UPDATED: iPad Displaying Adobe Flash in Apple Publicity Videos? Wait, What?


UPDATE: 9to5mac followed up and found out they were hi-res mockup/optimized pages used for the promotional material. Likely NO Flash.

TiPb assumed, for reasons we've written about ad nauseum infinitum, that there was no way Apple's new iPad would include Adobe's Flash plugin, yet 9to5mac has been analyzing the publicity videos and claims in them Flash there be:

In Apple's official video the iPad, they show the New York Times being used. Looks pretty nice right? Well, unless the Times has a special iPad version of the site that converts Flash into jpegs or something, THE IPAD HAS FLASH. Normally, we'd say that Apple simply did the renders in the Mac version of Safari and just CG'ed it into the video. However, you can see the page rendering and being resolution independent as well, so it is likely being done on an iPad.

Of course, during Steve Jobs' on-stage demo, we saw no sign of Flash, only the now famous/infamous blue lego-brick of plugin fail. And Adobe doesn't seem to know anything about it, given the little barb the Flash team posted the other day:

It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers. Unlike many other ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not be able to access ePub content with Apple's DRM technology on devices made by other manufacturers. And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.

We'll get to that scary ePub news in another post, and schedule our tears right behind those we're saving for the "iPad/iPhone don't run ActiveX" charges inevitably to follow, but for right now--

What's going on here? Internally Apple has Flash running in the lab and it crept into the demo? "One more thing" scheduled for pre-launch hype? Is the NYT doing dynamic for-iPad/iPhone Flash to H.264 or JPG conversion? Did some eager video maker make a colossal mistake? WHAT?!

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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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Reader comments

UPDATED: iPad Displaying Adobe Flash in Apple Publicity Videos? Wait, What?


I sure hope this flash revelation is true. I've been wanting a web surfing alternative to my macbook and iphone. The iphone's lack of flash support is frustrating.

As @reneritchie once said he'd happily pay extra 50 bucks for Apple to NOT put Flash on the iPhone.

can i actually ask the Bias'd Bandwagon morons who are bandwagon hating on the iPad a question real quick?
What's the big deal with flash? no seriously? what are you going to do with it??
it's NOT THAT SERIOUS PEOPLE, oh wait... are you going to play free games??? watch free hulu tv and movies??
Nuff said, so you can see how this is as big a business decision as it is technical, considering how bad flash is right now for mobile devices.

Oh c'mon. Everyone knows that display device manufacturers always fake the screenshots. You can never get the lighting right to make it look anywhere near as good as IRL.
Besides that, this is just more wild speculation again which led to everyone's hope being raised too high only to be disappointed on the official announcement. Only Adobe could have ported Flash to the iPad as they have the source and they know nothing about it.

There is not going to be flash on a ipod/ipad/iphone/or anything in the ifuture. Because iapple devices do not like iflash because it's icrap and it makes for icrashes.

You're a complete moron. Do some research so you have an understanding of what flash does before making a posting such as that. Do you own an iPhone???? Are you aware that there are countless websites and videos throughout the web that we are unable to view because the iPhone does not support flash.

DoubleDown: Yes except Apple have never claimed it can do Flash and for all we know that might be a special HTML5 version of the NYT website that they will release soon.

The only thing that I would miss is Hulu. I don't care about flash ads and I don't care about Flash games. YouTube has HTML5 in beta and it works great. It's really just the player that was flash anyway... And yes, I own an iPhone and no I am not a moron.

If the iPad does or has flash I can be able to listen to media players on myspace, on someones profile or music page which I'd definitely be getting one.

Without flash the ipad is useless. Apple is advertising this as the best way to surf the web, well if some of the most popular sites can't be viewed, than it is def not the best anything.

Obviously none of you have ever tried to get video of a device like that. As someone said lighting, model, etc are never correct so what you do is fake the entire OS with a composite. Some poor designer opened up Safari on their desktop grabbed motion of the page scrolling and then composited that into the video of the device never realizing that the page even had Flash elements that wouldn't display properly, let alone start a stupid rumor like this. I doubt its even intentionally doctored since there's a good chance none of the approval process would have noticed that either unless someone opened the exact same page in their iphone.
If you believe everything in a video is real then your going to be really disappointed when you find out that the floating islands in Avatar aren't going to be discovered.

Just to weigh in on Flash itself.
Flash is a proprietary standard that's a resource hog and makes web pages obnoxious. Ads are the worst. Games, I'm sorry to hear that for people who like free games, but so many of those games are just stupid.
HTML5 and other resources are open standards and aren't obnoxious. Mobile Safari, IMHO, forces developers to design web pages with actual content. Flash is just that, flash, and not a lot of substance. You can design nice looking websites that please the viewer and sell your company without flash.
HTML was designed with accessibility in mind. Flash was designed with glitz and dollar signs in mind. Frankly if I can't access your website on my device without flash, that's the developers fault, IMHO.

