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Summary:

Steve Jobs has been bad-mouthing Adobe’s Flash once again, according to a recent Business Insider report. The Apple head honcho recently visited the Wall Street Journal to demonstrate the iPad. During his stay he allegedly criticized Adobe’s Flash technology, with the intent to move the popular […]

Steve Jobs has been bad-mouthing Adobe’s Flash once again, according to a recent Business Insider report. The Apple head honcho recently visited the Wall Street Journal to demonstrate the iPad. During his stay he allegedly criticized Adobe’s Flash technology, with the intent to move the popular broadsheet newspaper away from using the web display technology.

The report details that Apple’s CEO attempted to convince the Journal by downplaying Flash, describing it as a “CPU hog” that has “security holes.” He then added that Apple does not “spend a lot of energy on old technology” comparing Flash to other dead technologies, including Floppies, Firewire and even the humble CD. This continued dislike for Flash comes after Jobs downplayed Adobe’s technology at a town hall meeting with Apple employees earlier this month.

But could the typically forward-thinking Steve Jobs, and in turn Apple, be acting too quickly in disregarding Flash? It’s commonly accepted that Adobe’s Flash does not run as effectively on Mac platforms as it does on Windows, with Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch even accepting that there are some problems. However, due to Flash’s widespread adoption, it seems that labeling it as a dead technology now is a premature move.

The iPad’s widely reported lack of Flash means you can’t watch your favorite shows on Hulu, crop your corn on FarmVille or watch the latest video on the New York Times. Of course these are just a few examples of what a future without Flash would be like. But with hundreds of thousands of web sites playing host to flash content, it could be years before Apple’s desire becomes reality and a move away from the format is seen. So what alternatives could Apple be hoping to replace Adobe’s prevalent plugin with?

HTML5 is the immediately obvious choice for replacing Flash, with Apple itself already using it. But as TheNextWeb points out, the technology is not quite ready yet, with a number of issues holding it back. Currently only a few browsers support it, and full integration is not in sight. Feedback from early experiments have also not been overly positive, with users of YouTube’s HTML5 demo claiming it to be unsatisfactory and slow.

Beyond HTML5, Apple is also known for its love affair with the H.264 video standard. The video compression format is what makes YouTube work on your iPhone, and is also integrated into QuickTime. However due to hefty licensing rules imposed by MPEG-LA, the standard is not going to become mainstream anytime soon.

So, with other standards not quite ready to step up to the mark and Flash not disappearing anytime soon, it seems that Jobs’ campaign of hate will have to remain just that, purely vocal. It seems that iPhone and future iPad users will just have to get used to those blue Lego bricks.

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  1. My love of Vimeo.com says it’s not dying….

    1. Interesting, because Vimeo might have a different opinion about that http://vimeo.com/blog:268

  2. It’s not dying, but given Flash Player crashed on me 8 times today…

  3. Flash better be dead. Really.

  4. I regularly use a Flash-blocker on my browsers whenever possible. So, I’m no fan of Flash.

    But, besides the fact that Flash is a CPU Hog on the Mac, I think Apple’s move to not support Flash is also a business decision as well. If you think about it, they are kind of forcing developers to produce Objective-C / iTunes App-Store versions of their software (games, etc.) if developers want to have a presence on the iPad/iPhone. They’d lose a lot of control if anyone could make a Flash app on random websites.

  5. Steve Jobs Labels Adobe’s Flash a Dying Technology, But is It? | iBlogAuto Friday, February 19, 2010

    [...] Source [...]

  6. Steve Jobs need a good ole dose of STFU. You can’t run farmville on an iPad , but it sure looks like there’s a thick layer of snobville being applied to the apple platform. Apple is suffering from a case of forgetting their roots. I remember a time (not all that long ago,) when the only REAL reason to own a mac was to get at Adobe Photoshop. They were otherwise fairly useless to the development and productivity crowd.

