∞ Flash on iPad? Ball's in Apple's court, says Adobe CTO

Adobe’s chief technology officer, Kevin Lynch, has posted a defense of Flash technology to the company’s blog area. Lynch’s comments are aimed at criticism of Flash as a technology absent on the iPhone and iPad.

“We are ready to enable Flash in the browser on these devices if and when Apple chooses to allow that for its users, but to date we have not had the required cooperation from Apple to make this happen,” said Lynch.

Lynch didn’t provide further details about what cooperation Adobe needed to make Flash work on the iPhone OS platform.

Lynch pointed out the irony of Flash’s absence on the iPad, as the software was originally developed in the 1990s as a vector-based drawing application for a pen-based operating system called PenPoint, which ran on graphical tablets.

Apple’s “walled approach” to blame

Lynch claims that Apple is the only major manufacturer of smartphones not working with Adobe to get Flash Player 10.1 working on their platform. He cited efforts in progress with Google, RIM, Nokia, Palm “and many others” to get the technology working on phones, tablets, netbooks, and televisions equipped with Internet connectivity.

He also took a swipe at Apple’s App Store, referring to a “walled approach, where a manufacturer tries to determine what users are able to see or approves and disapproves individual content and applications.”

“We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device,” said Lynch.

Addresses Flash crashing and performance issues

Lynch said that Adobe doesn’t ship Flash with any “known crash bugs,” and suggests that while Adobe will “work to resolve any real issues,” he attributes such reports to either “an upswing in incidents” or “a general piling on.”

Critics say that Flash’s performance is sluggish and that its processing is inefficient on the Mac. He said that Flash Player 10.1 makes significant improvements in this area by using Mac OS X’s CoreAnimation technology and optimized video rendering that reduces CPU usage “by half.”

  • Kvanh

    Ball may be in Apple's court, but Apple isn't even playing so we can all just standard around and watch.

    Flash 10.1 improves performance? Ship it and prove it, don't claim it, and does it crash less? And it took you what 4-5 years versions to figure out your flash player on the Mac sucked? Yay! Adobe treats Mac users like 3rd class citizens but wants first class access to iphone OS.

    • That's the big point, isn't it — Apple doesn't even want to play the game.

    • I've been running the Flash 10.1 beta on my iMac for a while now. It's a LITTLE better, but I still can't fullscreen 480p hulu video on my 24" iMac without it getting massively choppy. I'm not even sure how much of their optimization affects video …and that's about the only thing I end up using Flash to see.

  • “We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device,” said Lynch.

    Is it me or is there a bit of irony in that statement? How exactly is Flash "open"?

  • Perry Clease

    >How exactly is Flash "open"?

    When it crashes the doors fly open 🙂

    Seriously maybe he means that there is no charge to install the Flash plugin. There is no charge for the QuickTime plugin either.

  • Maybe we should send Kevin our safari crash reports which have flash at the top of the stack

    • If you're holding back crash reports that cite Flash, then you absolutely should be sending them to Adobe. Unless they are going to just count them in the "piling on" column. 😉

  • Jay Ethridge

    Adobe has proven itself to be an untrustworthy partner to Apple. Flash has been a poor performer on Mac OS for years and Adobe has done nothing about it. Apple created Carbon to ease the transition to Mac OS X for Adobe and Microsoft and Adobe repays them by hanging on to 32 bit while upgrading Windows products to 64 bit.

    Adobe has managed every transition on their schedule with little regard for Apple.

    Give Apple credit for not entering into another abusive relationship by allow Flash on the iPhone/iPad platform.

    • Jim Pressley

      Ah, the abusive relationship analogy! Not bad, actually. So is Apple the abused and battered wife, and now (after all those years) she is filing for a divorce?! Well then, can't blame her. But why didn't she dump the fella earlier?

  • James Katt

    Adobe's statement that Flash 10.1 in Mac OS X is twice as fast as previous versions is LAUGHABLE. All this means is that Flash 10.1 is Mac OS X is FIVE TIMES SLOWER than Flash in Windows.

    Adobe's statement that they don't ship Flash with any known crash bugs is LAUGHABLE. Since Flash causes nearly every Safari crash, all this means is that Adobe's programmers SUCK and are IDIOTIC.

    If the ball is in Apple's court, then Apple is saying FLASH IS DEAD, MOVE ON TO THE FUTURE: HTML 5, CSS Animation, H.264, AJAX and Javascript. These are all built in to modern web browsers and do not need a crashing plug-in.

  • Joe

    By half, huh? That must explain why – with 10.1 – my MacBook Pro fan kicks in every. single. time. Also why every time (yes, every time) I see a crash report, Flash is front and center.


    No, I'm sorry, wait, that doesn't explain it … :

  • We have nothing but trouble with flash on our new Windows 7 machine. I say bring on html5, and get rid of the proprietary flash on the web…

  • Simon Therm

    Flash sucks, and so does the concept of non-policed apps as "open…" All you peeps that want an "open" system for apps, have fun as your whatever phone is hacked, hobbled, and you buy something that isn't delivered…I for one am glad somebody is testing and approving apps for my beloved iPhone. HTML5! Make Flash go the way of the floppy drive….

  • Tom Waits

    Adobe have no idea … The ball's in Apple's court?! – I guess that's why they're advocating HTML5 Adobe especially when a bug you've known about since 2008 still crashes Flash …



    Gave the link a try and it works for me … BOOM! (be sure you've finished with your Safari pages before following the second link!)

  • Flash is a bloated Windows technology that has never run well on Macs. If Adobe were sincere about their desire to see Flash on Apple platforms they would work with Apple to optimize Flash so that it ran as fast on Apple platforms, if not faster, than on other platforms. If they could stand up and say "Flash is best on Apple hardware" then I'm sure Apple would embrace it. The fact of the matter is that the ball is, and has always been, in Adobe's court. They just need to look down at their feet where they dropped it.

  • Jim Pressley

    If the ball is in Apple's court…. then Apple is heading towards a new basketball stadium called "The HTML5 Arena".

  • auramac

    Adobe has been getting progressively more arrogant and anti-Mac for years now. Even Microsoft treats the Mac with more respect.

  • Martin

    Surely Apple and Adobe not working well together is bad for both their businesses. Graphic designers tend to favour Macs over PC and use Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash etc so if Adobe leaves Apple then surely the designers will be forced to either emulate the program or turn to PCs. So doesn't that hurt Apple sales? Though actually I guess Adobe wouldn't care about that.

    • AdST

      True! but I'm not moving to CS5 on a PC. I won't be leaving my Mac that easy… and go back to Windows? … no way!