Apple Makes It Clear: Flash Isn't Fit for the iPhone


News: Apple Makes It Clear: Flash Isn't Fit for the iPhone

  1. In an open letter from Steve Jobs, Apple makes their case for not including Flash support for the iPhone.

    There's a laundry list of complaints, with the biggest insult to flash being the accusation that their software is slow, bug ridden, and a security nightmare.

  2. Apple has to be at the tipping point on losing its cool factor.  First The Java Posse loses faith and then The Daily Show.  The channel is locked down - content type, app compilation, runtime, market place, etc...  To enforce how code is compiled (or cross compiled) is truly Apple's lamest argument.

    I'll chalk this up to being a platform smell (aka Microsoft).

    It's OK to love the product but not love the company - isn't it?

    Fun project you can do with the kids: replace Adobe/Apple and Flash/Mac and iP*.

    First, there’s “Open”.

    Apple’s Mac and iP* products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Apple, and Apple has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Apple Mac and iP* products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Apple and available only from Apple. By almost any definition, Mac and iP* is a closed system.

    A Mac user since '88

  3. Don't disagree, but...[ Go to top ]

    I don't necessarily disagree with Steve on his points on why Flash may not be the greatest technology in the world for mobile devices. But I wonder: is Apple confusing their own rhetoric with actual market drivers?

    Regardless of how we feel about Flash (or CSS or .wmv videos or whatever), the fact is that a LOT of web sites have flash components - that's why consumers want it on their phones. How many times have I gone to look something up on my iPhone and couldn't because of a lack of support for flash? My instinct is not "well, the site owner really should move on up and do something better." No, it's "why does my flippin' device not support a pervasive web/browser technology?"

    The perception of end-users is that the device is too dumb or unwilling to support what they think of as a good, accepted content medium. That should be enough for Apple to support it.

    Any other company with less "cool" devices would be crucified for such a move.

  4. Doesn't really matter[ Go to top ]

    I like flash and many of the "prettier" UI on the web use flash. Whether the iPhone, iPod or iPad support flash doesn't matter to me. I do own a iPod. For a portable handheld device I just want to see the data quickly and easily. Flash UI's tends to get overly fancy, which gets in the way of "show me what I want quickly." I don't blame flash for that, it's how people use that creates the issue.

    my bias take is people are making a bigger stink than it really is. building a kick butt UI that's easy to use is very hard. Writing a UI in flash and expecting optimal experience on a variety of portable devices is foolish in my mind. If you want a great experience on that device, then it should be written in the native API to take advantage of all the features.

    Ultimately, non-technical users aren't going to care which language was used to write it. they just want it to be easy to use.

    captcha "crazily too"

  5. Steve wants to be a rebel[ Go to top ]

    He's stupid.  Not sure if you guys knew but He and Java at one time got along very well.  Until, he complained why Sun released the JDK to windows first.... he just went away from Java as far as possible.  He remembers all to those didn't treat Apple as #1.  I wonder what Flash did to Apple? or to Steve?

  6. I think this is a calculated risk.  The iPhone has a lot of market share right now.  By restricting the sue of flash, they put a lot of pressure on web sites to stop using it or at least offer alternatives.  I think there is something to his technical arguments but at the end of the day, if they need to support flash to retain market share, they will support flash.  I think the calculation here is that if enough sites move away from flash, the need to support flash may vanish.  With Android on their tail, they don't have much time to make that happen.

    Personally, I hate flash.  Even on my (older) PC, flash websites regularly peg my CPU and make the fan scream.  Using flash for standard website content is really asinine.  For video, there are lots of other formats that are non-proprietary.  I think a lot of sites use flash players because they believe it makes it possible to keep people from saving content on their harddrives.

  7. Poor adobe![ Go to top ]

    Looks like the big boys are ganging up on Flash:

    "In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only."

  8. I'm missing something really fundamental about HTML5. Every time somebody has a dig at Flash, they seem to be saying how HTML5 and its video handling will replace Flash.