My iPhone has pretty much become my primary computer and I'm looking forward to the larger screen of the iPad, but those little "Lego blocks" are frustrating. I want to sit on the sofa and watch cycling on versus.com!
The iphone OS provides a better browsing experience for me, except for all those sites that don't work. When folks go to the Apple store to try out the iPad and can't see their favorite sites, it will kill a lot of sales.
I hope that either we get flash working on the iPad (hopefully iPhone, too) or that the iPad is so popular that sites are forced to use something else. From an end user perspective, I don't really care which.

You can hate flash all you want but it's still a star of the web. I have gone to countless sites from, car to bank sit's, that were completely unviewable on the iPhone because the whole thing is built on flash. So like it or not, I still can't go to the sites I want to.

Hmm, last time I read, this is theiphoneblog.com. NOT the ipadblog.com. Tired of hearing all this and that about the iCrap.

If you watched the presentation by Jobs you would have seen that the NYT Flash section were NOT loading on the iPad (thus NO Flash).
Flash is obsolete... HTML5 and various web scripting can do most of what Flash does.

Jesus people... it's like your all Apes trying to understand tech...
the iPad uses the iPhone 3.2 SDK.
IPHONE.. so... theiphoneblog.com??
is that easy enough for you to understand?

Everyone on the Flash hating bandwagon, you don't dictate what other people like and how important one thing is for them. You can stomp around and say Flash is proprietary, but that doesn't change the fact that there are thousands of iPhone owners that want it.
@Milk you are biased against Flash, so don't yell at people for being biased against the iPad when everyone here is biased against one thing or another.

When will this html5 internet reach a point of ubiquity that flash will no longer be considered an integral part of the experience? This is not to say it is for everyone, but it's probably safe to say based on the numbers that it's just as much a part as pretty much anything else. I'm guessing we'll be a couple generations of iPads in before that really comes to fruition in a meaningful way.
You're making a sweeping generalization about the value of content to other people which doesn't really make alot of sense.
Frankly if you ignore something that prevalent on the internet, it could also be your fault for not addressing it.

I can't wait to get an iPad. I really don't care if does flash. Most of the sites I go to either don't use it, or the site isn't flash based. As far as flash videos, I'm pretty sure I can find it on youtube, if I'm that interested. I also don't have a use for flash games, they suck. I can't wait until this comes out and I won't have to buy text books anymore, or carry around my heavy Macbook Pro that gets four hours of battery life. I also agree with commenter sully.

I could honestly give a crap what you guys want and don't want - the bottom line is if I like it or not! You can all talk yourselves blue in the face about this or that piece of Apple technology missing this or that. At the end of the day I'll be counting my benjamins and laughing all the way to the bank as you poor saps whine and whine but still end up forking your cash over to the big Apple. Take a bite, it's not poisonous! ;)

lol... Apple would do this, sigh.
And seriously?
I like how people say they don't need Flash when Apple doesn't let them. And once you guys get Flash, then Apple invented it, eh?

@kedar it happens. we dnt have, we complain. we get it, its the greatest thing since sliced bread lol. just get used to it lol

I'm actually NOT bias'd against it. I don't hate it or dislike it at all.
The point i'm trying to raise here is, people are just picking out something that this thing lacks, and focus firing it. People did the same thing with the iPhone for things it lacked, and still lacks.
My point with flash is, it's really not that serious as people are making it out to be. I literally see posts like "No flash, ok i'm not buying it"
REALLY??? that's your deal breaker?? give me a freaking break here.. /facepalm

Everyone keeps bringing up Hulu, but Hulu is slowly moving to h.264 - they're already using it on the HD shows with Flash as a container. They're following YouTube with HTML5.
And gee, look what lovely thing Flash is doing in that video? It's showing a stupid advertisement. Yeah, I can live without Flash.

Maybe they're waiting to announce flash support on the ipad to coincide with the announcement of new iPhone OS. But I doubt it. Adobe seemed pretty upset that flash wouldnt be on the ipad... you'd think they would know...

Deja vu? Wasn't there once an iPhone screenshot that showed flash working on a website which caused everyone to think Flash was coming?
It is almost certainly a graphic design mistake. Or it could be on purpose, as a little error box wouldn't look good in promo material.

Somehow I don't think it would be a good promo video if the website they were displaying had the blue brick on it instead of content. Rest assured the video was doctored for that.

Yeah, I'd heard Hulu was going HTML5, too. Flash was just an easy way to do the player that a lot of people could already access.
"car to bank sit’s"
If your bank site is using Flash for anything besides ads for their own services and special offers than they are "special" as well.

