STORE!

    This is the ONLY reason that Flash and other alternate runtimes are not allowed on their mobile devices (iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone). People who buy these devices and follow the Orwellian march of their leader barking “It's everyone else's fault” are willingly paying a premium so that they too can complain along side of him as to why the world is not built around Steve Jobs or Apple.

    Android will determine if having Flash eats into the bottom line of apps on the market… these are good times to be alive if you are a gadget guy.

  33. Sometimes, people make bad decisions. If that grocer is looking for the ubiquitous engine for all internet customers, Flash appears to be a poor choice. Or maybe his developers should be looking at Adobe's kit for turning Flash into an iPhone/iPod application.

    I do not like flash apps. I was shocked to learn a few months ago that businesses are [ab]using flash cookies to track customers in ways that are not permitted for web browsers. Reports that Adobe's software will become the #1 target for security exploits is another huge red flag.

    There have been all sorts of niche web engines that have gone by the wayside. Because of its negative customer experience, flash may be headed down that same path.

  34. It was a good decision. It's just a dated decision. Nothing like settling on an outdated standard for important stuff (kinda like morse code). Still serves a purpose. Just not going to be as many people enjoying it as the experience dictates different standards as time marches on.

    I'll be buying an iPad because I'm an iPhone Developer and look forward to seeing what it has to offer.

  35. The Flash issue is only the latest straw with regards to Apple. Their ridiculous policies on trying to get something in their app store is also a huge issue. They're amazingly developer-hostile. I choose to not play that game. The more developers put up with it, the more likely they'll keep behaving badly.

  36. A good smart business decision, would find some way to make both a win-win, while still advancing your own state-of-art, as most hardcore Appleites couldn't dare live without Photoshop or InDesign. Ticking off that key of a partner is hardly a good step, irrespective of all the personal-preferenceish 'Flash' or 'not to Flash' arguments.

  37. Sounds like I am in the minority here. But I wouldn’t even begin to consider spending $500 on an iPad or other tablet, unless it supported Flash. I am willing to let my phone live in Steve Jobs walled garden. But if I am buying a computer class product, I want more control

  38. Sounds like I am in the minority here. But I wouldn’t even begin to consider spending $500 on an iPad or other tablet, unless it supported Flash. I am willing to let my phone live in Steve Jobs walled garden. But if I am buying a computer class product, I want more control

  39. Please read the rest of the discussion about Adobe tools for porting Flash apps to the iPhone/iPad. If Adobe is a competent vendor, they will indeed provide an easy way for authors to move their apps to this platform. You'll be happy because you can find your apps. Authors will be happy because they can get a good return on their software with no hassle of setting up a retail presence. Folks who don't like flash (or its derivatives) will be happy because they can pick which apps they want to use.

    I have had immense problems with Flash apps crashing on my Macbook. It would regularly crash Safari; Apple seems to have finally compartmentalized Flash sufficiently to stop those from happening. Nothing has addressed the giant footprint and CPU usage of Flash and other Adobe products.

    What version of Flash are you running? Have you been vigilant keeping it up to date? What about Adobe Reader (using the same code). Look at and for the details.

    Do you like it when your son runs across all the flash-based advertisements? Are you pleased when they consume enough cycles to heat up your macbook and turn on the fan? Or have you started to use a flash-blocker in your browser — so you can “opt in” to only run the programs you actually want to run?

    Do the Mac's parental controls actually control anything in the flash content?

  40. You still didn't explain why Flash must have a separate facility for stuffing cookies onto my computer. Such cookies have different controls than cookie controls for the rest of the browser and only a tiny fraction of consumers even know that they are there.

    These are not the actions of a company on the side of the consumer.

  41. None of us know of the negotiations between the companies. Performance of Flash is hardly the sole issue with it and other Adobe software. Perhaps Apple asked them to clean up their act years ago, and Jobs is only now finally drawing a line in the sand.

    The lock of Adobe's core products is slipping. There are many programs that do much of the functionality of Photoshop — with a far smaller footprint, faster code, and far less money.

  42. You don't ever “draw lines in the sand”, unless you want to become a professional litigant company — licensing, accommodation, compromise or, if drastically needed, stall tactics, until your vision of the market develops (a lesson Microsoft and IBM well learnt in developing their patent portfolios).

    Photoshop alternatives? So? Even if magnitudes better, no one will switch, not with the infrastructure and plug-in base, you might as ship out to some off-world colony for all that it matters. Besides with all the CS5 patchmatching gee-whiz demos, will be harder than ever to wean offa Photoshop, notgoingtohappen.

