∞ Steve Jobs was right, Flash fails on Android

Many people have been giving Adobe the equivalent of “put up or shut up,” when it comes to the debate over Flash on a mobile device. The company shipped mobile Flash on Android and the first results are in — Fail. Writing for Laptop magazine, Avram Piltch tried Flash on the new Droid 2 using Android 2.2. Piltch’s first reaction to the technology was telling. “I’m sad to admit that Steve Jobs was right. Adobe’s offering seems like it’s too little, too late.”

How bad is mobile Flash? When I went to ABC.com and tried to play a clip, I waited five minutes while the player said “loading.” During that time, it was nearly impossible to scroll around the page or tap objects on it. Eventually, I scrolled up to see a message that was previously obstructed and said “Sorry. An error occurred while attempting to load the video. Please try again later.” It gets worse…

And it definitely got worse. From trying to play television episodes from Fox to Flash-based games, the experience continue to falter.

Many of the games I loaded were slow to start and slowed the system, making it difficult to scroll around the page or tap on links. But much worse was that, even when these titles loaded, there was no way to control most of the action. Most games required keyboard or mouse actions I simply could not perform on my phone, even with its QWERTY slider. One shooter wanted me to hit the CTRL key to fire; another asked for the left mouse button.

Piltch’s experiences fit right in with what Steve Jobs said about Flash in his open letter, published in late April. In it, Jobs outlined why Apple decided not to use Flash in its mobile devices.

“Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers,” said Jobs. “For example, many Flash websites rely on ‘rollovers’, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

“Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.”

Jobs was just as direct during the D8 Technology conference in June. Jobs said he told Adobe that “if you ever have this thing running fast, come back and show us,” but they never did.

“If the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices, we listen to the market,” said Jobs. “We’re just people running this company. We at least have the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product.”

During its fiscal third quarter, the first that the iPad was available, Apple sold 3.27 million iPads, beating all analyst expectations for the device.

  • Cool. It would have been very bad for Apple if the first Mobile Flash device would have been a success. Jobs may be a bit radical sometimes, but he’s not stupid!

  • Jhon

    Great! Jobs.

  • Vamsmack

    I laughed so hard I threw up a bit in my mouth.

  • IcyFog

    Glad Adobe moved on and away from my Apple computers.

  • Tom

    Does the droid fail to live up to fandroid hype? Yes!

    Droid does!

  • Tom

    Does the droid rely on inferior software on stolen jvm code? Yes!

    Droid does!

  • This really made me laugh. A collegue was bragging how great his Android phone was because it would run flash.

    I’ve brought this article to his attention!

  • Observer

    When will some clever programmers come up with an application that somehow automatically converts today’s Flash web sites to their equivelant html5 version for mobile devices?

    Such an application would sell like … an iPad.

  • Daniel Swanson

    It’s never been political. Steve Jobs simply took a stand against old technology, deciding not to support it.

    Though the door has been open for Adobe to fix Flash, the writing on the wall has seemed to me to be both damning and inevitable. The inventors and developers of Flash didn’t foresee iOS’ tough interface, nor the need for strict resource management for mobile devices.

    Flash has had its day, but it’s over.

  • Daniel Swanson

    Oops. That’s “touch”, not “tough.”

  • T

    We don’t need Flash.

    YouTube, Vimeo, and other video providers support H.264/HTML5. Hulu and Netflix have free App Store apps. iAds is a success. There are plenty of games worth playing in the App Store.

  • ranova

    Christ, I have never seen so many Apple fanboys in one sitting before.

    Flash runs fine, both on Android AND iPhone. Installing “Frash” on the iPhone via Cydia allows flash to run perfectly.

    Stop the blather and single visioning that Steve Jobs is a god.

    • Tom

      It’s not a question of blathering or mistaking any CEO for a deity. It’s simply carefully considering the value of a product as it was intended. The iPhone, not jailbroken, is a great mobile product. Flash is a great desktop product of the last decade. The two simply don’t mix.

    • Tom

      Besides, you are starting to sound like a fandroid!

      • Jay

        I’d take a fandroid any day to being a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ victim that all Apple fanbois are.

        • Tom

          You throw these big terms around like you know what you’re talking about! NOT! On August 23rd, 1973 two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified bank employees “The party has just begun!” The two bank robbers held four hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August 28th.

          After their rescue, the hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused, and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their captors.

          So, tell me, just how does any of this relate to flash on an android phone failing miserably?

          Try sticking to the subject, ok?

          FLASH FAILS!


          • Jay

            Gee… looks like you just looked up the term “Stockholm Syndrome” and you, as with anyone new to something, don’t have a clue where it fits. Let me make it simple for you: Jobs is your captor – locked you away in his little Jobs World. Now you are in love with him. Is that a simple enough explanation for the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’?

          • Tom

            Jobs is your captor – locked you away in his little Jobs World. Now you are in love with him.

            Hey , Jay! This comment of yours is so outrageously ridiculous and hilarious, it stunned me, leaving me speechless! Do you HONESTLY believe that Steve Jobs is anyone’s captor? Do you REALLY believe he has a little world, “Job’s World”? Can’t you tell the difference between being really satisfied with a product and loving the CEO of the company that made the product?

