Adobe capitulates on Flash, adopts Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming for iOS

“Adobe previewed some new streaming video capabilities of its Flash Media Server at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, including new compatibility with iOS devices like the iPad,” Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica. “Instead of getting Steve Jobs to relent on his ‘thoughts on Flash,’ however, Adobe is instead adding HTTP Live Streaming support to Flash Media Server.”

“HTTP Live Streaming is a protocol that Apple developed to stream live and recorded video using standard HTTP connections instead of the more difficult to optimize RTSP. It uses H.264-encoded video and AAC or MP3 audio packaged into discrete chunks of an MPEG-2 transport stream, along with a .m3u playlist to catalog the files that make up the individual chunks of the stream,” Foresman reports. “QuickTime on both Mac OS X and iOS can play back this format, and it is the only streaming format compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.”

Foresman reports, “In other words, instead of trying in vain to persuade Apple to build Flash into iOS, or losing potential Flash Media Server customers to some other iOS-compatible solution, Adobe seems to be implicitly acknowledging that content publishers need Flash-free video streaming.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote nearly a year ago: “Flash is being marginalized. Any content provider worth anything simply cannot ignore 100+ million iOS devices.” – MacDailyNews Take, June 10, 2010


  1. errr, MDN Take: “As we wrote nearly two years ago…”
    June 10, 2010 is by, Canadian mathematics, less than 1 year ago.

    Perhaps the Canadian counting method explains why none of our banks have failed

      1. but we also need snowmobiles, snow throwers and long johns… those cost almost as much as a car in the US.

        (truly, the same Toyota RAV4 in Canada will cost $8,000 more here… and that is in Canadian $ which are worth more than the US $)

        1. LOL…exactly… “round off 24 months to 11 months means he’s a banker, with goldman sucks or in monumental need of remedial math and/or stats.

    1. Wow. Flash to the Canadian Banking System. The Canadian Banking System is very different than the U.S. Banking system. We have countless relatively small regional banks serving specific communities. I think Canada has 5 big banks that have an effective finance cartel over the entire country. The Canadian banks were also not pushed to crank out mortgages like American banks. Only 25% of their assets are mortgages, the remaining 75% other kinds of deposits and debt. The crisis that hit the U.S. was largely based on crap mortgages. In the past Canadian banks have gone broke though. Back in 1985 CCB and Northland went belly up. CCB was bailed out by the Canadian government, and loans from U.S. banks interestingly enough. I remember that there was a bunch of talk about what we now call toxic assets and the CCB bailout didn’t work, and the domino effect of collapsing smaller banks led to bigger banks eating them up, helping to result in fewer banks, what the Canadians have now. So nothing special in Canada really, as usual, just different, at a different time.

  2. “…Foresman reports, “In other words, instead of trying in vain to persuade Apple to build Flash into iOS, or losing potential Flash Media Server customers to some other iOS-compatible solution, Adobe seems to be implicitly acknowledging that content publishers need Flash-free video streaming…”


    Adobe is acknowledging that it will never be able to optimize Flash for mobile devices — too much processing power is required and too much battery life is consumed…


    Adobe simply can’t optimize Flash with current mobile technologies. These questions finally will be answered within the next few weeks, as more competing, Flash-enabled tablets hit the market. If they run Flash efficiently (without dramatically reducing battery life compared to HTML5 solutions) AND if Mobile Flash is crash free, we’ll know Adobe was right and Steve Jobs was wrong.

    Any odds-makers out there?

  3. I think Apple’s devices and client base is more important to the world of mobile computing and content providers than most other mobile platforms. Apple seems to be getting most of the revenue from mobile computing.

    If Flash is battery and memory hungry, then I would think that all mobile platforms would benefit if it went away. I honestly don’t know why Flashtards protest so much about holding on to Flash except for playing free Flash games.

    Anyway, the potential iPad consumer base is going to be too large to completely ignore even if the iPad doesn’t support Flash. Adobe is going to come out looking like the bad guy for not making some changes to get Flash content on iOS devices. It looks like Apple is going to stay firm.

