ARM, Opera, former US Secretary of Labor weigh in on Apple, Adobe, and Flash
Companies and individuals as diverse as mobile chip-licenser ARM, browser-maker Opera, and former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich are offering opinions on Adobe, Flash, Apple's restriction on cross-compilers, and rumors of an Adobe-prompted DOJ/FTC inquiry into Apple -- and they won't be making Adobe very happy.
ARM flat out says Adobe's Flash has held back the delivery of smartbooks (think netbooks running on smartphone-scale ARM-processors). Adobe and ARM signed a partnership in 2008 and ARM hoped Flash would be up and running by 2009, but say it's "slipped". They think we'll see it in late 2010 (though there was outcry the iPhone didn't have it in 2007, right?)
Opera, makers of Opera Mini for iPhone, believe Flash still serves a purpose but that that purpose is no longer online video:
"But flash as a video container makes very little sense for CPU, WiFi battery usage etcetera – you can cook an egg on [devices] once you start running Flash on them and there's a reason for that."
Apple’s supposed sin was to tell software developers that if they want to make apps for iPhones and iPads they have to use Apple programming tools. No more outside tools (like Adobe’s Flash format) that can run on rival devices like Google’s Android phones and RIM’s BlackBerrys.
What’s wrong with that? Apple says it’s necessary to maintain quality. If consumers disagree they can buy platforms elsewhere. Apple was the world’s #3 smartphone supplier in 2009, with 16.2 percent of worldwide market share. RIM was #2, with 18.8 percent. Google isn’t exactly a wallflower. These and other firms are innovating like mad, as are tens of thousands of independent developers. If Apple’s decision reduces the number of future apps that can run on its products, Apple will suffer and presumably change its mind.
Steve Jobs' open letter on Flash should be a huge wakeup call for Adobe. While they're tried to play the victim for developers and complained to the government, increased adoption of H.264 and comments like these show they're beginning to lose the mindshare battle. Fortunately it looks like Adobe is also going get into making HTML5 development tools.
I'd upgrade to CS6 in a minute for that.