Apple CEO Steve Jobs was right about Adobe’s Flash

“I’m not sure given the huge success of the iPad and the iPhone that I can really tear apart Thoughts on Flash from a pure business perpective at this juncture,” Jason Perlow writes for ZDNet. “A year ago, many of us had some doubts that the iPad would be able to penetrate the the market with a clear abscence of such an important web standard built into the device. We were wrong.”

“Clearly, despite which many critics in and outside the tech industry regarded as the device’s prime limitation (myself included at the time) the products have been doing exceptionally well,” Perlow writes. “This hasn’t stopped of course the various industry competitors from coming out with Flash-compatibile devices. Adobe has continued to develop Flash 10.2 for Android, first releasing for Froyo (2.2) and Gingerbread (2.3) smartphones and recently for Honeycomb (3.0) tablets. This was also followed by a release of Abobe AIR 2.x on Android for deploying stand-alone Flash apps as well.”

“But the software on Android hasn’t been without its problems. Many Android phones currently on the market and the first crop of Froyo-based tablets aren’t really powerful enough to run Flash-enabled web pages effectively,” Perlow writes. “While Flash ‘runs’ it tends to bog down the OS, and many Android smartphone users turn the plugin off unless specific content needs to be viewed.”

Perlow writes, “Steve Jobs’ predictions on how Flash would affect the mobile experience have effectively turned out to be correct.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The absence of Adobe’s antiquated, piggish Flash on iOS devices is a benefit.

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

Related articles:
Adobe warns of major exploit in Flash 10.2 for Android, desktops; iOS users unaffected – April 12, 2011
Adobe inflicts Flash 10.2 beta; Android phone ‘chokes’ on test video – March 18, 2011
Adobe Flash hit with new ‘critical’ zero-day attack; iOS users unaffected – March 15, 2011
Steve Jobs posts rare open letter: Thoughts on Flash – April 29, 2010


      1. iHaters don’t come larger than Jason Parlow, just read some of his regular garbage. In that context, Jubei was not only right, he had shown restraint.

    1. Oh really? Check this test showing that HTML5 uses twice as much battery as Flash (do not forget to run the test yourself before to dispute it):

      Also, when the fanbois claim that Flash is a privacy risk because of cookies that track only visited sites with no personal information, they did not expect we would find out6 month later that Apple is not just tracking visited sites but our entire location history without our consent, even after we say no!

      Those are just 2 examples of all the bogus lies from Steve Jobs or its armada of water carrying fanatics.

      Check this out, an email I sent to jobs in response to his Thoughts on Flash:

      1. Stephanie,
        I read your response to Thoughts on Flash, and I understand your point. Apple wants to control the application market because it keeps consumers coming back to Apple. Even more than that, Apple has a put up a wall around their offerings. This wall has its negatives and its positives. Its up to the developers and consumers to decide if they prefer to be inside that wall or not.

        Fortunately our free market offers us choices, we have Android, Windows 7 Phone, WebOS, and Blackberry to choose from. Many alternatives offer Flash. So far, Flash has proven not to function very well on mobile if at all—with the one exception of Flash Ads, those seem to work fine. Adobe may resolve the issue of Flash’s poor performance, it may not, the world is not waiting for Adobe.

        Apple has exerted a great deal of control in how developers create apps for IOS, forbidding the use of Flash generated apps from the App Store. This is their right, its their garden, walls and all. If developers didn’t like it, if they preferred Flash, then IOS would not be the success it is today.

        Clearly the market has spoken. Adobe was too little too late with Flash for mobile content distribution, and now it is SOL on mobile application distribution—at least for IOS. There are still alternatives to IOS, and there are some pretty good offerings too. Adobe has room in the market to expand with Android, Microsoft and Blackberry. The free market will decide the winners. If Flash really is as important as you suggest, then time will show how it benefits Android and the other mobile platforms that take advantage of its technology.

        In the meantime, please try not to whine about being excluded from the cool kids’ party. Its embarrassing.

        1. It is also important to raise awareness regarding Apple’s scams and abuses related to mobile application and digital entertainment markets, their strategy to destroy the web by kicking users out of the web into Apple’s walled garden taxed at 30% is outrageous! Apple’s ban of Flash is not acceptable, turning consumers and developers into collateral damages in a corporate war is not acceptable! Join the fight and follow me on Twitter “flexengineer”.

          1. Again, Stephanie fails to disclose that she’s a senior level Flash developer. Her career is jeopardized by the industry moves away from Flash. Her motives for disparaging Apple and supporting Flash are self-serving and question both her credibility and motive.

            1. Unlike you I put my name on what I say, you can look me up on Internet and see everything you need to see, I am having this fight openly. My life does not depend on Flash, as you can see if you google my name and check my resume I am fluent with 5 programming language and have done HTML for 11 years. I chose Flash because it is the best out there. Your personal attack only make my point stronger!

              I know what I am talking about, I show it all over the place, keep talking! Tell me again, what’s your name? Oh that’s right, “Pirate”.