  4. This marriage of Flash and PHP completes the transmogrification of crap code Flash into something theoretically worth using on iOS. Would that they would simply kill off Flash entirely. Now both Flash video AND Flash apps can work on iOS.

    HOWEVER: This is UNPROVEN technology as of yet. We still have these CRITICAL questions to be answered:

    1) Will transmogrified Flash will be friendly to iOS device CPUs and batteries?

    2) Will transmogrified Flash be SAFE? Or will it continue to be the single LEAST secure technology for Apple devices?

    People with brains in their heads want to know!

    I write about Macintosh security at:
    Mac-Security Blog

  5. Flash will gradually fade from use as every site adds iOS compatibility out of business necessity. Sucker ads will go last of course. Adobe is smart to accept the inevitable and try to lead the shift.

    yeah, the “whole web” hype from the competition will sound totally lame very soon … more like the “old web.”

  6. Case in point: Coachella Music Festival is streaming live on YouTube this weekend in Flash only.. missing all iOS users.

    Now with HTTP live streaming on Adobe streaming video servers, next year will be different, much different.


  7. Well, what about the fact that Apple has been so desperate to maintain its artificial dominance (entirely due to the fact they got on the market first) by having anti competitive, illegal and arrogant behaviors?

    What about the fact that while Apple was desperately trying whatever it can to screw everyone (developers, businesses, publishers, advertisers and even its own customers) and destroy the web, Adobe has been laughing all the way to the bank by imposing its Flash Platform as the #1 application development platform that allows us, developers to build once and deploy everywhere?

    What about the fact that the mobile market is not driven by devices or platform or carrier but by us, application developers? Whoever controls apps controls the market.

    What about the fact that Steve Jobs attempted to kill Flash not because it is outdated but because it is too good and a threat to Apple’s “divide and rule” strategy and a direct threat to iTunes and AppStore?

    What about the fact that the European Competition Commissioner gave Steve Jobs a reality check by constraining Apple to reverse its change of TOS aimed at blocking the port of Flash application to iOS?

    What about the fact that FTC constrained Apple to approve Google Voice?

    What about the fact that Steve Jobs was recently ordered to testify in an ongoing antitrust lawsuit over iTunes which might very soon blow up to his face?

    What about the fact that yet another investigation is around the corner over the Apple Tax and the in-app / subscription scam?

    What about the fact that Apple broke its teeth trying to twist our arms (developers) to build for Apple first and Apple only? Even pushing as far as requiring us to develop on a Mac until the EU got involved?

    What about the fact that the ban of Flash in the browser is now back firing and making Apple’s devices ridiculously “has been” and isolated Apple in its corner?

    What about the fact that the entire industry rallied behind Adobe?

    That is what you get when you f*%ck with everyone and think you are so big that you can get away with it… Apple is big but not as big as the rest of the business and development world determined to bring it down as much for its arrogance and big mouth CEO than for its market advance or temporary dominance?

    What about the fact that Apple’s PR department is so desperate to keep the face that they try to reverse the situation and make everyone believe (something they are champion at) that they won the war?

    What about the fact that Flash’s mobile adoption is 2011 is going over the roof?

    What about the fact that no Flash in the browser is the #1 customer complain from iPad owners?

    Apple as we know it today is dying, long live the open web and multi screen apps.

    This is a blog post I wrote on Apple’s war on Flash last year:

    1. Was that English or just not supposed to mean anything.

      Some stuff for you guys to chew on, because all those 3 years of lies and water carriers come with a price and now it’s check time.

