Commentary

Apple Hating On Flash, Again

Just recently, Apple has released its latest and greatest innovation in the form of their newly redesigned Macbook Air. The computer itself represents an amazing feat of engineering as Apple has managed to fit all of its major components in a slick unibody case that at its fattest point is just over half an inch.

Its sexy design wasn't what caught my attention though, It was apple's choice to ditch pre-installed flash on their latest Mac. It now appears that Apple is determined to keep flash off their entire future line of notebook and desktop computers, and while it may not be there when you buy it, consumers are still more then welcome to download Adobe Flash Player manually to their newly purchased machines.

Now this may not seem like a big deal, but I find conflict between these two companies appalling. For those who have missed the fireworks between two companies, Its was sparked between Apples refusal to place flash on its mobile devices. If you have ever tried play Farmville on your iPhone or iPad, your screen would most likely be filled with the wonderful big blue lego block that indicates that Flash isn't supported on your device.

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I can understand Apple's disdain for Flash. It's a power sucker on mobile devices, it's responsible for the majority of browser crashes, and no one actually wants to disable all of those annoy flash ads, but for all its faults Flash is still ubiquitous on the Internet, providing the software environment for tens of thousands of online games, and millions of video streams.

The problem that I have had with the entire situation is that way Apple has handled it. Apple has released numerous public statements, including a written post by Steve Jobs, openly mocking Adobe Flash faults, and while Apple may claim those to be the reason for Flash's exclusion on their mobile devices, I firmly believe its for other reasons.

I'm rooted in my beliefs that Apple wages this war on flash more so for the control that it takes away from Apples business model. If iPhones and other Apple mobile devices allowed Flash it allow software developers to have free rein to sell apps directly to consumers, bypassing Apples app store and that is a big no-no and for those who are familiar with Apple’s online stores are probably aware of the tight control and regulation that they have over them.

Regardless, it's my firm belief that cooperation works better then simply ignoring the problem, and when the problem is as ubiquitous as Flash it’s not simply going to go away because you want it to. It's apart of our daily lives and I can't say that about the iPad.

1 comment about "Apple Hating On Flash, Again".
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  1. Anthony Ellertson from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, November 1, 2010 at 9:49 a.m.

    I agree cooperation is better and Apple's position is driven by a business model and not a technological issue. In fact, Flash 10.1 player is faster than HTML5 & and does not suck any more battery life than other media intensive apps.

    Please see:
    http://www.techeye.net/mobile/flash-10-1-better-than-html5-on-mobile-says-man

    I think the real test of what is going on comes from watching Adobe. Although they are a business and obviously want to make money, they also work with industry partners for the benefit of all. The latest release of AIR 2.5 is an excellent example.
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371419,00.asp

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