            If there is no difference, shouldn’t someone apply the Stockholm Syndrome to you, captive of Google, pulverized by G.Search, and a devoted lover of — Eric Schmit?

            Truly pathetic!

            (hands suspended high over Jay’s head in a gesture of dismissal): You will now go home and rethink your life!

          • Jay

            Chill @Tom. No need to get your briefs in a twist. That was a tongue-in-cheek comment. No need to get all abusive. I don’t give a damn who makes my phone as long as it serves me ok. What I’ll not have is some egg-head telling me what to do with the equipment I paid for. Jobs is just another shyster (admittedly a smart one) who gouges his customers. He may be your ‘God’. He’s not mine. Sorry.

          • This is what is typically described when someone sells a refrigerator to an Eskimo.

            Jobs tried selling the Apple Newton to the world. The world puked on it. So, Jobs polished the turd, and now the world is falling all over it like it’s a Wii.

          • Ted

            Ah, what? Steve Jobs wasn’t even around when the Newton was developed and sold. You mean John Sculley. Jobs wasn’t at Apple from 1985 to 1996.

            And while the Newton was a masterpiece of engineering, it was too ahead of its time, it took the iPhone to bring the Newton to the masses.

  • Gustavo M

    Android is not the first flash mobile platform. Nokia N900 had Flash 9.4 since its release last year. Even have a solution for the rollovers (you drag your finger from the left screen border and have a mouse pointer) despite whatever Jobs think.

    I agree that playing flash movies have a big cost in battery life, but flash is not just playing videos. Games, “live” elements on sites and things like that mean that not having flash=losing part/all of the content you want to access.

  • J

    Mobile Adobe Flash isn’t really the problem from reading the article.

    The particular Games that the author wanted to play were not designed with a mobile device in mind. They were designed specifically for the PC.

    It’s much the same way that nearly Every mobile web-browser experience was FAIL when the first web-enabled phone appeared.

    • Tom

      It seems that the mobile experience is rather theoretical for you. The whole failure of flash is that its content is not designed for the mobile experience. Reconsidering the disastrous results documented in the underlying article, you must come to the conclusion that, for performance and battery life, flash is not the answer.

  • T

    Flash is antiquated technology, and it is being replaced by open standards. My points above are proof.

    People keep acting like Flash is necessary, but it is not. There are alternatives available today. Ignorance or astroturfing doesn’t change that.

  • jordache

    Do you guys really think that flash is less efficent than say, the Safari web browser? Flash is a highly optimized piece of software. The reason why its having problems is because it can simply do a lot more than web browsers can by themselves. HTML5 is a pitiful attempt at matching basic features of flash, but it will be a long time before its a real competitor. Want to switch your site from Flash to HTML5? Great, be prepared to be able to do a lot less.

  • Dimath

    This article is just an apple BS.

  • brandon

    I don’t know, I came across a few sites in my normal browsing where flash is used for a splash page or navigation. It was nice to have it. Seems like it’s better to have something that works a little rather than completely leaving it out.

  • Krock

    Huh, loaded up abc.com on my nexus one, no issues playing any videos there. Loaded up armorgames.com, no issues loading or playing any flash games on their mobile site. Even if neither of these worked well at all I would still be glad I at least have the option.

    Sounds like the Droid 2 needs it’s flash updated is all.

    • Anthony

      I agree 100%. On my Droid, flash runs great! Some videos run a bit choppy, but that’s because the videos are all high-res. I’ve had no other issues with any other flash content. The flash player loads quickly, does its thing, and exists quickly. I’ve found myself using it more and more (it’s not perfect, but it does work quite well)…

      And this is on a completely stock Droid 1. On a phone with half the processor power of the Droid 2. So I’d assume there’s some regression that will be fixed with a software update.

      Don’t base an opinion of an entire platform on a single device test. Flash isn’t that bad on Android. It’s not 100% perfect, but I’m much happier having the option than being forced to see the little blue box…

      • Lyndon

        Well said Anthony.

        I just upgraded to Froyo on an HTC Desire, went to a couple of websites using Flash and had no problems.

        The few games I tried worked fine as well as video on the BBC news website.

    • Chris

      I agree. I have encountered zero problems with Flash on my Nexus One. It works flawlessly. I have no experience with Droid phones, and as a web developer myself, I’m not really a fan of Flash, but… it’s great to be able to watch video and browse sites that use Flash when needed.

      I’m not sure if this article is Apple propaganda or if it’s a Droid issue or if the author just had something messed up, and I can’t speak for others, but… Flash 10 does indeed work very well for me on my Nexus One. No problems so far.

      Also, since a lot of people don’t seem to understand… Droid does NOT equal Android. Droid is a line of phones from Verizon/Motorola that run the Android operating system and any device that runs Android 2.2 (Droid or otherwise) can run Flash.

    • rock99rock

      This article is a complete failure, and the author is obviously not qualified to make such bold and encompassing statements such as “Flash Fails on Android”.

      If Jim took the time to properly gather facts, test multiple devices and do proper research (you know, like a proper article should reflect), then he would see that this is a problem with the Droid X, and not “Flash on Android”, which he so generally stated.

      Unless this was some blatant attempt to get uniques (in which case that speaks for itself), the author needs to read up on “Fact Checking”. It is an essential part of writing up a non-fiction article if you want to be taken seriously.

