Apple marginalizing Adobe’s proprietary Flash as companies, designers shift to open HTML5

HOT Apple Computers + FREE Shipping“The punches that Apple Inc. is throwing in its fight against Adobe Systems Inc. are beginning to land, prompting some companies to shift away from Adobe’s video and animation technology and forcing Web designers to work with competing standards,” Ben Worthen reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Programmers and Web designers say clients increasingly are asking that their websites or applications be compatible with Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Those sites can’t be built with Adobe’s Flash technology, which is used widely for online video and animation but which Apple has banned from its devices.”

“‘Since the iPad came out we’ve had a lot of clients say that they just don’t want Flash on their sites,’ said Chantelle Simoes, vice president at Ninth Degree Inc., a design firm in Dana Point, Calif., which has built websites for Sanyo and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. If current trends continue, Ms. Simoes said, her 10-person firm will need to hire people familiar with Apple’s development tools,” Worthen reports. “On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated, whose website uses Flash extensively, unveiled a Web app built with HTML 5. ‘We’re going forward on more than one front,’ said Terry McDonnell, editor of Sports Illustrated Group, a unit of Time Warner Inc… While that means having to maintain multiple versions of its properties, Mr. McDonnell said it doesn’t make sense to settle on one technology because Sports Illustrated needs to be able to reach readers no matter what device they use.”

“Carnival Corp., which remade the home page for its cruise line without Flash a year ago because of the iPhone, is unlikely to continue using Flash on other parts of its website or for its online videos. ‘The iPhone and iPad have made us take a look at alternatives’ to publishing in Flash, said Jordan Corredera, director and general manager of Carnival’s online business,” Worthen reports. “Flash still has a commanding share of the market, with about 75% of online video using the format. Online video site Hulu, which doesn’t have an iPad app, said this month it wouldn’t make its videos available in HTML 5. Among the reasons for the decision is that HTML 5 doesn’t have all the ancillary features of Flash, such as the ability to secure and track videos. Hulu is jointly owned by several media companies, including News Corp., which also publishes The Wall Street Journal.”

MacDailyNews Take: Giving only part of the story is unfair to your readership, Ben. They will notice, especially as sites like us point it out, and your credibility will suffer. Hulu is widely expected to bring its service to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, via an app in the App Store that delivers video via HTML5, not Adobe’s Flash. That bit of information completely changes the mistaken impression you’ve left with your readers. We understand that it’s fun to have a “war” that you can report on, but this war is over but the shooting. There are too many iPhone OS devices now, not to mention tens of millions more next year, for any website or service of note to stick solely with Flash. Flash is being marginalized rapidly and no amount of half truths or Adobe whining is going to change that fact. Next up: Classes on Adobe’s Flash being cancelled due to lack of interest.

Worthen continues, “Adobe on Wednesday added tools to its Web design software that support HTML 5. ‘Whenever technologies come out that people want to use we will support those,’ said Kevin Lynch, Adobe’s chief technology officer.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Because it’s obviously working, we repeat:

Note to advertisers: (including those who advertise via third-party ad networks and become, in effect, our advertisers): Your Flash-based ads are no longer reaching the most well-heeled customers online: 50+ million iPhone owners. They’re also not hitting 35+ million iPod touch users or 1+ million brand new iPad users. If you care about reaching people with discretionary income, you might want to consider dumping your flash-based ads and moving to a more open format that people with money and the will to spend it can actually see.

Help kill Adobe’s Flash:
• Ask MarketWatch to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Ask CNBC to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Contact Hulu and ask them to offer HTML5 video via email:
• Ask ESPN360 to offer HTML5 video instead Flash via their feedback page here.
• Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here.
• On Vimeo, click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. @WTFO

    I like sitepoint and am an avid reader of their publications. However they’re all google-sucking apple-atheists.

    VP8 is unlikely going on to the ipad, iphone or any microsoft devices anytime soon.

    Hence no… it will not become the next standard.

  2. Even before the iPod touch came out, lots of people, myself included, loathed Flash. It is a resource hog and also most companies used Flash for a title page which annoyed users and slowed their user experience. I’ve wanted to see Flash go away a long time ago.

  3. I think the game changed a little yesterday with the flash performance of the latest build of Android (froyo).

    The fact of the matter is that Android stands to have much more market share in the long run if the iPhone doesn’t get out to other carriers in the states soon.

    Either way, will be interesting to watch.

    Sent from my iPhone!

  4. Companies are not ditching Flash for desktop distribution. Far from it. HTML5 is not supported on all browsers yet, so it would be foolish to adopt a standard in infancy. Instead, they are simply encoding a second file to stream in parallel to the iPad/iPhone.

  5. Yeah but no but yeah but no but… What-eva!, Oh my god! I soooo can’t believe you just said that! … LA Google are going to pool WebM, VP8 … Shut up! I ain’t even dun nuffin’

    Vicky Pollard in H.264

  6. So, Adobe has decided to add HTML5 to their “Save As” menu. This is common in the Mac world. We use “Save As” to share our information in a way that everyone can use with out downloading plug ins or buying the latest version of some Microsoft software. We have been doing this for many years now.

    Adobe, welcome to the minor leagues! Apple will be sending more companies to sit with you there!

  7. Adobe had plenty of opportunity to fix flash, and didn’t. Flash has been a dominant standard and yet how quickly it can die because it didn’t evolve or start over.

    Lesson to be learned here. Photoshop is based on out-dated thinking, and Adobe has had plenty of opportunity to redesign it. It is currently the dominant standard, for now.

  8. “If current trends continue, Ms. Simoes said, her 10-person firm will need to hire people familiar with Apple’s development tools” she’s confusing matters here. All she needs is html 5 in the context.

  9. @Bill Mott,

    …”Far from it. HTML5 is not supported on all browsers yet, so it would be foolish to adopt a standard in infancy. Instead, they are simply encoding a second file to stream in parallel to the iPad/iPhone.”

    This doesn’t require a second file, or in many cases any additional encoding.

    Smarter people always had a H.264 MP4 file in addition to FLV. Then when Flash supported H.264 MP4 files, they switched their players over to play that file and stopped encoding the FLV. There’s no reason to have both now.

    What they’re doing is putting in code that says:

    If FLASH is present
    Use flashplayer;
    Else If HTML5 is supported
    Use HTML5 VIDEO tag;
    Ask to install Flash or upgrade browser and provide graphic
    and link to video file;

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