Adobe: Apple is being very mean to Flash

According to Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, Apple is out to get Flash. Which I guess is fair since Flash has been out to melt every Apple device I've ever owned. Fast Company quotes:

"I just think there's this negative campaigning going on, and, for whatever reason, Apple is really choosing to incite it, and condone it," Lynch says. "I think that's unfortunate. We don't think it's good for the web to have aspects closed off--a blockade of certain types of expression. There's a decade of content out there that you just can't view on Apple's device, and I think that's not only hurtful to Adobe, but hurtful to everyone that created that content."

This following Apple not allowing the Flash runtime (or any runtimes) on iPhone or iPad, and recently shipping the new MacBook Air Flash plugin-free. (Which Ars Technica reported can result in as much as 33% battery life improvement).

It's not Apple, however, that is Adobe's enemy. It's time. The same thing happened to Real Media (ask your grandfather) and ActiveX (ask your father). It's a cycle that keeps repeating -- the web lacks certain needful technology so a proprietary 3rd party plugin rises up to fill the gap until HTML and associated standards evolve and the plugin is no longer needed. It's the natural order, and Adobe is finding it increasingly hard to fight mother nature.

And that's okay. Flash is still great at a few things. It just doesn't need to do the battery draining, CPU melting, security-troubled, privacy violating stuff it's not good at any more. Better for Flash, better for the web, better for users.

Adobe's core strength is content creation anyway. Buying Flash and moving into content delivery may have been a bold experiment but it's one likely to enjoy increasingly niche relevance as the web marches on.

Luckily Adobe seems to be hedging their bets with HTML 5 authoring tools. That's a far better response than Kevin Lynch's.

[Fast Company]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Adobe: Apple is being very mean to Flash


Ahh, Real Player.. wow, that takes me back. Very good analogy Rene. And I think you're absolutely right; where they differ is that Adobe is actually really good at some things, like content development, when they put their minds to it. I can see Apple backing them on that end, just like they used to. Why on earth they seem intent on pushing Flash so strongly (when the cost/benefit just isn't there) I'll never know. Even Real knew when to cut rope... I'm just sayin'.

As I read elsewhere, watching a flash video is a great way to make sure my laptop's fans still work.
I was listening to a flash stream of a radio show today on my MacBook Pro...sure enough, two minutes in, there go the fans. I found an iTunes link to the same go off.
This is not a small thing...flash eats battery, makes the machine run hot, and hogs resources. Someone explain how that is good for the end user.
I disabled flash for Safari and created a shortcut for opening Chrome if I need flash, then shut it down as quick as I can. @Gruber trick.
Die, flash, die.

I'm really hating flash on PC, regularly bugs out or crashes, the main site I need it for is but with all the problems I'm likely to stop viewing their content because of flash

I really wish Adobe would stop whining like Amy Lee from Evanescence. In addition two owning two Macs in my life, I have also owned two PC's. Interestingly, the two PC's I have owned shipped without flash already loaded, but the two Mac's I purchased both had it included.
I think it should the consumers choice as to what plugins they have installed. Personally I believe the only reason Apple left flash out on the MacBook Air was because of their battery life claim, and not so much their iOS vendetta against flash. I could be wrong.

Apple app store does not have to have flash in it just like target or Walmart does not need to have a item in their store stop complaining adobe why don't you make a plug - in for cydia or other phones app store make your our phone if you want. No flash on Apple APP Store EVER! Do they understand compassion at all.

Is this the same company (Adobe) that recently decided to get with Microsoft to find ways to kill Apple's influence in the phone/computer market? I not an Apple enthusiast by any means but it's strange how certain company CTOs like to kill competition but then come back and want people to sympathize with their cause.

I guess im lucky..never had any problems with flash. You prob hadent had probs with it until apple said you did..