      • Tom

        Checking the facts, we notice the article review referenced a droid 2, not the Droid X. Also, one might have noticed the above article was a review of another article. In that other article, for Laptop, the author was letting the other shoe drop: since 2007, Apple has refused to ship iOS products with flash capability because flash performance was poor and it consumed battery life. Adobe pouted and threw down its gauntlet, saying it would go to Android. The OS finally reached 2.2, on an advanced droid 2! So the author got one, ran flash for android, and saw it still had performance issues. So, nothing has changed yet. Flash still runs poorly even on android 2.2, and if the battery impact was assessed, I betcha it too would be pretty lousy!

        Check your facts.

        • Nobody said Flash wouldn’t run poorly… but that it would run. It does run, so it has succeeded. Success and failure is based on the goal trying to be accomplished, not the expectations of small minds.

          If that were the case, we should have closed the Internet a long time ago because it has clearly been one huge failure.

        • rock99rock

          Tom, you have issues in the head.

          Granted I dropped the ball on droid x/droid 2, but thats neither here NOR there.

          You are still basing your opinion off a device that is less than 2 weeks old!!! I laugh in your general direction. You think the manufacturer has already optimized the OS?

          Have you ONCE thought to blame Motorola? What makes you think checking one brand new device can equate that flash runs poorly on all 2.2 devices? Have you ever used a “control” in science class?

          Anything you say has and will hence-forth lose any merit because you come to conclusions without any foundation, just one single instance (on an un-proven device, yet to be updated by the manufacturer).

          Learn to use facts. Quit trolling. The amount/type of responses to this overly biased article should give you some idea that it is laughably idiotic.

    • Tom

      You manufacturing the nexus one now? Since Google gave up on it after verizon and sprint did, somebody has got to give us that one great android phone that runs flash well with no flash upgrade.

      Doncha suppose the droid 2 came with the most updated and advanced flash it could get to show how great android phones can run flash?

      Hard to change yer mind once ya made a mistake?

      • No. There aren’t 15 different versions of Flash for Android. There is only one, and it’s a very early release.

  • It was always about the principle, really. While Flash may be pointless on a small device and may “fail”… the purpose of a device to develop on (like computers have been for decades) is that people should be ALLOWED to try new things that will eventually fail. You can’t truly succeed until enough failures have helped pave the way.

    With Android phones, people may write software that ultimately gets ignored or used very little, but it helps to pave the way to the future. It’s a true Democracy.

    With Apple phones, even if Steve Jobs is smart, the future will only be his… and no matter how smart the guy is, no single expert can ever beat the wisdom of the crowd. His vision, no matter how grand, will eventually fail to keep up with the vision of thousands of collective developers on a device that allows failures and successes equally.

    Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci was told he was only allowed to use a certain limited set of colors, for instance. Steve’s vision for others is too restrictive, even if it does work well. It only works well for his company and leaves all consumers and other companies as slaves to an unforgiving master.

    • Tom


      Oh, brother!

    • Ted

      your comment is complete nonsense, apple users demand the very best, they want the cream of technology, they could care less about the medocracy of the android or windows “crowd”. you just accept lower standards, we do not.

      • chris

        Thats not true, technology wise apple products have been lagging behind their competitors for years. The thing they do better is design, and packaging existing technology within that design, then subsiquently marketing the existing tech people know about under new marketing names (‘retina’ display for example) which makes fanboys believe they are getting the latest and greatest…

        • Tom

          It’s obvious you’ve not had the experience of actually LOOKING at an iPhone 4 displaying perfection. I moved from an iPhone 3G of 2008 vintage to the iPhone 4 this last month. The difference in stunning. People! We are talking about an actual device! Not just political jousting! Fast app switching, startling display, snappy response, two days on a battery recharge. C’mon! This thing is MILES beyond anything htc, etal can puke up against it. If AAPL has fans, it’s because they EARNED it!

        • Tom

          Oh, and flash? Never miss it!

      • Chris

        Your comment is also nonsense. iOS is a great platform, and so is Android. Everyone here is getting way, way too religious. The real problems here seem to be with users’ attitudes, not the technology. I’ve used friends’ iphones, and they’re awesome. I have an Android phone myself (a personal choice for my own personal reasons), and it’s awesome too.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with diversity and choice. Just sit back and relax. You’ll find life a lot nicer if you accept that there are different things for different people and that not everyone has to agree with you and might just prefer something else.

        • Justin L

          Exactly, choice is great. I happen to prefer C#/.NET/Silverlight, but I certainly wouldn’t support edging the other choices out of the scene. If anything, it would be great if Apple brought a safe form of Objective-C and Cocoa to the browser, too. Not that I’d use it, I’d rather sell my equipment and mop floors, but I don’t feel that all programmers should have my favorite platform shoved down their throats.

          There’s no technical reason why the various platforms can’t be safely implemented to coexist in all the major browsers, and having major companies evangelizing certain development tools and demonizing others only harms the spectrum of choices and interoperability for developers and consumers.

