Adobe Flash hobbles Android use of BBC iPlayer versus iPhone

Apple Online Store“A Freedom of Information request to the BBC completed just Thursday has revealed that Android use of iPlayer may have been hurt, rather than helped, by the use of Flash,” Electronista reports. “As the Android version of iPlayer requires the still-rare Flash plugin to work, British viewers streamed just 6,400 episodes in July. In comparison, 5,272,464 shows streamed to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch owners.”

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“Much of the damage to Android has been done by OS and device fragmentation,” Electronista reports.

Electronista reports, “iOS devices were meanwhile helped by the BBC’s decision early on to use raw H.264 video and a native app. The format reduces the overhead to where even a 2007-era iPhone can play videos, and the approach is largely independent of any one iOS version. Battery use may also be lighter due to a reduced dependence on the main processor compared to Flash.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If anyone outside of Microsoft would know better, it’d be the lazy ingrates at Adobe: GIGO. Having Adobe’s shitastic Flash on your phone isn’t a feature, it’s a handicap. Hey, wanna kill 5 minutes? Launch Photoshop.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “James W.” and “elder norm” for the heads up.]


  1. The user experience for the non geek customers is more important to Apple. Put Flash in the mix and millions of users will blame Apple for performance issues because they don’t know any better.

  2. Besides content Apple also sells products, the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and they want the user to experience a high level of satisfaction. Shoehorning crap desktop code into a mobile device will not enhance the user experience.

    Chewing up CPU cycles on a mobile devices kills battery life. The primary reason Apple doesn’t want Flash on iOS is they don’t want their customers calling complaining about their iOS device’s battery dying.

  3. Adobe sucks and there’s nothing any real user anywhere can say to defend their lazy syagnancy in software development.

    The only development Adobe has poured money into for tgr past 10-15 years, consistently, od copy procetion schemes.

    Die Adobe .

  4. Instead of loading PS try running Premiere or Premiere Elements. A crashing resource hogging nightmare! Compared to Final Cut or the Express version that just works. You worry about the editing of your video not about remembering to save or not to do certain thing that will make Premiere crash.

    Which is what any customer wants. They just wants it to work and do what they want.

    Will be glad when flash goes the way of the flash bulb.

  5. BBC iPlayer on iPhone and iPad is *not* a native app. It is a web app which runs in Safari, and has two different versions, one optimised for iPhone/iPod touch, and the other optimised for iPad. There are other versions optimised for desktop, and games consoles. The iPhone and iPad web apps are clever enough to allow themselves to be set as a springboard icon, like many other web apps, which let them start up without the usual Safari web furniture.

    If the Android browser is capable of displaying H.264 video then I don’t really see why the Beeb don’t just let Android use the iPhone version. I suspect the reason is down to the differing screen sizes and capabilities of Android devices.

  6. As a photographer, I barely touch Photoshop anymore, or any other Adobe product, but I am still amazed at the number of photographers sites out there that are Flash based. Are they all mad or what?

  7. Xan makes a good point.

    I find it odd too that Android is stuck with a native app capable of only playing Flash versions of BBC’s content.

    Does that mean there is no browser-capable web app that allows Android to view H.264 video? If not, why not?

    If there is a native app on Android capable of displaying H.264, why doesn’t the Beeb use such metrics to quantify Android’s use?


    My PS CS4 launches very quickly, so I can’t imagine what MDN is talking about. There was a time when ALL of Adobe’s applications were dog-slow on launch, but not my CS4.

    I timed the launch of PS and the interface is ready in 15 seconds or less. If that is considered too much time, then someone needs to lighten up their schedule!

  8. Macaday – what do you use instead of Photoshop?

    I mostly use iPhoto for basics, then take selects into Photoshop for resizing, rgb-cmyk, retouching, tweaks, jpg-tif, etc.

    I’d happily use something else, so would be interested.


  9. @ Out To Launch

    iTunes launch: 3 seconds
    Photoshop 12.01 launch: 12 seconds

    Model Name: MacBook
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2 GHz, 2 cores
    Memory: 2 GB

    Pretty basic & outdated hardware, as a matter of fact.

  10. @Out To Launch;

    On my MacBook Air (the lowliest of the low, spec-wise, of all Apple machines- Slowest CPU, GPU and running an iPod HDD), iTunes takes “2 1/2 bounces in the dock” to launch.

    I’m calling BS!

  11. Chill out, you bunch of goobers: I was exaggerating, of course.

    @ Big Als MBP : Love Windows 7? No, but it’s not a bad OS.

    @ Moo : You can call it guacamole for all I care.

    @ BananaMoon :

    I’m usually using an iBook, and it’s definitely not speedy. Or worse yet, an old work PC with a Celeron processor. Now that’s painfully slow.

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