Category: developers journal

My take on Apple vs. Adobe Flash player

Author: Daemon July 12, 2010

All this recent fuss growing in the last months that peaked (and is still peaking) when iPad came out and people quickly saw that it too - much like iPhone - does not play Flash is driving me mad.

As much as I love Adobe I am quite confident that Apple will N-E-V-E-R enable Flash player on their devices. OK, maybe not never, but certainly not in the next 10 years.

Why? Read on.

There are two reasons why is that so, you decide which one is more important.

Reason one is that Flash player and capabilities Flash as technology offers are a direct threat to Apple App store. Majority of income through App store comes from retarded fart apps, silly games and simple Apps. The majority of those could be super-easily recreated in 5 minutes through Flash. This in turn means that pretty soon there would be websites that would start charging access to those applications, directly taking away money from App store. Would you pay $2,99 per month to have access to thousands of Flash games and apps, some of which are actually good? Yes, you would. Apple would never allow this sort of competition.

Reason two is Apple's position as market leader to change things. To force people and companies to innovate. By refusing to enable Flash, Apple is forcing everyone involved to think different. Ha? See what I did there? If Flash was enabled on iOS devices, people would always just take the easy way out and develop something complex in Flash. HTML 5 standard would be stagnant, and develop pretty slowly.

Apple's refusal to enable Flash gave you HTML 5 enabled YouTube. Do you think that YouTube would develop HTML 5 site if they could easily just serve it through Flash? No, they would not.

There are MANY projects already developed and under development in HTML 5 / CSS 3 just because Apple did not enable Flash. Lack of Flash is pushing the whole web-industry forward. In one or two years you will start seeing concrete results of that. Visit this crazy Pie Guy with iPhone and tell me would something like that even be considered outside of Flash, if Flash was iOS enabled? Play that game, see all the crazy features that are pure HTML/CSS. Screen shake, zooming, rotation, ...

All technical reasons, such as "Flash is too slow" "Flash drains battery" are just not valid. Adobe in partnership with Apple could easily branch Flash player into two versions: Desktop and iOS, and in few months of development deliver Flash player that is super-smooth, does not drain battery, etc. Technical problems can always be solved through smart code. But what we are dealing here with is not technical problem. It is pure politics, money, and parallel with it - Apple's desire to push things forward.

Flash has it's uses, no doubt. But enabling Flash on iOS would give everyone the "easy ticket out" for every even a little bit complex project. Screw that. Lets go forward. Lets advance the technology.

Author
Daemon

    6 thoughts on “My take on Apple vs. Adobe Flash player”

  • – “Majority of income through App store comes from retarded fart apps, silly games and simple Apps” –

    Actually major part of the income from the appstore are books (17%), followed by games (14%). But I do agree on both counts in general, except for the “technical” part. Flash on mobile tends to drain and tends to slow down your browser significantly (on android and MeeGo).

  • Read more carefully silly Beler :) Technical part at this moment is sluggish, but it could easily be solved by Adobe writing another branch of Flash player that is nicely optimized.

    Also, 17% and 14% is not what I would consider majority. Where is the rest of 69%? I bet in “Make your phone fart, lololol” Apps :)

  • one thing… by refusing flash and insisting that developers use xcode / mac os x for development and not do the development on other platforms apple is effectively bounding programmers to its platform. and once you’re tied you are there to stay.

    on the other hand, i see that as positive thing. because it is so hard to get into it, amateur programmers won’t go there, there will be less competition and so on. you as flash developer don’t like that, me as c++ developer likes that. go apple, die adobe :)

    and of course apple doesn’t want competition from adobe. they worked their asses for years to come up with iphone and ipad. now everyone is copying them. would you like to give all that work away to some jerks like adobe if you were in apple? of course not.

  • and of course the reasons are not technical. but they have to look “good” in the eyes of the public. you would do the same if you were apple.

  • I have a feeling my HTML isnt gonna be working… anyway

    source: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/21/iphone-apps-design-mistakes-overblown-visuals/

    Breakdown of 500 million app downloads

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