We represent a company that has the answer, LTE or 4G IP architecture at the cell tower level. Alleviates most of the backhaul issues caused by the explosion of data over old networks. We need to track down the Apple manager that manages the AT&T relationship. Can anyone help.

Ok I'm a gamer, so flash is extremely importent to me because 99% of sites for upcomeing games are totally flash based. That means no loading on my iPhone and one big reason why I will not get an iPad.
Flash is also in almost all web videos. I regularly read pc hardware reviews and if I want to watch the vid that goes with it... My iPhone goes "bluebrick". So while I wouldn't want flash on the iPhone g4 if the hardware couldn't handle it. If it can support flash, apple needs to put it in os 4. And don't go saying "oh but HTML5 can do all of that" well let me tell you... HTML5 isn't going to be really big for the next couple years.

Maybe they have a switch to turn It on or off ?
The fact that they advertised it that it has very little lag time n that it has a 1GHz CPU , it should be able to handle the resource heavy flash.

@ Ice Bike
And Flash is an important tool for many people. Many are biased against Apple's anti-Flash bias. Get over it.
Gee, this is a fun game, isn't it?

I don't understand how NO flash and NO multitasking are not dealbreakers...
I mean... a netbook that costs $200 cheaper can do flash and two things at once.
Apple is just restricting and, in this case, falsely advertising.
@Stuff About LifeJaney : Flash should be done like it is being done on the Pre. You double tap on the flash box to start it. Otherwise, everything else like advertisements are near useless.
Double click to initiate it.

HTML5 will be really big THIS year, I'll pass on flash just because of the security issues, flash on the iPhone will start a slew of iPhone targeted attacks, then ppl will whine about Rick Astley videos endlessly looping on their device that won't end without a hard reset... The burden is on Adobe to create a more secure product, and in it's current state, it shouldn't be on any device...

Couldn't the graphics seen in the publicity video be of the native NYT app that was demo-ed in the initial release, rather than of the NYT website viewed through Safari? If that's the case, it would make sense that NYT video was working...
I did notice in the picture above that there's a search and address bar that look an awful lot like Safari, but I also don't know what the NYT app looks like... anyway, just thought I'd mention that possibility.

No multitasking, no flash. fail!!! I will stick to my palm pre. With true multitasking and the ability to run over 50+ applications at the same time and with flash available in Feb. you just cant beat the palm pre. and the games and apps on the palm pre and webOS has come a long way...need for speed, assasins creed, Asphlt 5, let's golf, the sims, monopoly, brothers in arms, and nfl 2010. man u cant just beat that. and it has wifi tethering..wow apple really dropped the ball on this one

h264 - patent encumbered, MPEG-LA (a group that includes Apple) is trying to force distributors to pay to use it. Neither free nor open.
Css transformations and animations - Apple applied for a patent on the very concept, trying to make a singnificant chunk of HTML 5 neither free nor open.
So please, quit the bleating about Flash being proprietary. Last I checked, developing a player and distributing flash content was still free, which puts it a step above Apple here. (Technical issues aside)

"Ok I’m a gamer, so flash is extremely importent to me because 99% of sites for upcomeing games are totally flash based."
Point taken, but I'm a gamer as well and the Modern Warfare2 and Mass Effect 2 sites work fine, so 99% isn't exactly true.
@Harold You can open 50 apps, but a) who needs to? and b) it doesn't exactly stay incredibly responsive :). WebOS is finally being upgraded to do what it had the internals to do all along -- be very similar to a 3GS with the addition of a good notification system and multitasking.

Yeah they pulled that little stunt with the iPhone too. we know better... Looks like you need to work for Apple to get the good stuff.

I love how the Flash haters are all screaming how "proprietary" Flash is. This from the people using iStuff that's to proprietary you can't even change your iBattery without sending it back to the Apple store. Show me one other phone or laptop that doesn't have a user replaceable battery?
Like it or not, there's lots of Flash out there, doing everything from page menus, to video streaming, to app front-ends, and yes, even games. It's not going anywhere any time soon, and in the mean while your iBrowsers can't view or use large chunks of the internet.
As for Flash being a hog, or being slow, that's all about the app. I've seen lots of tight efficient flash apps that don't hog a system. I can even play flash games (like FarmTown) on my Nokia N900, which has flash support, and the same processor as your beloved iPhone. Runs fine... and could run on the iPhone just fine if Apple weren't being such and iDick about things and allowed it as a plugin.

I am just now watching the keynote and the missing flash icon shows on the key note so no there isnt flash on ipad... can we also get back to thr iphone start a new blog for the pad

Thanks for that keynote information, but it's already well-known... and not the point of the article.