    Of course, if Apple played nicer with OEMs, Developers and Carriers and stopped being so temper-tantrum political, they'd command at least 40% and upwards of the market. Heck, they could do that overnight just by advertising on Limbaugh, but they wouldn't see past the politics, and the cult wouldn't let them. But it would work.

  43. Actually, you “draw a line in the sand” if you are obsessive about the user experience. If you don't want to work with a company that obsessive, nobody is forcing you to buy Apple products.

    The user experience with Flash has been substandard on the Mac. Flash apps do things on website that are totally counterproductive to browsing. Flash stashes cookies that are not subject to the same rules as standard web cookies, and most users are unaware of those monitors of their activities. Flash sucks CPU cycles, as do all Adobe products on the Mac.

    Have you heard about McAfee's 2010 threat predictions: that Adobe will eclipse Microsoft as the primary target of security holes:

    The best improvement I made in the last year to my browsing experience was *shutting off* Flash applications with the flash-blocking software. If I want to launch a flash program, I click on it. I no longer have stupid animations and video spam spew out of my computer. Websites that depend on flash advertisements are shut out of my machine.

    Those blockers are the real threat to Adobe Flash, not Apple. Heaven help Adobe as the general public learns they can have all that spam just disappear from their computer.

    Adobe is losing market share to the Mac-only specialized apps. Pixelmator is all I need for my graphic manipulations. It's far easier to learn from scratch, does things that Photoshop can't do, and comes in at $59. I wouldn't want to use Photoshop even if it were price-competetive.

    I have no idea what your 40% rant is about. Apple is the #5 company by market capitalization in the US. Their stock price has never been higher. Their margins are the envy of the personal computer industry. Analysts estimate they sold 50,000 iPads in 2 hours today.

    Apple is executing in this economy like very few companies in the world. Claiming their strategy is not working just doesn't make sense.

  44. Flash conversion tools? I think you misunderstand the type of content I'm talking about. Its not apps its educational games and tutorials. I'm pretty familiar with Flash as we develop flex applications. And the subset of stuff that the adobe tools will convert doesn't cover a lot of the flash games I'm referring to. Certainly not the stuff that was authored in Flash3 and has just been upgraded ever since.

    So I think its unlikely this stuff will be ported to the iPhone platform, not unless there's going to be much broader support in the next release than there is in the current public beta.

    I've run all the flex (flash) apps we have developed internally and externally on my macbook for months and though I've had the odd crash its usually my lousy actionscript not anything inherent in the flex (flash) itself as far as I can tell. The production versions seem to be perfectly happy on the macbook but we don't do 3D or video or audio or any clever chat type stuff. Its just boring data presentation stuff but it pays my mortgage and keeps the suits happy.

    The parental controls limit my sons web browsing to cbeebies and educationcity. So no flash ads. And no navigating to anything inappropriate. Take a look at the content and you'll see how unlikely it is this is going to be ported.

    And yes I do keep my systems up to date. I also run legacy images for regression testing and am well aware of the holes in adobes stuff.

    Flash isn't being implemented on the iPad as it provides a platform for distributing applications outside the appstore. And thats a fair thing for Apple to do as it wants to control the distribution channel. It just means I'm going to end up buying some crappy PC if I want a touch based device for my boy.

    The fact our flex/flash apps don't run on the iPhone is also helping pay my bills as I've started writing iPhone versions of some of them. Hence the reason I have a mac at all. And an utter pain in the ass it is too.

    I've gotta stop putting actionscript in my objective C and vice versa :-)

  45. So earlier versions of the educational games and tutorials you like cannot be ported by Adobe's tools? I'll take that on face value. I have a hard time understanding how the failure of Adobe's porting tools to work with those legacy applications should be viewed as a ding on Apple.

    If there's a market for porting legacy apps to the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, it will be done.

    I find that keeping flash/reader up-to-date more difficult than anything else on the Mac. I have to actively go to the Adobe site to check versions, and I usually do that after I've heard of problems. Am I missing something? Is there some way to automate that checking?

  46. Flash is no longer the most appropriate technology for putting video and simple animation on the web. The open web is good enough.

    Once the world stops using Flash for video playback, the cases where one would be bummed to not have flash on an iPad-like device decrease to nearly zero.

    When I disable Flash, my laptop battery life often doubles.