        • Jayman

          I agree. Choice is good. But some of the comments on here by Apple fans defies logic. Just because droid has flash support (which apparently has problems working in the mobile space) doesn’t make it crap and resultantly make iOS superior. At least they tried to make it work and DOES work well for some. In the end, open platforms always prevail – not before a lot of teething troubles though. People will gravitate to the ethos they feel comfortable with. With such draconian controls, I’d never buy an iPhone but that is my personal choice and I don’t intend pushing it on to others.

        • You’re absolutely right… and I agree… iPhones are awesome… iOS is awesome… if you re-read what I said, I wasn’t knocking the OS. I owned an iPhone.

          What pissed me off is that Apple kept dragging its feet and refuse to open up this closed system, which kept putting me into this situation that I’ve never had to deal with when working with computers. I want my phone to be a mini computer. This is what I felt about the iPhone initially, which is why I invested so heavily into it.

          This was until a friend of mine, who jail-broke his iPhone, had an app on his first generation iPhone which allowed him to capture VIDEO using the camera. Sure, it wasn’t super high quality video… but it was video nonetheless. I refused to jail-break my phone because I don’t want to play the cat-and-mouse game… I don’t have time for that. So, I waited patiently for Apple to release an Apple-approved update which would “officially” allow this functionality. Instead, they came out with a new piece of hardware and expected me to upgrade to that.

          Then, the Google Voice app was written for the iPhone… it was something I had been looking forward to for a long time, but Apple rejected it. It’s not a virus. It’s not malicious software. It’s really useful for users. So why would Apple prevent useful non-malicious software from being installed?

          Over time, I saw my co-workers (with their Androids) being able to use Google Voice fully integrated into their phones… using apps that don’t have to first be approved by a third-party… and so I thought, “Well, Apple will get on the ball soon. They’re just getting their footing. They just want to make sure everything is safe before truly opening up their phone.” But then, when the iPhone 4 came out (while I still kept hanging on to my first generation iPhone, waiting for a decent device to upgrade to), it finally hit me. If I kept waiting for a decent iPhone upgrade that solves all of my OS-based woes, I’d be waiting forever. Apple stopped caring about the OS and has been primarily focusing on the hardware. I honestly don’t care if they can display more colors than my eyes can discern, or more pixels than my retina can see… I just want to be able to install apps as easily and freely as the case has been on computers for decades.

          I was able to see that my only option was to either go with an alternative. So, I went with a Droid and I have no regrets (well, maybe that I didn’t hold out longer for the Droid X or Droid 2).

          I honestly believe that if Apple opened up iOS so that non-store apps could be installed (with permission from the user)… and allowed deeper integration with the OS like Android allows, the iPhone would completely slaughter the entire onslaught of Android phones in a single bound. iPhones are great pieces of hardware… and iOS is as easy as AOL was… but I don’t like the tight fence puts around its playground. It makes sense for Apple’s dollars, but it doesn’t make sense for technology. Consumers should want the technology to be expanded by everyone who is capable of expanding it… not to be obsessed with how much Apple can make off of them. It’s a sad day when consumers act like shareholders.

        • Lu

          Well you are correct that different people have different likes and dislikes. BUT if you find something that is a WHOLE LOT BETTER than other devices and you bought one of the other ones, it is VERY HARD to change your mind (especially when you are incorrect!) So the next time you buy a similar product, follow what you learned, if not you will feel sorry AGAIN!

    • Jayman

      Boy! Are you in trouble for saying things about God Jobs !! Let the flaming begin. I am a fan of open platform and I hate being controlled. If I want to use my iPhone as a pingpong paddle, I should be able to do so without asking for Jobs’ permission (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration 🙂

  • Justin L

    Steve Jobs raised a few great points against Flash, but they’re all at least as valid about Javascript. Javascript has “mouse over”/hover events, it has keyboard events, it has no concept of “pinching,” it’s an interpreted language and is actually less efficient and therefore more battery intensive than Actionscript, it allows custom controls/skinning that enables developers to provide an alien “look and feel,” and there’s already a huge number of sites that pose issues on various devices for the above reasons.

    Also, Flash provides a lot that the W3 standards can’t currently replace, so “use html5 instead” isn’t possible in many cases.

    I mean, personally I am very much a Flash hater. I can’t stand the system, its designer, the company, its fan base, a lot of the content that’s made with it (especially ads), or anything about it in general, and I refuse to touch it, but leveling criticisms against Flash and proposing html5 as a solution when Javascript has the same issues and isn’t a replacement is just ignorant.

    • Vamsmack

      Justin what about jQuery Mobile which is here http://jquerymobile.com/ It is going to remedy a lot of the issues you discuss. So maybe right this very second these new emerging technologies are causing issues and sometimes Flash does have it’s place but that place is becoming a lot smaller.

      • Justin L

        Developing touch-friendly apps isn’t a big deal in either Flash or Javascript, so I don’t see a reason to add a proprietary framework to the Javascript mix, but it’s moot because the question is whether Javascript has advantages over Flash. Both platforms can easily be used to develop apps that are incompatible with a touch interface, and there are many existing examples for each.

        I mean, the fantasy being proposed by Steve and his blind followers isn’t that Flash has issues, he’s right about that. It’s that Javascript has all the same issues and to a greater degree. That is, other than the issue of being vendor-locked and proprietary, but for the Apple camp to sit in their walled garden and criticize Flash for the same is absolute hypocrisy.

