Adobe gives up on Flash for Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

“The Flash plug-in for browsers has been the de facto king of Web video, interactive websites and annoying ads that get in your face since it was owned by Macromedia. So when it was announced the iPhone would be shipping without Flash — and wouldn’t ever have Flash on it — a lot of people freaked out,” Jared Spurbeck reports for Yahoo News. “As the owner of one of those Android phones that has the Flash player installed, though, I can tell you why the iPhone’s not getting Flash: It’s awful. It runs horribly, and horribly slow. It’s a crapshoot whether it works at all, on my phone from last year, and that’s just to play a Web video.”

“Adobe’s not bringing Flash anything to iPhones or iPads. Instead, website owners can buy these Flash Media servers for upward of $995, and they’ll convert Flash movies into a form that iGadgets can use,” Spurbeck reports. “There are a number of downsides with this plan. One, it doesn’t work on all websites; only the ones with owners who paid Adobe hundreds or thousands of dollars. And two, it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.”

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Spurbeck reports, “If anything, Adobe’s given people a reason to use HTML 5 video, or movies that play outside of Flash Player. Flash was fun while it lasted, but it’s going the way of the dinosaur… Actually, iPhone owners will have a better web browsing experience than most Android phone owners. Instead of having their battery life drained by a choppy Flash video — one that would just crash low-end smartphones like mine — they’ll get web movies in a format their iPhone can play without breaking a sweat.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Not saying I want/need flash, but having options are good. I know several people that won’t buy iPads because their online college classes are using Flash. More options = More users.

      1. “More options = More users”

        Not quite that simple. For example, it is dependent on the quality of the options relative to the overall quality of the product. It is also dependent on a user’s needs. Since i rarely miss out on video on my iPhone due to lack of Flash, the option to use flash does not have any value. Of course, this anecdotal example is not any more representative of the overall population of mobile device users than your example of people with online classes.

    2. Not really. All browsers have excellent HTML5 support in their latest versions. And nearly any HTML5 feature can work in any browser with a good developer and some clever programming.

    3. No, that’s not correct. By Apple refusing to support Flash, it has pushed up adoption of HTML5 as a standard website format by years. Otherwise, no one would have dared to drop Flash “because it’s the standard”, no matter how poorly it runs or how much battery life it drains.

      These online classes will be changed by next year, too, particularly with many colleges giving their students iPads or students demanding they be able to access the information via their iPads.

    4. Are U dumb or something? If you hit a website using flash it aint no OPTION using it, its there whether U like it or not. And if your mobile gadget struggles with it it will suck power, crash it or whatevetr.

  1. We need to force people to drop Flash for HTML5 on Macs too. That doesn’t mean using a Flash blocking plugin, since it still gives feedback that you are using Flash. As long as everyone thinks Flash is on 99% of all computers, websites will still serve up Flash to you, even if they have HTML5 versions. You need to purge your Flash plugin. If you have to have Flash, do what Gruber does and install Chrome, so that when something needs Flash, you can open that page in Chrome, as Chrome has Flash embedded, and doesn’t install Flash in your OS.

  2. Android Porch Monkeys Unite, buy an iPhone in the next few weeks and help kill Adobe for giving you crappy Flash on Android.

    Make them pay for false promises by driving them out of business.

  3. Two sides to this coin. On the one side, the article is entirely correct regarding the Flash experience on Android, which is inconsistent. The reasons are several, actually. First, Android hardware is available in multitude of variations, from $70 Huawey crap phones, all the way to $700 HTC Droids (prices here without subsidy, of course), with everything in between. I have a $150 LG Optimus, which officially (as well as unofficially) CANNOT run Flash — it simply refuses to install it (and I tried rooting, custom ROMs and all those other wonderful time-wasting options). In fact, I am pretty confident that only about less than half of Android models sold TODAY (and I’m not even talking about last year discontinued models) will actually accept a Flash installation.

    Second (and much greater) problem is Flash content itself. Vast majority of it is developed for an OS that needs a mouse to operate, and so much of it requires a mouse-over in order to properly navigate it (YouTube is the biggest; when you don’t move your mouse, progress bar with playback controls disappears until you move mouse again; however, if you click your mouse — equivalent of touching screen — you pause playback; in other words, no way of getting that progress bar). Essentially, Most Flash content on a mouseless, touch-only device is inaccessible beyond the initial splash screen.

    However the other side of this coin is the HTML5 itself. Today, there is still no official, ratified HTML5 standard. It is still a format in development, and browser makers do their best to support the features implemented in most current development version. As a moving target, HTML5 makes it a challenge for proper support, both for browser developers, and especially for content developers. We will only see significant acceleration of HTML5 implementation (at the expense of Flash) once the standard is finally officially ratified and locked down.

  4. Having said all the above about the unfinished status of HTML5, there is no doubt that practically over 90% of today’s Flash content (which is ordinary streaming video, wrapped and packaged inside a Flash-based player) could be replicated almost identically (both visually, as well as functionally) using the existing HTML5 functionality. So, even while we all wait for W3C to finally lock down that feature set and ratify the HTML5 as a standard, we can still comfortably and safely move away from Flash for vast majority of our content.

  5. Flash is a battery sucker… H.264 MPEG 4 or Quicktime play much better and are hardware accelerated on way more devices than Flash. A crapshoot is no good for a production mobile environment and anyone who looks at lots of Web statistics knows that iOS devices are way ahead in web usage.

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