  47. The 40% “rant” was market-share numbering, now standing at just shy of 10%, Computerworld's analysis has PCs at 88.7 percent, if Apple went OEM, they might get some sort of economy of scale, as stands now, Macbook prices hover near used car prices, so if they flipped, they'd grab lower margins but bigger overall volume take, and deeper penetration into markets which increases demand for other software product offerings. I don't see what is so hard to understand about that. And if they stopped being AT&T only, and went carrier independent too, slew of people would go iPhone, me for one. 10% with high margins is a niche.

    You are dreaming if you think Pixelmator can replace Photoshop, maybe for your needs, certainly not for mine. And anyone recall what video on the web was like before Flash? Yeah, broken spyware-city Real Playerisms, Windows Media Not-So-Player and horrid Quicktime wait-pulls. Not really taking a stand per Flash, but if problems, you handle these things professionally without resorting to name-calling temper-tantrum rants, like Apple is so prone to do.

  48. “the first thing I do on a fresh install of any OS is to get a browser (Chrome or Firefox)”. Something you (most likely) won't be able to do on the iPad. As far as I know, there is no way to install and use other browsers than the preinstalled Safari on the iPhone/iPad platform.

    One thing people seem to forget is that it is not only Flash that is not allowed on the iPhone/iPad. The same goes for all browser add-ons (like Unity or Silverlight), Java is not supported, and there is no choice in web browser.

  49. A web directory or link directory is a directory on the World Wide Web. It specializes in linking to other web sites and categorizing those links.[1]
    A web directory ex: is not a search engine and does not display lists of web pages based on keywords; instead, it lists web sites by category and subcategory. Most web directory entries are also not found by web crawlers but by humans.[1] The categorization is usually based on the whole web site rather than one page or a set of keywords, and sites are often limited to inclusion in only a few categories. Web directories often allow site owners to directly submit their site for inclusion, and have editors review submissions for fitness.
    RSS directories are similar to web directories, but contain collections of RSS feeds, instead of links to web sites.
    Scope of listing
    Most of the directories are very general in scope and list websites across a wide range of categories, regions and languages. But there are also some niche directories which focus on restricted regions, single languages, or specialist sectors. One type of niche directory with a large number of sites in existence, is the shopping directory for example. Shopping directories specialize in the listing of retail e-commerce sites.
    Examples of well known, general, web directories are Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project (ODP). ODP is significant due to its extensive categorization and large number of listings and its free availability for use by other directories and search engines.[2]
    However, a debate over the quality of directories and databases still continues, as search engines use ODP’s content without real integration, and some experiment using clustering. There have been many attempts to make directory development easier, such as using automated submission of related links by script, or any number of available PHP portals and programs. Recently, social software techniques have spawned new efforts of categorization, with adding tagging to their product pages.
    Directories have various features in listing, often depend upon the price paid for inclusion:
    Some web directory have : 23$ featured link or 12 $ regular link for life time ex:
    Free submission – there is no charge for the review and listing of the site
    Reciprocal link – a link back to the directory must be added somewhere on the submitted site in order to get listed in the directory
    Paid submission – a one-time or recurring fee is charged for reviewing/listing the submitted link
    No follow – there is a rel=”nofollow” attribute associated with the link, meaning search engines will give no weight to the link.
    Featured listing – the link is given a premium position in a category (or multiple categories) or other sections of the directory, such as the homepage. Sometimes called sponsored listing.
    Bid for position – where sites are ordered based on bids
    Affiliate links – where the directory earns commission for referred customers from the listed websites

  50. It’s not the tool, Flash, that sucks, it’s a huge percentage of Flash designers that do not put themselves in the place of the user, or in some cases, the people ordering the site who think moving text in menus etc is cute or modern. I guess the book “Skip Intro” didn’t sell enough copies.
    Flash has most of what you need for usability, but it has been a resource hog in the past. If they get over that, then if designers can harness their creativity and to go for usable and memorable designs, we’ll all be happy.

  51. Regarding Flash, it is not only used for video. I make small animations that illustrate mechanical systems. what happens if Flash goes away? No more animations. These things are tiny (under 20kb). When I hear people talk about killing Flash, I don't see any alternative for making said animations. I hope people realize Flash is not just “video”. Used in an “efficient” manner most folks should have no trouble with Flash.

  52. It's a rant because it's a misguided priority. Apple is the #5 company by market capitalization in the US. That's tops for computer manufacturers. Their stock price has never been higher. Their margins are the envy of the personal computer industry. IBM is #9 in the list. HP is #20. And Dell is way off the bottom of the charts.