        • Chris

          Justin, I agree with you, but I feel I should point out that jquery is not proprietary. It is open source software. Maybe you just meant “third party framework” instead of “proprietary framework”, but it’s an important distinction.

          • Justin L

            You’re right, it isn’t proprietary. I had just inferred from the style of the website, but it actually looks like a great free software/open source project.

        • Vamsmack

          Justin one thing though. If you’re having to go back and re-key existing applications, sites etc why wouldn’t you then place them into a format which is far more widely accepted?

          • Justin L

            If you’re referring to porting Flash apps into Javascript/DOM, that would typically be a lot more work than modifying an existing Flash app to be accessible by touch. Also, many Flash features simply don’t exist in Javascript, and the tools available for working with W3 standards offer limited capabilities relative to the Flash designer. The differences in syntax between ActionScript and Javascript could be an issue in porting, too.

            There are some possible objections to the W3 standards as a software platform, as well. For example, while consistency between browsers has greatly improved in the last 5 years, there are still some frustrating differences between the browsers in exactly what capabilities they provide and the semantics of how they provide them. Flash, on the other hand, is generally very consistent in terms of providing exactly the same set of programming interfaces and rendering semantics across different platforms.

            I also wouldn’t agree with the assertion that Javascript is “far more widely accepted” than Flash. Flash has almost universal penetration in the desktop space, where the W3 alternatives to some of the capabilities of Flash, like vector graphics, sockets, video and audio playback, 3d, and so on are actually not very well supported at all at this point. For example, the W3 specs don’t even define specific video codecs, so there is really no standard at this point as to what codecs will be available.

            Also, while Flash support in mobile devices is still very limited, that’s also true of many newer Javascript APIs.

  • Mark Hernandez

    I’d like to hear other opinions and test results from other than one source – Laptop. Isn’t anyone else running this through it’s paces?

  • I think the truth of the matter is a lot simpler. Flash does have its problems on Windows PCs, but it has even more problems on Macs. Similarly, iTunes and Safari runs pretty well on Macs, but does very poorly on Windows PCs.

    So, what this is really about is perception. Steve Jobs wants to kill off any technology which makes Apples look bad while, at the same time, pump out technologies that make Windows PCs look bad.

    So, really, all of this is part of Apple’s usual attack against Microsoft. Microsoft did the same thing to Apple when they made Office run poorly on Macs and better on Windows. So, Apple has been retaliating ever since.

    Microsoft had hoped to avoid this (the killing off of Flash) by introducing their own alternative (Silverlight), but it really seems to be nothing more than a developer’s toy at this point.

    • Chris

      I can’t comment on Safari since I don’t use it, but… iTunes works perfectly for me on Windows. I’ve used it on XP, Vista and now 7, and it’s very good. It doesn’t run poorly at all. What problems are you referring to?

      • Every time I try to use Safari on my machines, it takes longer to load than, say, Chrome… although it does load (and operate faster) than Firefox… but whenever I complain about this loading time, Apple users tell me it works much better on Macs. Suffice it to say, I take their word for it. The same goes for iTunes. iTunes is much worse and much more noticeable… it takes forever to load and ages to update. I’m told it works much better on a Mac.

  • Justin

    guys, flash works fine on my HTC Desire, this “journalist” is full of it, but take his word for it – I’ll enjoy playing flash games on my phone

  • Kinglemon

    I stumbled onto this article from google reader. The piece comes across as a slanted bit, and leads me to the conclusion that I won’t be frequenting this website again. The comments come across as a few informed people mixing with a load of apple supporters. I’m typing this on my 3G iPhone, and used my MacBook earlier, so I’m not anti-apple. When you identify with a corporation, and allow it to become part of yourself, you lose and competition loses. As consumers we should be hoping for many victories from any place possible, as we win regardless of where that innovation comes from. Hopefully the author recognizes the bias in this piece as it is not something I, and I suspect others, find appealing in a website.

  • Jay

    It is obvious that Apple is feeling the heat from Android. They have just set their acid-ink mob on the loose. The signs are all there that the iPad/iOS will end up the same place as the original Mac when the other ‘clones’ start to roll in. Sure, Jobs will have the bragging rights for the innovations. But who cares!

    • Tom

      You sound like someone suffering from Eric Schmitt Stockholm Syndrome! He has captured you,locked you away in his little Google Earth, abused and tortured you until you love his Android Phones!

      Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it?

  • Jordan

    Do your research.

    Flash for Android has been available for months on the Nexus One, where it works like a dream. I’ve had absolutely zero problems with it.

    This sounds to me like a Droid-specific issue.

  • I use Flash on my Droid all the time. It’s not a Droid-specific issue. It really isn’t an “issue” at all. It’s an exaggeration by someone who made an assumption about why Flash is supported on Android devices. The assumption was, “Android supports Flash because everything Flash-based on the Internet would work perfectly on an Android device, just like you’re using a small computer.” This ignores the fact that website developers build most stuff expecting people with large screens and mice and keyboards will be visiting their creations.

    These supposed Flash-related problems would be no different if the web developer had used HTML5 (or HTML4 for that matter) and expected users to use keyboard shortcuts (using JavaScript) and expected users to be able to hover over things.