    As a developer (flash, python, & other including iPhone,) I don’t want to be told what I can and can’t run on an operating system. Apple will be learning this sore lesson in the coming months when the droid surpasses the iPhone on its sole merit as a better platform to use and develop on for that very reason. They’ll also discover this fact when they find that their projected sales for the iPad are in the proverbial bathroom trashcan (sorry ladies, couldn’t resist.)

    As a Mac User (I own 4 thank you,) I REALLY don’t want to hear about flash as a dead technology when there is NOTHING out there to properly compete with either it’s level of sophistication or its market share. If Apple were able to pull it’s head from its ass it would see that using a open source scripting language based on popular scripting standards (instead of an antiquated C variant,) is what DEVELOPERS want. DEVELOPERS (not Steve Jobs,) dictate what is and isn’t usable for end-users in the real world. So Steve, while I enjoy your computer products, you’re losing this fan-boy with your big fat mouth.

    Don’t believe me? Bye-Bye iPhone… Hello Droid…. Cancelled my crap at&t account on Saturday and couldn’t be happier with my new phone… Apple, remember your roots, and humble yourself, or your developer base will do it for you…. Peace.. I’m out!

    1. what developer base??
      those LMAO 200k

      it is the age of platform variety (flash, unity,…), the age where html and other old school standards will fall.

  7. Besides the fact that Flash crashes almost daily, and it eats my CPU like chocolate, it is NOT a web standard, how would you plan to use it on a touchscreen device? Flash is used for video, games, ads, ads websites and other things, most of them require you to hover over something with a mouse cursor to get an extra menu, playback controls, and control the game. How do you do that with a finger? You could touch it once to act as a hover, but what if you can also “click” there, then what do you do?

    Many websites, games and other things also require the use of a keyboard to control the character for instance, the only problem is that the keyboard takes up a good majority of the screen on the ipad and iPhone. There are many other little things that just won’t work on a touchscreen device, without super fancy combinations of gestures and taps to do things that a general user will not figure out.

    Flash on a touchscren device has major usability concerns. Apple would get a lot of customers wondering how to do this and that. I think that Apple could provide a way to play Flash video themselves, but everything won’t work. I think Apple made a good decision to leave Flash off of the iPhone OS.

  8. It ain’t going to disappear anytime soon and on the ipad that will be a glowing frustration for users, you’re not holding the internet in your hand, you only able to hold 99% of it, the other 1% is flash and you can’t view that.

    Its one thing to say its crap, can’t do etc but Apple should tell us what they are going to help replace it. I don’t care but I will care when I visit a website and have to view the content on another device just to see ALL the content.

  9. Flash may be buggy and a CPU hog but I think there may be another reason why Apple ban Flash from its iPhone and iPad. You can build simple games and applications in Flash and delivers through web-broswer. Imagine playing Flash games and using Flashing applications on the iPhone Safari, Apple will have no control over them. This I believe this is something Apple do not want to see but cannot admit directly.

    1. As was said earlier… These Flash apps you speak of are going to be entirely useless unless they’re specifically designed for touch devices. Go play a flash game and when you’re don’t try to figure out how you would be able to use it with out a mouse or keyboard.

      1. 80% of click based games work without the 20min optimisation for touch devices. the rest needs additional input, like rollover, …

        the perfect tool for gaming will still remain the Windows PC doesn’t matter if web or desktop. even consoles are having trouble macing that.

    2. I don’t think Apple has anything to worry about from Flash games, which are really quite basic and don’t compare to well designed iPhone games (independent of the whole interface argument).

      Flash on the new iMacs runs fine. No crashes and speed is fine. But there’s no question that Flash causes my laptop to run hot and drain the battery. I’d hate to have that happen to my phone.

      So I agree with Apple’s decision.

    3. I was under the impression that developers could develop for the iphone and ipod touch without going through the app store. Is it not true, that before the app store, developers could only run application via the web. At the time everybody complained about not having a SDK. Go figure.

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