    Apple's tech support is the envy of the industry:… . Apple scored 86%; the next-highest competitor scored 63%. Dell clocked in at 55%.

    If you look at computer usage on college campuses, coffee shops, or co-working facilities, you'll see a far higher percentage. When those entrepreneurs start their own companies, they use Apple computers. They will avoid components on their corporate webpages that won't work on all their Apple web browsers. Flash will be a legacy web component for those new companies.

    I'd like you to spell out reasons why you think PM doesn't fit your personal needs. But your observation is missing the big point: the tasks that many people need to do is well-met by PM and other lean (and far less expensive software). For years, there were few other solutions. Now, there are many.

    Are you concerned about Symantec's predictions of increasing security threats from Adobe products: “Malware Writers Love Adobe, Microsoft Products” (… )?

    Are you concerned of the use of Flash cookies to track customers? Look at this extended quote from Steve Gibson's “Security Now!” podcast (transcript at ):

    “And then my final bit of news comes from some researchers at UC Berkeley, who discovered from poking around that more than half of the Internet's top websites are now using Flash cookies to track users and store information about them, but that only four of those sites mention their use of Flash cookies in their privacy policies. And just to refresh our users' memories, our listeners' memories, traditional cookies are browser cookies. And probably everybody knows about them. There's a UI that's very available and visible on browsers that allows you to manage your cookies, to delete them, to turn them into session cookies so that they're not persistent, to allow some sites to keep cookies and others not to and so forth.”

    “Flash cookies are Adobe/Macromedia's own completely separate channel which allows data to be stored, surprisingly large amount of data actually per website, much more so than cookies, in a channel which is completely separate from your browser. So it will be something that GRC will be addressing. I've got a lot of research that's in the process of getting itself ready to come online, just needs more documentation about browser cookies for educating people. And it has been pointed out to me a year ago, more than a year ago, that Flash cookies are on the rise.”

    “Well, here we are now, more than half of the Internet sites are using Flash cookies. The only reason they would be doing that is that they're no longer happy with the tracking they're getting from regular cookies. And what that means is, since still all browsers default to having cookies enabled, since that was part of the original specification for the web was that a server can give a browser client a cookie, which it will then return in order to identify itself. Well, users don't want to be tracked, so they're turning their browser cookies off. But websites are not accepting their choice not to be tracked. They're saying, well, we're going to track you anyway. Even though you've disabled your browser cookies, we're going to be even more sneaky because our website requires Flash, and everybody pretty much has Flash who's on the 'Net now. So where possible, we're going to give you an even stickier cookie through the Flash mechanism in order to hold onto you. Which, you know, doesn't seem right, but that's what's going on. More than half of the Internet's top sites.”

    More than half! What is Adobe doing to address that? Do they even think it's a problem?

  53. I go for the sites that have multitasking netbooks with flash support. There is far better products then the iPad on the market already. No way I am going to recode all flash content for a few iPad users. Polls here (netherlands) show that only the hardcore Apple fans will buy the iPad. For example the iTablet by X2 runs Flash, has a webcam, supports multiple operating systems, provides 250GB of storage and USB ports, multitasking, 1.3megapixels, g3 gsm, hdmi etc They are planning to change the name since they also find the iPad so dissappointed they dont want to be associated with it anymore. source:

    1. So they called it the iTablet to ride on Apple’s coat tails? And this is the sort of company you promote? Pathetic.

      You don’t have to recode Flash content, we just won’t visit your sites. There’s only 100million mobile safari users out there that use the internet constantly.

      Good luck with the business, kid

  54. Apple might have an ulterior motive in disallowing Flash and Java, in that it forces apps to go via their App Store and approval process – but they don't make any money out of that in itself: if you would otherwise have put your app on the Web for anyone to access, you can put it in the App Store at the same price, giving Apple a cut of $0 – they're just left to pick up your bandwidth tab!

    Ulterior motive or not, I'm delighted to see such a big deterrent to more companies putting up a junk Flash site instead of an actual web site. Yes, Flash can be useful for sIFR and as a crude workaround for the feeble vector graphics support in certain browsers – but it's almost exclusively used as a lazy alternative to doing things properly in HTML or to create extremely badly-written games quickly. I don't know where the blame lies in Adobe's refusal or inability to use the proper Mac API for hardware accelerated video playback – but that doesn't excuse the absurd CPU load from simple tile-based games, wasting more than half the CPU time on a Core 2 Duo for a game no more complex than we used to play on m68k and 286 systems 20 years ago!