    I see this problem all the time on ANY smartphone… Android or iPhone both included… as well as on the iPad. Touch screen devices don’t allow you to “hover” over something. So, websites that expose drop-down menus on hover-over (HTML/JavaScript based, no Flash required) are forcing iPhone/Android/iPad/other-smart-phone-or-touch-screen-based-systems to miss out on functionality of have a disjointed experience. This is a problem with a touch-screen-only device exploring a world created for a mouse/keyboard universe.

    Now that smart phones and tablets are becoming popular, I am sure this world will eventually transition… in the meantime, you end up with old technology expectations and new technology concepts clashing. No biggie.

    The best thing you can do is to keep the new technology “backwards compatible”, then transition the world to the new methods.

    This is precisely what Apple avoids. Apple does not like backwards compatibility. When they have a new idea, they discontinue the old idea. Screw the old ways. The new way is in.

    While this works for some people, it really makes the majority of the world go “huh!? My 10-year-old computer can do Flash… why is Apple’s hardware so incapable of at least supporting this?” Apple fans “get it”… Steve Jobs hates any technology that he didn’t invent. Non-Apple fans “don’t get it”… I don’t care what Steve Jobs hates… I paid money for this, I expect it to support the popular features of the Internet.

    • Chris

      Whoa, whoa. While I agree with most of what you said, and I’m not even an Apple user, I have to take issue with Apple not supporting backwards compatibility. That’s as far from the truth as it gets. Apple’s transition from 68k to PPC and then from PPC to x86 was awesome. Their integrated emulators were honestly some of the most seamless ever made, specifically for the purpose of backwards compatibility.

      Most of your comment is very insightful, but you’re just plain wrong about backwards compatibility. Even as a non-Apple user I have to point out that they take this very seriously and have done a good job at it.

      • Maybe I’m wrong saying “backwards compatibility”… but I can’t count the number of times we’ve been forced to upgrade the OS on our Macs because a piece of software requires it.

        I’ve been using Windows XP for nearly 9 years… and have never had a need to upgrade it… Vista looked nice, but I wanted to avoid the problems that were reported in the media, even if those problems were exaggerated. I’ve heard Windows 7 is pretty good, but honestly Windows XP “just works” for me… so I have no desire (yet) to upgrade.

        However, on our Macs, I’ve constantly been in situations where I am “forced” to upgrade the OS to be compatible with certain software… and in some cases, had to specifically switch to an Intel-based Mac (which was needed for iPhone development)… I recognize that having non-Intel-based Macs means some pretty old hardware… but it worked… I didn’t swap it out because it stopped working… or because it was too slow… but simply because of some arbitrary support issues.

        Why can’t I develop applications for the iPhone on a Windows-based PC? Why MUST I develop such an application on only Apple machines? These “rules” don’t apply to Android, so I know it’s not a technology issue… and if it really IS a technology issue, it sounds to me that Apple keeps painting itself into a corner, which just makes them look bad.

        So either Apple is intentionally stringing its customers along… or they’re doing so unintentionally. The first shows they’re more interested in the almighty buck than keeping their users happy, the second makes them look like noobs.

        Of course, a more typical user who just wants to make simple calls and play a game or two may absolutely love the iPhone and it’s a great choice for them… so I admit I am not the “typical user”… I am a power user… I write my own applications if there isn’t an existing one that does everything I need… I use “advanced” things like Google Voice… and I want to be able to visually see websites on my phone the way the developers intended for them to be seen… even if those developers primarily developed the website for computer users and not mobile users. So, this means supporting Flash EVEN IF Flash sucks.

  • There are tons of Flash-based games which do not require keyboard input or mouse-over events… luckily, Adobe has created an app just to showcase all of these on the Internet. Almost instantly, many Android devices just gained tons of Flash-based “apps” without having to wait for the original developers (assuming they haven’t abandoned their projects) to “port” their code to a native app.

    Honestly, in tests I have seen, and in my experience… loading Flash on web pages DOES slow down the loading of that page… versus not loading the Flash on those pages (usually ads or overly fancy site navigation or charts)… so, does Flash suck? Sure. But this isn’t about whether or not Flash sucks… it’s simply a matter of arbitrary control. Apple is playing “Father” to all of us “children”. There might be a movie out there which the majority of the world thinks “sucks”… but if it was still a major movie with major actors… I would expect any decent video store to at least keep one copy of it for rental. I don’t care how “sucky” the populace thought the movie was… I should be able to see the movie anyway. If a video store simply decides to eliminate stock for movies that people don’t like, I would consider their selection to be lacking and I’d look for a video store that has a broader selection.

  • Even if I’d rather disable Flash on most websites, I’d rather pay money for a piece of hardware which is capable of rendering Flash when it might be necessary to do so. (Imagine you got a job at an employer which had an Intranet which was built 3-years-ago and has flash-based charts. If your phone couldn’t support Flash, you’d feel like you owned a Fisher-Price toy that hasn’t figured out how to support Flash yet. Or would you be one of those smug fools who would argue with the new employer that they need to ‘get with the times’ and convert all of their Flash-based charts to image-based charts before you’d be willing to work for them? I know those types. Nobody likes them.)