Get it straight, kiddies - the IPad is just an IPod touch with a larger screen. That's ALL it is. If this is such a ground breaking, revolutionary, OMIGAWD gotta have it device, then how come they didn't introduce it years ago? It's just an IPod with a bigger screen. Surely it didn't take 4 years to figure out how to enlarge an IPad??? LOL!

@Harold ya stick with the pre and run 50 apps at a time and watch your phone crawl and crash and blow up lol moron. Why do morons that have droids and pre's. Well your the first to come on here with a pre Harold. Come on the IPHONE BLOG. btw your pre is based on everything apple big boy. As far as flash goes it will be dead in a year. It's garbage and useless. What are you gonna miss the ad's. All the sites are converting as we speak. The only time my iMac or MacBook crashed was because of flash. That's until apple fixed it so only flash crashes and not the computer.

@macboy15 aka "apple fanboy" I will stick with a more technologically advanced device thank you very much. As for we "morons" We have droids and pres because they are overall a better device. One that is which more open to hack tweaks, and has overall more options than lets say an iphone 3gs or 3g. Wait whats the difference between the two again.... lets see.. slightly faster and video camera..... and oh ya webOS will have this in FEB. through a free update in webos 1.4. And you all had to pay for a new phone to get video and speed. And still no flash in 3gs. Let me tell you my friend if you had a 3g and went for a 3gs, then you are the MORON!! Apple basically jacked you for your money. And now they are trying to sell you the ipad (junk). And for your info i have windows 7 and run flash games and video all the time and it never crashes.... even my PS3 has flash. and it works fine no crashing... so get that outta here with that junk..lol and dont take it personal. this is just my opinion.

@harold Good one great point keep waiting for them catch up updates while the rest of the world are all doing it. If I have to shell out to have the best so be it. lol I have plenty of money to do so. The only thing the pre has going for it was the software. And thats because of everything rubenstein learned at Apple. The only thing it has on iphone os is multitasking. Another thing I would never use if they had it. The apps open and close way to fast.But even with a good os palm is still behind in the game. And flash is useless. I could careless about flash on anything I have the hp windows 7 computer,mbp,imac or iphone 3gs. Ill ask again why are you here? trolling ??? And dont take it personal this is just my opinion.

@macboy I will keep waiting for updates. because it seems that palm has done what apple has done but only difference is that iphone os is @ v3.?? and palm is only at webos 1.3.5. That shows a great deal of advancement for a 1.0 product. As for the only thing it has going for pal is software????.... Software is everything.. A solid OS with multitasking, great noticication, flash, 3d games, great apps...what else can i say.. and if you dont care about flash fine... but im just saying if iphone ipod or ipad users want a good web browsing experience they will be unable to do so due to lack of flash. and im just voicing my opinion.... so once again...dont take this personal this is just my opionion..lol

The importance of flash is simply that is is well over 95% ubiquitous and is the number one way to deliver video across multiple platforms / browsers. When I say the number "one" way, that does NOT mean it is YOUR favorite nor mine, but simply that it is the most dominant way out there. My job is video on the web and flash is the medium in which all standards derive from so to speak. HTML5 is a beautiful thing, but I guarantee you it is not as ubiquitous as flash is today and will not be for some time. When it is, this is all a moot subject. It is an absolute deal breaker that the iPad does not support flash as it markets itself as the "best" way to view the web yet it simply can't handle the support of what is todays standard way in which to deliver video content.
Are there other ways...sure. However Flash is the 800lbs gorilla in the room for the time being. Its time apple just "made it work."

prety gud idea. very smart design 10* out of 10.
but the problem is " no flash, no camera for video chating, and i dunno about multi-tasking.
but question is.... can i use ipad as a replacement for laptop.
can i use my printer with ipad, external hdd, memory card reader.
i think ipad is a bigger iphone.

any one ever mention flash's lack of security??? if this is a true business tool i'd like to use it with vmware fusion and backtrack 4 if it can support it. but for testing wifi security this could prove potential. cough.... someone could write an app for network coverage.. security... accesspoint mapping.? who knows im just a student. but what i do know with 10 hours of battery life a script kiddie could do some damage on a bus route

I think the issue is that Flash is very resource heavy, so putting it on to a mobile device and getting that device to still run smoothly could be a difficult task. All the mobile phones that I've ever used that have a web browser, which uses Flash, have been very clunky. I think that Apple steer clear of it for that reason - yes, it does help to have Flash to access many websites (even university/school portals for some students), however I think that from Apple's POV they don't want to slow up their device.

No flash support, no iPad thanks. iPhone is already a pain for my daily use. Will get Microsoft Courier if it ever get released, or else, may be HP TM2 for now till iPad supports flash. (not hoping it to support ActiveX and I can do without ActiveX)