IPhone and iPad will never support Flash! True Story!

IPhone and iPad will never support Flash! True Story!

Steve Jobs posted an open letter yesterday explaining why Flash is banned from iPhones, iPods and iPads.

He started saying that he hasn’t got anything against Adobe and also reminded us that once Apple owned 20% of Adobe.

There are 6 reasons, he says, why they don’t and never will use Flash.

1 Openness

Jobs says that flash is a proprietary platform and that they prefer their devices to be based on open standards like HTML5, CSS and javascript. They don’t want them to be based on a platform that it is controlled by a single company, like flash is.

2 The full web

Many say that without flash the users’ experience of the “Full web” is compromised and that 75% of all online video is in Flash. This is not true for Jobs as he notes that H.264 is a more modern format for video and Apple’s devices have no problem playing videos encoded in H.264. Numerous providers support it already, such as Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic and others. YouTube videos are also viewable through the embedded video player in Apple’s devices.

On the fact that users cannot play flash games Jobs answers that there are more than 50.000 games already in the AppStore.

3 reliability, security and performance

Jobs says that Flash has security holes and he also claims it is the number one reason Macs crash. He never saw a mobile device run smoothly.

4 Battery life

No hardware decoding for fFash video. Software decoding drains the battery. For example… (Job words) “On an iPhone H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained”

5 Touch

Most Flash sites where developed to be used with a mouse. There is no rollover concept in touch devices. Even if Flash was supported most sites should be rebuilt from scratch.

6 The most important reason

Adobe wants developers to use Flash to develop applications that run on Apple’s mobile devices. This would create a third layer between the platform and the developer which would result to sub-standard applications. Additionally if developers depend on this third party layer, they can only take advantage of new platform features only when the third party adopts them and Adobe historically wasn’t an early adopter.

Is there anyone that still wonders whether the new iPhone will support Flash? I must admit that Jobs’ reasoning has a solid base. The results so far are in his favor.

If you want to read the whole letter you can find it here.

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Nikos is a Web Developer and Consultant and has put many years of work on web technologies. His interests lie in the Content Management, eCommerce and Web Publishing area. He's been involved in the development of numerous big sites and projects back in his home country, Greece, and in the design and implementation of several Web applications.

Nikos has written 44 awesome articles.

One Comment to “IPhone and iPad will never support Flash! True Story!”

  1. dejan.jacimovic 25 May 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    I definitely think this is more than enough – it’s good to know why anyway. Thanks Nikos!


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