    I also like that someone I trust can write an app and put it up on their website for my immediate intentional download. Why force people to have to put their app on a “store”… and then include an approval process… before anyone else is able to test or install that app? I mean, I understand… Apple is the “Father” and we are all the dumb little children who would infect our devices with bad stuff without realizing it… but, this is how the world of computers has been for decades… Macs included. So, Apple wants to rewrite this history, take several steps backward, and require all software of the future to be funneled through a restrictive and annoying and judgmental bottle-neck? I’m sure glad Mr. Jobs isn’t President. He’d be requiring us to buy all of our clothing, food, electronics, and other goods from Government stores… made in Government factories… run by Government employees… all other businesses would be banned and the free market would die.

    This Flash issue isn’t really about how neat Flash is or how it performs. It’s just a small symptom of a much larger problem.

  • Vamsmack

    I think the major point being made here is the constant stream of BS we were fed about how having flash on iOS devices was going to mean all our favourite Flash sites would work because of backwards compatibility etc. This simply isn’t the case so what we were told from Adobe is pure grade A horse shit the backwards compatibility argument has been debunked and designers/developers still need to go back and re-engineer their sites and video to work with flash on mobile platforms which was something they were promised they wouldn’t have to do so if they’re there having to do that why not work with a technology which is going to be supported on many more mobile browsers using HTML CSS & Javascript?(I just realised I channeled Steve there but forgive me). I have friends who are Flash developers and they’re actually of the same opinion as Steve here they know Flash is a way for lazy designers to punch out a site where simple HTML, CSS & Javascript would suffice. They also understand where Flash works well on the web and presently there is few options aside from Flash.

    Pulling out the trite argument about Apple’s Draconian control over the app store isn’t even a factor here save that for when you’re arguing with someone over how Android is superior and demonstrate that when you manage to play a FLAC version of the Free Software Foundation song. Put on your big boy pants and come back to the root cause of this article, someone has reviewed Flash on an Android device and it sucked and it backs up what SJ has been saying for a while now.

    If they manage to implement a stable working version of Flash which works well on iOS devices then I am sure Apple would reverse their position but it needs to support a touch interface not a mouse and not destroy battery life or the user interface.

    • I guess I didn’t hear any of that BS. I only heard that Flash should be supported because Flash exists. I never expected it to be a good experience. I can’t imagine anyone who would have. Since phones can natively support video streaming, there’s no actual benefit to watching streaming video within a box that’s within a page… within the screen… aside from the screen-real-estate issues, there’s also going to be some obvious lag.

      Imagine, for a moment, that people asked that iPhones support the ability to connect to FTP sites (I’m assuming they can… I have honestly never tried…) Imagine if Apple said, “FTP is lame… nobody needs that anymore.” That’s not the point… it isn’t about whether or not the technology the people want supported is lame… or has better alternatives… it’s simply about whether or not the phone is capable of supporting all of the same things that full computers can support. I’m assuming that Macs still support Flash, so what is Jobs saying here? That he hates users of Macs and wants to subject them to the evils of Flash… but iPhone users… well, he likes them better than the Mac users? It’s just hypocritical. It’s two-faced. It’s all about investor dollars and nothing about the consumer.

      As a consumer, I might ASK for the option to turn OFF Flash if I don’t like it… but I’d never ask that Flash never be supported, not matter how much I personally dislike it. It’s a punch in the gut to developers everywhere. People forget that Flash came to be because, at the time, there was more than browsers COULD do, but didn’t yet. Flash filled that gap. What about the features that a browser can do in 20 years? Somewhere down the line, someone is going to invent another plug-in to give browsers even more power… before those features can eventually be built into the next HTML standards… however, if Apple won’t support Flash… it is safe to assume Apple won’t support any other future plug-in to give the browser additional capabilities. So this means that as long as iPhones remain #1… the incentive to try to push the capabilities of the browser of a mobile phone simply isn’t there… innovation by Apple keeps marching forward, but all of the other developers of the world who have additional innovative ideas are having their hands tied by Apple… forcing them into the direction of Android phones. I’m not anti-Apple or pro-Android… I’m simply pro-innovation. I want to see technology move forward as fast as possible so that I can see as much cool stuff as I can before I die. When Apple slows down this process for the sake of market-share, it gets in the way of my fun. 🙂

  • Lyndon

    Read this for a more balanced review: http://goo.gl/2rFe

  • Aaron

    Does the writer get paid by Apple? Unsure why anyone would write such a biased unsubstantiated article. However the tunnel-vision apple lover commentary is humorous!

    • Vamsmack

      The substantiation comes from the article you nonce, mind you if you couldn’t figure that out this comment pointing it out is probably lost on you.

  • C

    Lets just face it. Android is taking over the mobile world. Their latest smartphones are far beyond apples development. If you want the same GUI that was created in 2007…then go for it…. Apple tries to create the image of “we do everything first” which is totally untrue. They is trendy..not the best. Consumers with no sense in electronics run to Apple because its what the “cool” people do. Would you ever buy a car with the hood welded shut? thats what you get with apple products. they control it all. and you pay for it. why buy a whole new device just to add more storage? effin lame. be realistic. they could easily integrate removable storage…but they wont..because idiots are willing to pay for a whole new device. Lets be real. most apple fanbois have never even held a high-end android device. Overall i believe that apple makes a dandy mobile device…but in the end..Android..with its constant OS updates…and endless carrier options, there is something for everyone. Thats the way mobile should be.