    I've used Creative Suite pretty heavily, producing websites and thousand page commercial publications, but still my heart sinks any time I have to load an Adobe application, knowing it will slow my system to a crawl until I can finally shut it down again. It's not as bad as MS Office, but getting close – some sort of vendetta between Apple and Adobe, each trying to make the other's products look bad?

  55. Increased markets a misguided priority? Wow, you best take College Econ again. Even your “capitalization” cop-out could benefit from a 30% increase, yes?

    Flash cookies bad? Ok, yes. But doesn't mean you have to nuke Flash itself. What of all the (annoying) Farmville Facebookers? Letmee guess, a misguided priority, one huge market, just write off. And funny, Flash works great on my GPU-accelerated Windows 7 box.

    Hipster college-kiddies, on an educational discount freebase high, doesn't translate into Fortune 500 Enterprise adoption, maybe some crash and burn start-ups, yes..

    Tech support? So? You pay for it in terms of high initial purchase prices. It's not free. And commodity-market products always have lower levels of support, this is not news. Plus, AppleCare is not the utopia you make it out to be, been there, done that.

    But this debate is eternal, and my point was really tech-independent, I hate blind fanboys of any stripe, my issue was with the business practices.

  56. “College campuses, coffee shops, or co-working facilities”…that says it all right there. Small Business, Homes, Enterprise…that's all a misguided priority, right? ;)

  57. Sorry, Christopher. I have no idea what your point is. Those working at college campuses and coworking facilities are indeed the future small businesses and enterprises. Those are the right people to be aiming for with your computers.

    Are you concerned about Symantec's predictions of increasing security threats from Adobe products: “Malware Writers Love Adobe, Microsoft Products” (… )?

    Are you concerned of the use of Flash cookies to track customers (from Steve Gibson's “Security Now!” podcast (transcript at ). According to the Berkeley study, more than half of the top Internet sites are now using flash cookies to track their users.

    What is Adobe doing to address that? Do they even think it's a problem?

    These two things concern me immensely. They make me want to minimize my use of both Flash and Reader. Are you concerned, Christopher?

  58. It's still a rant. You presume that your strategy would yield a better financial performance for Apple, but you fail to explain why Apple's current strategy puts them in the top-5 of all US manufacturers. On the flip side, computer manufacturers that are taking the strategy you recommend are faring far more poorly. It's rather silly to second-guess a company when they are head and shoulders ahead of everyone else in their industry.

    I do condemn Adobe for having cookies in Flash. Adobe has done nothing to warn the public of that risk to their privacy — the general public thinks that managing cookie capabilities in their browser is sufficient. But Flash doesn't play by those rules. And, as far as I can tell, Adobe is doing nothing to fix this problem.

    My solution is to use Flash as little as possible. I have it blocked in browsers. Since servers are starting to provide alternatives to Flash video, I have very little use for it. I advise others to block Flash for three reasons: avoid annoying advertisements, block privacy leaks, and minimize exposure to Adobe-targeted malware.

    Have you read that Symantec report about Adobe risks? Adobe is the #2 target for malware writers; it may soon be the #1 target. Do you agree that's a good reason to minimize exposure to Adobe products? What is Adobe doing to address this?

  59. Except that Apple basically breaks even on the AppStore which exists to drive sales of the iPhone, iPod Touch and (soon) iPad.

    Apple (Jobs) doesn't like the idea of not being able to control code running on these devices. I'm sure Apple would love to tie up Macs as well but that horse left the barn decades ago.

    It's interesting that Microsoft is essentially following Apple's lead in requiring all apps for the Windows Phone 7 Series to be accessed via a filtered AppStore. Microsoft is also pushing Silverlight over Flash and hasn't said that Flash will be supported on the WP7S devices.

  60. “Apple might have an ulterior motive in disallowing Flash and Java, in that it forces apps to go via their App Store and approval process – but they don't make any money out of that in itself: if you would otherwise have put your app on the Web for anyone to access, you can put it in the App Store at the same price, giving Apple a cut of $0 – they're just left to pick up your bandwidth tab!”

    Not true. People forget that it's entirely possible to build iPhone apps that are entirely web based and don't go through the App Store at all. As a matter of fact, when the iPhone was first released, that was the only way for third parties to write apps for the device:

  61. First it was Apple vs. Microsoft. Then it was Netscape vs. Microsoft. Now it is Apple vs. Adobe.

    Looks like Microsoft is losing relevance today.

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