      My take on how both Jobs and Narayen screwed us all is having a bit of a momentum on Occupy HTML5’s page. It is about how I believe Jobs ironically screwed 70% of today’s developers worldwide with HTML5, and how Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen screwed 3 million Flash developer by turning Adobe into a third world company. Narayen is still CEO of Adobe and gave himself a $7M raise after firing 600 people from the company HQ in San Jose, followed by 200 the next month in Canada, all that already following hundreds the year before. Total thousands of European, Canadian and American employees fired since 2007 and cheap labor imported to replace them, or their jobs sent there. Then we wonder why the damn Flash Player failed on mobile. See the post here:

      Wonder why I cried foul since 2010, and why Apple would cripple HTML5 after killing Flash on the mobile browser? “The corporate push is to close off the Web and rely upon apps, as they are easier to control and turn into commodities for sale” said Jesse Drew, an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California-Davis.

      And from my Facebook timeline:

      Check this out Woz, just as I told you last year, remember? I found amusing that out of all the geeks in Silicon Valley, you were the only one who did not call me crazy. Back in December 2010, I said on my blog “Apple’s HTML5 showcase is a scam” and “HTML5 is a decoy in the assassination of Flash, the biggest scam in Internet’s history”. In 2011, The Register discovered that Apple sabotaged HTML5 apps to run slower on its product. And now, three years after Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash”, InfoWorld says “Bad news! Apple iOS 7 is plagued with HTML5 bugs” and HTML5 expert Maximiliano Firtman says “This is the buggiest Safari version since 1.0”. So everyone, who’s crazy now, huh? || #OccupyHTML5 #antitrust #corporatebullying #scam #AdobeFlash #AdobeAIR

      Now it is my turn, I am having quite a lot of fun taking all the crap you’ve written to server the world Jobs’ soup and showing how much full of it you all have been. Just as I said in 2010, this is the biggest antitrust corporate bullying scam in the entire history of the Internet, and the no more illusionist to trick everyone. It’s it’s showdown.

      1. I received your comment via email. Sadly, this thread is buried so far back in time at MDN that no one’s going to notice your addition. But I found it interesting and thought I’d add some thoughts:

        As an Apple fanatic from decades back, I don’t understand the concept of Jobs doing anything to the Internet. He did vehemently point out that, at that time, Flash was a catastrophic mess of CPU and resource hogging. Adobe gradually cleaned up the mess such that I find it to be reasonable to use these days. Even so, it isn’t a technology you’d want to run on a mobile device unless you don’t care about running down your battery.

        A lot of Flash oriented websites are terrible resource hogs. remains an excellent demonstration. Fun and feature filled as the site is, due to Flash, it is a horror of recourse hogging.

        As for corporate bullying, abuse of customers and everyone else they can lay their self-destructive hands on, I thoroughly agree. It’s a culture of parasitism that of course destroys it’s own base and reason for existence with already proven implosive results. Our Corporate Oligarchy, as I call it, could not be more stupid. It’s monkeys with guns. It’s depressing and depressioning.

        So far I don’t like HTML5. Why the hell is it so slow to reach its standard? Why does so much of it still suck bad? Why doesn’t it address EVERYTHING possible in Flash? Why does Apple’s own Safari browser SUCK BAD at playing HTML5 video? I’ve addressed this directly to Apple via their Appleseed program. They haven’t replied or addressed it themselves.

        I have to point out one incredible blunder Adobe allowed with Flash: Outrageously POOR security. For a couple years, Flash was the #1 source of malware and hacking into OS X. This lasted until Oracle managed to mangle the Java standard so poorly that Java took over Flash’s place as the most dangerous software you could run on your Mac. I condemn both Adobe and Oracle for incredibly unprofessional behavior. Thankfully, Adobe gradually got more realistic with the Flash security hole madness. Adding in a real, working sandboxing system has sealed the deal of making Flash no longer dangerous. Sadly that sandbox only works on OS X Mavericks at this time.

        Meanwhile, I don’t see Flash/AIR dying off. Adobe has continued to improve them and provide security patches. But clearly Flash has no future on mobile devices, and that’s where vast numbers of computer users are going into the future. A ground-up rewrite of Flash/AIR, or a simplified alternative would be welcome. But I personally doubt Adobe is either capable of performing any rewrite, or that they even care. I have very little respect these days for Adobe anything, they have fallen that far in my experience and expectation. They’re an aged, rotted company.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.