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Last week I went over the highlights of an article written by Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, on Flash. This week, I would like to go over the article Adobe wrote, entitled “The truth about Flash“, in response to Apple’s “Thoughts on Flash“.
It was not hard to see that Adobe, in this article, was trying to defend the position they were loosing because of Apple’s “Thoughts on Flash“. Pretty much everything they said was the flip side of what Apple said.
After giving several statistics on how widely used and widely demanded Flash Player is, Adobe stated that “The Adobe Flash Player runtime was actually originally created as a technology for tablets with touch interfaces, and today, it has support for working on touch-based devices.” This is the opposite of what Steve said in his article: “Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers.”
Adobe also stated exactly what Apple stated when they said “Seventy-five percent of all video on the web is viewed via Flash Player”. However, Adobe also said that “H.264 is a video codec (which requires a player), while Flash Player is a complete multimedia runtime that can play back H.264, among other codecs.” Apple, last month, stated that “almost all this video (flash video) is also available in a more modern format, H.264 and viewable on iPhones.” Apparently, Apple’s technology on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is capable of playing H.264 video without a flash player.
“(Flash) requires more processing power than static HTML documents,” Adobe admitted. But, according to them, “Flash Player performs as well as, if not better than, comparable multimedia technologies.” And, “The Flash Player team is constantly working to deliver the best performance for rich interactive media on the web,” was Adobe’s plea. This is not what Apple claims, “We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems (performance problems), but they have persisted for several years now,” is what Steve from Apple wrote.
As far as security goes, there is a down-right contradiction from what Apple said and what Adobe said. “Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009,” is what Apple said. Adobe, on the other hand, said this: “The Symantec Global Internet Threat Report for 2009 found that Flash Player had the second lowest number of vulnerabilities of all Internet technologies listed.” Are they talking about two different things here? Maybe, but it doesn’t seem so.
Adobe ended by stating that “Flash Player is part of a rich ecosystem of both open and proprietary technologies,” in response to Apple’s claim that Adobe was not open.
I honestly think that Adobe came up with a really lame come back to Apple’s stunning article against Flash. Am I for dumping Flash? Yes and no. I feel that it will be better in the long run to get rid of flash and move on to HTML5, however, I am positive we will run into many problems along the way!
Earlier this month, the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs announced for the first time where Apple stands on Flash. In his article entitled “Thoughts on Flash” Steve stated basically what everyone originally speculated. In this article, Apple’s CEO gave six reasons Flash is not supported on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
Steve Jobs stated that Flash is not “open” as Adobe claims. He said that HTML5, on the other hand, is “completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.” On the contrary, Steve stated that “Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc.”
While claiming that the “iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video”, Steve Jobs did admit to the fact that “Apple devices cannot play Flash games”. However, Apple’s CEO said that this is not a problem because “there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store”.
Steve briefly explained how that Flash drains battery life and is very unreliable. He stated that “Flash is the number one reason Macs crash”. And he also said that Flash is simply not designed for touch interfaces.
After all this, Steve Jobs laid out the main reason Apple will not allow Flash on there mobile devices. “Adobe wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices” Steve wrote. Apple doesn’t want Adobe to get in the way of there apps by either making Flash available for the iPhone, or (as it seems) allowing users to export their Flash productions as native apps for the iPhone (which is what Adobe Flash Professional CS5 offers). “Our motivation is simple” Steve said “we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen.”
As more and more Apple products such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad are being released without flash support, people, especially developers, are wondering, “will flash die out?” It’s just been speculation for a long time – but now, it’s turning into reality.
W3C is right now working on what they call HTML5. If Apple gets its way (which it probably will) HTML5 will eventually replace Flash.
First of all, maybe I should clarify what Flash and HTML5 actually is. Flash is a plug-in created by Adobe. It basically plays animated content on the web. Flash is also a life-saver for developers like me. It is so much easier to create than HTML5.
HTML5 is meant to create the same-type animated content, but in a different way. HTML5 is really just an “upgrade” from HTML4 (which is the core programming language used in web development). It provides options for developers that HTML4 could never do. Some of these options (including one that allows us to embed a video without using a plug-in) will help us do what up to now, only flash could do.
Remember I wrote that “Flash is a life-saver for developers like me”? Well, the reason, of course, is that Flash is very easy to create with the help of Adobe’s Flash Professional. However, this is not the case with HTML5. In fact, using HTML5 will take many, many more hours to create than Flash did. This means that it will cost a lot more money to get a website built. And, especially in our low economy, that isn’t too good.
Why then, does Apple want to get away from Flash? Well, it has caused a lot of frustration to people with Macs. Windows users, however, do not usually have problems with Flash. I think it could, and should run better on Macs, but Apple doesn’t think so. It’s just ready to get rid of Flash.
I don’t think all is lost for Flash, however. For one thing, Internet Explorer, the most used browser in the world, doesn’t support most of the options in HTML5 (not yet anyway). And, we all know that Flash isn’t about ready to give up! Also, we must remember that HTML5 is still in the beginning stage of development, and may end up dying out before it is completed.
There is still a very good chance, however, that HTML5 will succeed, and destroy the plug-in we have all come to know and love. It may be a good thing to get away from Flash in the end, but it will cause lots of problems in the beginning!