One of the biggest questions we get when it comes to iPhones/iPads is “why won’t Apple put Flash on it?”. While it has largely been speculative up to now, Steve laid down the law today and clearly laid out, in gruesome detail, why Flash won’t be on the devices now, or ever. There is no question that this is one of the most frank and brutally direct explanations I have ever seen and quite honestly I am extremely pleased he did it. You can read the article here to get all of the details we will gloss over here.
In my opinion the article can be summed up with these two paragraphs:
“The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.
New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”
There is almost no more direct a way to say what had to be said to [hopefully] put this issue to rest for good. While some I know quite well may disagree with me I am not a) sad to see Flash officially banned from the device or b) of the mindset that this will affect anything when it comes to the constantly evolving ecosystem of the Apple universe. While this does not mean I am anti-Flash as a rule, I do share Apple’s opinion that this is not an appropriate solution for the device. Plain and simple.
What is even more disturbing to me is the increasingly loud clamor coming from the Adobe camp about Apple’s decision. It is even specifically called out in Steve’s rant that they should spend time developing an HTML 5 tool instead of waging a PR battle hinged on the argument that it is today’s de facto platform. Who honestly cares about today’s best. If Apple has done nothing over their lifespan it is that tomorrow has always been more important and ultimately vastly more interesting than today.
Being in the web design and development world for quite some time now we have an inside look at our peer’s perceptions and opinions of where the industry is heading. Not one that I have seen can say that HTML 5 does not stand a solid chance of relieving Flash of its crown in the very near future. To this end I struggle to understand why anyone would make such obviously short sighted commentary instead of getting off their butts and making the product better.
Lastly, to build on a previous theme here of Apple not being the only one, just the loudest, I call to attention another excerpt from the decree:
“In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will perform?”
While I cannot imagine what Adobe could possibly say back to this, I do look forward to seeing what they come up with.