Even on my quad core pc flash would cripple one core with 100% use before the 10.1 update. The sooner it goes the better

You have to admit, before Jobs spoke you guys barely spoke of Flash. Now every blog wanting visits finds a way to bash it for press. :)

Well, it's mainly Apple related websites that jumped on the report from Ars Technica and ignored the fine details. The details were that without Flash the sites they visited displayed static images instead of animated Flash banners. No matter how optimized Flash could be, animations are simply going to take up more battery & CPU than static images. Yet, this is the second go around with the story and no one seems to be picking up that fact.
On mobile devices, there's been benchmarks showing that HTML5 Canvas tag consumes more CPU & battery than Flash:
So if Flash penetration died down and HTML5 banner ads took it's place, there would once again be a battery drain once again. Until people started using Canvas & Video tag blockers.

I was just reading a review of the skyfire browser on another site. The guy said it seemed like most the sites he went were already HTML5. Was having a just a little trouble ( not a lot of trouble, just a little more effort to find flash sites ) good flash sites to test. He was kinda surprised by that. I say another year things could look very bad for flash in the mobile space period.

Flash sucks. The Macbook Air shipping without Flash also isn't that great a feat. My two current Dell PC's also did not come with Flash, I had get it when a website said I didn't have it.

You have got to be kidding. Just like the 70's Apple will get lost with a bad business model and an inferior product that keeps getting, "macies" to waste their money and upgrading. The iPhone's battery is crap when doing anything on the web and Flash is not the issue. Flash will be only the beginning of this decades fall of Apple. Like Microshaft the Mac will be replaced by entertainment centers like PS3 and X-box 360. Which, by the way both use Flash.

flash isn't important to adobe as much for content creation as it is as a mechanism for end-to-end targeted ad delivery.
the combination of flash's respawning "supercookies" and the omniture platform - well, it's hugely compelling to marketing people who want to follow (and target you) from cellphone to pc - and ultimately, everywhere that flash will run. but it's creepy, too. it's also worth billions of dollars.
i love adobe's creative tools - and i'm a paying customer - but i think that kevin's being pretty disingenuous. for example, here's adobe (again) closing another part of flash up from developers:

Flash runs poorly on the Macs?! Don't blame Adobe, blame Apple for not giving them the access to run properly. I have no problem with Flash running on the PC's.

@Nick. Who's standing in Adobe's way on Linux? Flash is a terrible performer there too, and there's no-one standing in the way of their "access." Also, why is Microsoft able to write a decent, high performance plug-in (Silverlight) without the "access" that Adobe seems to need?
The truth of the matter is that Adobe has neglected all of the non-Windows platforms for years, and their laziness is now biting them in the behind. The only thing that locks up my browser on Ubuntu is the same thing that locks up my browser on my Mac - Flash. That it runs well on my Windows 7 laptop is cold comfort when it sucks everywhere else.
Good riddance.

Instead about whining why doesn't Adobe work to prove Apple wrong by making the Flash plug-in not suck?
That seems to be a better and more productive use of time.

rick c., the Flex framework is still open source, it's just being developed in a private branch while part of it uses a version of Flash and AIR that has not been released yet. The same thing happened back when Flex 4.0 was in alpha and Flash Player 10 was in private development. As soon as there was a Flash Player 10 public beta, Adobe opened up the Flex branch to everyone. In the end this is only for a couple of months.
Also the supercookies that I think you are refering to is the example that someone put together using Flash, HTML5 local database, Java & Silverlight all at the same time. Basically if someone deleted one area where the data exist, they would respawn from the data used elsewhere. Flash cookies, called Local Shared Objects, cannot respawn on their own just inside of Flash. Also the example wasn't what Adobe was doing, but an independent developer did it on his own to prove a point. That there needs to be a central way to delete all of these things together if the user decides it.

Yeah! I am all for having the company I buy stuff from telling me what is best for me because I am an idiot! Those PC's and their Flash support - psh... I hear PC's don't sell at all!
It's like going to a restaurant:
Me: "I'd like the soup and salad plz."
Waiter: "no"
Me: "To which part."
Waiter: "the soup part. I don't like our soup here."
Me: "um ok. I do though."
Waiter: "no you don't"
Seriously. Too much freedom isn't good for anyone. I like being told what to do. All the time. By the people I pay...
Wait a second...