    With of all the different usages for Flash, does anybody think that its just for movies and non-interactive animations?

    For all the Javascript and CSS advances on the browser, and I do think they're fantastic, I've yet to see any site that makes me think "well that's made Flash redundant".

    I've seen quite a few great Flex web sites and my own job includes the use of Flash for online gaming, nothing I've read or seen about HTML5 etc. convinces me that Flash has outlived its usefulness.

    Flash is proprietary but its also ubiquitous, not necessarily a good thing but Adobe has been good at providing Flash across many platforms and has opened up more and more of its technology to others (Flex SDK, Blaze DS etc.).

    I own an iPod touch and a macbook and I think they're both great pieces of kit but the past few weeks of reading about Apple's attitude has meant I will have to think very hard about buying another piece of kit from them.

    If any other company wants to sell software and media to the public that requires specific hardware, I'd expect to have to buy that hardware very cheaply. A game console is often sold at a loss because it provides a platform to sell games. A smartphone comes free because we buy a contract for the calls and data usage.

    If I have to pay a premium for good hardware, I'll make that decision. If the hardware company then dictates what I can and can't do, severly reducing its usefulness, well I might just have to walk away.

    It took them long enough to get Java up to date on OSX,

    I've drooled over the iPhone for a while but I'm tempted by an Android handset just because of Apple's behaviour. And my next laptop might be dual booting Windows and Linux. I won't have to worry whether Java will be available, there's plenty of great open source and/or multi platform software out there.

    Apple still has a lot of stuff that other companies can only aspire to but freedom, choice and affordability seem to be lower and lower in the list of things Apple are good at.

    Or maybe I'm just bitter because the iPad is too expensive for me to justify buying one.


  9. Good for Android[ Go to top ]

    Google should be very happy with this decision. It certainly gives them the option to fill a void by supporting Flash player in the Android mobile O/S. I love my Backflip Android phone. It's better than an iPhone, in my opinion. Now, if they will just commit to supporting Flash, which is the most ubiquitous web content delivery technology, they will have a one-up on Apple's iPhone.

    Actually, Apple has long been a company who will cut off its nose to spite its face, which is why they have always been a very distant second to the PC market. They're still too blind to understand why the PC market with Windows always outpaced Apple sales.


  10. I agree totally with Jobs. Flash is more of a marketing gimmick and all about round corener rectengular boxes than any real stuff. Try using any of its datagrids for some non-trivial amount of data and see it all comes crashing down or hogs the browser memory as if people have bought PC solely for flash!

    My browser becomes unresponsive many times while watching online video content from BBC.

  11. I agree with most of the points that apple has said(especially on security). But its always a good idea to give user the choice. (remember what happened last time - when Sun booted out Mircosoft from java)

    Anway for host of reasons - we now finally have a good alternative in android.

    Thanks to Android - java(with jfx/applet like programming) -  is relevant(or cool) again.(after getting beaten by .net for years in simplicity/IDE)

    I have just bought droid incredible - and I will soon try some apps on it.




  12. ..after getting beaten by .net for years in simplicity/IDE ..

    Just gotta laugh when people say this.  To me, it is just another reaon not to use .NET/VS.NET.  Like a i need another. But it does justify my not [wanting] to. :)

    I looke fwd to getting a driod and doing something javish with it.

  13. The one great thing about Flash is that the player is created by one single company. Regardless of whether it runs on a Mac, PC or Linux or whether the browser is IE4-8, Safari, Firefox, Opera - it just works the same. There are no 'cross browser compatbility issues' like you get with HTML and CSS. It just works because the same company wrote ALL the players and so they interpret the Flash format consistently across all browsers and OSes. If only HTML and CSS were interpreted exactly the same across all browsers and OSes then the job of a developer would be made heaps easier.

    I'm not sure why Apple would not support Flash on their i* portable devices but I'd hedge a bet that the reason(s) is different to what they *claim* it to be. They're just another part of corporate america and if the apple fan boys are niave enough to let the 'coolness' of their products make them think differently then they're delusional.