              Follow the fight:

            2. LOL nice try, your personal attacks only make my point stronger, did you not understand that yet?

              Did you notice I put my real name on everything I say, you can check me out on Google and you will find out I am fluent with 5 programming language, including 8 years with Flash and 11 years with HTML, I know my shit and it shows. You don’t and it does too.

              What’s your name again so I can look up your credential? Oh that’s right, “Pirate”.

  1. These Media Whores will sell their souls at any Cost.
    All of a Sudden, the truth creeps up and Bite u in the Ass eh, so Finally u Find Salvation, “Screw u & People of ur Ilk”

  2. Err “…clear abscence of such an important web standard…” wrong Flash is not a web standard, it is the opposite of a web standard.

    Maybe that’s why Perlow is hardly somebody you should pat attention to.

    1. I agree. In fact, I think MDN should change that to “web standard [sic]”.

      Flash might be a defacto standard (or at least it was before the iPhone came out) but Flash is completely at odds with the official web standards managed by the world wide web consortium.

  3. “But the software on Android hasn’t been without its problems.” That’s generous. First of all, it did not exist until fairly recently, forcing vendors of Android products to release with promises of future functionality. Second, it reportedly does not work very well and, for some sites, not at all. Third, no one has re-benchmarked Android devices running Flash – performance, battery life, etc.

    When it comes to technical issues like DRM and Flash, Steve Jobs has proven to be right. He undoubtedly spends many hours pondering issues such as these in his search for balance and perfection, and I am far more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt than a bunch of pundits and analysts who lack his entrepreneurial chops and over three decades of corporate battles. Steve had the money to retire young in the mid-1980s, but he isn’t built that way (to our great good fortune).

  4. Instead of Apple selling less iOS devices because of the lack of Flash, the sites that use Flash are getting less views. Ain’t that a bitch 😛

  5. With this article, Perlow is pretending to be objective.
    And yet, in this entire, rather lengthy article, he never once mentions the battery drain caused by FLASH.

    And there’s this, from Perlow;
    So Jobs, at least from a technical standpoint in his open letter from last year is only partially correct. Flash runs sucky on mobile hardware and on the Mac only because Apple refuses to spend the time and due diligence with Adobe to fully optimize it correctly.

    So according to Perlow, it’s Apple’s responsibility to make Adobe’s products suck less.

    I’m a long way away, but I can smell Perlow from here.
    It’s not a pleasant odour.

    1. Wow – that would sure be the tail wagging the dog.

      I wonder if some of these analysts are still mentally stuck in the 90s, where Apple did indeed have to kowtow to their biggest software makers (Microsoft and Adobe) in that way. That’s certainly no longer the case now.

      I also wonder if Perlow’s thesis is a mirror of the approach Adobe is pushing other platform makers to follow. Certainly, Adobe would love it if all the platform owners out there (RIM, HP, etc.) took time away from building and maintaining their own platforms to help Adobe improve theirs.

      Adobe needs to fix their own problems. And the evidence to date strongly suggests they’re not really capable of doing so, at least not to the extent that they need to.

    2. FWIW, in reading the comments on the original article, it appears that there’s a noteworthy bias of posters talking about how they’ve used Flash for their Enterprise intranet… sorry, but a company’s failure to use open standards isn’t anyone’s fault but their own.

      Ditto for the public … and in this area, my wife is in Web Development at a Fortune 50 … and they’ve added iOS compatibility to their requirements lists. I only found out because our personal home iPad was suddenly ‘borrowed’ a few weeks ago to check out a page-rendering problem report that came in during a weekend.

      In any case, there’s really two issues here. The first is if there’s different use cases between Enterprise and the general consumer public. That’s a very obvious slam-dunk, “duh”.

      The second issue is more basic: is Adobe Flash really a Web Standard? The answer is that it is “No”. Flash is a defacto one, but it remains a *Proprietary* product with no Standards Board oversight. As NHL points out above, this means that Perlow got it 100% wrong when suggesting that Adobe’s problems were Apple’s responsibility.

      Finally, what I learned recently that further muddies the waters, Adobe actively seeks to bypass APIs in order to talk to hardware directly in order to gain more performance (and less battery-sucking). This is why Flash runs faster on Windows than OS X: Adobe has worked with all of the graphics card manufacturers to have their drivers customized to support additional features for Flash that the APIs don’t provide…and got direct calls for hardware acceleration.

      Now using direct calls is a very old programmer’s performance trick (CROSSTALK used it 20+ years ago), but it is also the fundamental reason why it is invariably less secure and less stable: the OS’s sandboxing of Applications has been purposefully circumvented.

      Circumvent my stability & security? UNinstall.


  6. Shocking, the tech savvy of media and web are effectively no match for Jobs or the average Apple user.

    Word of advice from the average user, what ever IT gives you. Seek independent advice from the other side of the of computer users- no the Microsoft crowd.

    Eyes wide shut!

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