You're kidding on this title right?
Why should Apple re-distribute software that degrades performance of the browser and reduces battery life... and besides that the end user has the opportunity to install it of their own volition regardless...

Forget about the Mac, or PC. Flash has never been good on a mobile device. To bad they did not develop a decent safe mobile platform.

As a freelance writer the fact that Apple is preventing me from enabling Flash on a device I own prevents me from being able to complete assignments on my iPad. While I can write my articles on my iPad the publishing house (which is one of the largest online) stores all our photos in a library I can only access with Flash...
It seems petty to forbid people that own a device from using what they want on it. We can after all jailbreak them if desired but why should I have to resort to that ?

Ars Technica also tested iPhone battery life against battery life for Android devices. The iPhone 4 won.
As for you Flash devs who keep pouring in... Flash sucked long befor Jobs started bashing it, and it will continue to suck as it gets replaced with HTML5 Canvas and SproutCore. Already amazing progress has been made on those two standards and pretty soon, they will pass Flash in functionality.

Hahaha ugh QuickTime - what a pos, resource hog, crashing all the time plugin that is... Ohh and that iTunes... Geesh talk about resource hog and slowing down my six core CPU! Oh wait.. What were we talking about again? Oh yah.. Why apple wants flash dead... Cough cough... Cuz they kill QuickTime.

Whats frustrating is if someone wants flash apple tells them no. Give the user the choice. If you dont want it dont install it. I am frustrated with apple telling me what I can and cannot use.
The people agreeing with this are the typical "lead me" I cant think for myself crowd. Rationalizing the steve jobs method. Its like communisim. Steve Jobs is the ring leader.
I want the choice!

Realplayer was the biggest piece of garbage ever. It rarely worked and always came with spyware and adware and they wanted you to pay for it to use it. At least Flash player doesn't do that crap, although it doesn't play well with Macs, and doesn't really work on certain mobile platforms and has security issues. So it's a whole other bag of issues. However it's become necessary in watching videos and playing games on sites like Newgrounds, HTML5 hasn't taken off yet and sties like YouTube are still in beta for it and the quality of the HTML5 videos is garbage. Should Flash be on cell phones? Not really as it's a battery hog and doesn't really work well. Should it be on tablets? Yes but at least until Flash is dead an gone, however Flash doesn't work on the mobile platform. But because it's so incorporated into the internet now it's essentially needed, it's going to take while for it to be replaced, it's not going to happen overnight. But it's not going to work on the mobile platform, it's garbage because the videos aren't optimized for mobile.

@fraydog Of course there will be a hit in battery life but thats the price you pay. Imagine the battery life if the iphone stayed 2G only..and got rid of the backlight.. There are dozens of factors in the drain of batteries and there are ways to set flash to be used only on demand on Android so it isn't running nonstop. My battery life has barely changed at all since getting the Flash update on my Droid.
I feel like this Flash issue is being blown way out of proportion. Flash doesn't kill computers. Maybe it isn't totally necessary for everybody but for the user who needs to access photos in a flash library it is. Choice is good. This is why I probably will never buy an iphone..but I love my Ipod Touch.

Flash is no more CPU intensive than HTML5. Both need to be rendered, both will suck CPU cycles, and both will cause battery drain. Remember not long ago when Google decided to make that HTML5 logo on their main landing page? People were having more trouble with that dragging down their systems than what Flash has done.
Apple is being stubborn because they know that HTML5 isn't mature enough to replace Flash and if they allowed Flash on their mobile systems right now it would cut deeply into their App Store sales. It's simply a business decision that Jobs is playing up as some principled stand.

Jobs is a tool! HTML 5 is a year away from even being an official draft standard and nearly a decade away from being an official one. Until then flash is needed even on mobile.

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