  • Moeskido

    I, for one, welcome John Dowdell’s freelance marketing trolls to any and all comment threads that discuss how poorly Flash actually performs. Way to deploy the damage-control troops, guys!

    I wish you were all working on making Flash work properly instead. Serious waste of manpower in the wrong division.

  • Dot

    Wow! After reading this thread, I have to say that I no longer think that fandom girls are the top drama queens. Techie fan boys give them a run for their money. Is there a Tech Wank site like Fandom_Wank? On second thought, maybe that’s purpose of the Macalope Weekly.

    Let the public vote with their money.

  • Moeskido

    Wow! This comment thread is bringing out all the funniest troll memes! “Fanbois,” “Draconian control” (with a capital D, so you know it’s the Buck Rogers kind!), “Stockholm Syndrome”…. hilarious!

    It’s almost as though a bunch of 20-year-olds with scripts had been dispatched to churn up a little counter-marketing to take the sting off the latest in a series of self-inflicted Adobe embarrassments. Very convincing.

    Mr. Dalrymple: congratulations. You’ve arrived.

    Adobe dweebs: sorry, this won’t count as real marketing experience on your resume. But I hear your local community theater is holding auditions for “Ten Little Indians.”

    • Jay

      @Moeskido, I am not 20yo, wish I was though. I still think the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ was a nice touch. Are you suggesting that somebody pays me to do this? There’s more where that came from. When can I collect the check?

      • Steven Fisher

        Stockholm Syndrome was and remains stupid , inappropriate and wrong. Every time you bring it up, you look just a little bit stupider.

        • Tom

          And stupider. Now, go home and rethink your life!

  • Root Ginger

    So Flash on Android has failed because you can’t run Flash content that wasn’t designed for mobile devices? Wouldn’t that be the same situation running HTML5 content not designed for mobile devices?

    The truth is that there are millions of websites using Flash that would work perfectly well on any smart phone if there was the ability to display that information. HTML5 will not dominate for a long, long time, if at all, as it will involve the complete redesign of a lot of websites, that costs money, money businesses haven’t got at the moment to spend.

    Apple does make some strange decisions and then arrogantly sticks to them. No Flash is one and no BDD in their devices is another. It seems to be just as much for political than other reasons.

  • al

    This is apple fanboy heaven. Have you tried going to a bussiness site of an iPhone …. lets say a photographer… my iPhone wont load anything my android loads it and works fine. I watched worldcup games on my android cell, sure it will choke if I try ABC’s high quality video its resolution is too high. But it can play video. I use my Nexus one more than my iPhone now. I also have an ipad and have Frash installed.

  • Justin L

    This thread seems to be spinning off into the usual Apple vs the world tangent. I think the question is about Flash, or a few specific questions:

    How well can Flash work on mobile devices?

    Is there any technical reason why Javascript can work better? For instance, do Javascript language features enable better performance? Is the something about the W3 APIs and DOM that enables better performance? Is there something about Flash that prevents a secure and stable implementation?

    If Flash can’t work perfectly for you, would you rather be forcibly locked out of all Flash content by Steve Jobs, or would you rather be able to attempt to use whatever Flash content you can?

    In answer to the questions, my own opinion is:

    Flash apps that are made for a desktop may be difficult to use on mobile devices, but the same is true of Javascript apps.

    There is no technical reason why ActionScript should be slower than Javascript, and if anything the opposite is true.

    There is no technical reason why Flash graphics and other features should be slower than W3 DOM/CSS, and again, if anything the opposite is true.

    It’s certainly possible for Flash to be sandboxed and thus made to pose no threat to the security or stability of a machine, and both Javascript and Flash should always be sandboxed. Also, in that case, having the player crash should only disable the specific applet. Let’s not forget about the iPhone Safari remote root that’s been going around, we do need sandboxing.

    Also, I would certainly prefer to have whatever Flash support I can, rather than being locked out of Flash by my device manufacturer. At most, for those who don’t want a flash player, the option should exist to opt out, but there should be a choice, and it shouldn’t be made by Steve Jobs.

  • MikeJ

    People in this forum have made a lot of reasonable comments about how they want to choose the technology they use. It makes sense to not want someone else to limit your options arbitrarily. Granted, Apple has made arbitrary decisions, but their decision to not support a desktop technology (that is swiftly loosing relevance in a computing world that is rapidly going mobile) is hardly arbitrary. It is for companies and web developers to decide what type of devices their sites will best support. To paraphrase Jobs, if people don’t like or want Apple’s products they won’t buy them. I believe the same principle will hold true for web sites that expect people to adapt to the site’s technology, rather than the other way around.

    Jobs/Apple has maneuvered the company’s development and marketing in the direction of their envisioned future of mobile device computing. As best as I can see, Jobs’ prediction that for the foreseeable future, smaller portable devices will be used in increasing numbers, relegating the need for traditional computing devices, like desktops, to smaller and smaller groups of users that still require them, is indeed happening. A lot of people and companies are having trouble dealing with these changes as the paradigm shifts.

    Jobs’ decision to not support flash makes sense from a power-management-in-small-devices perspective, and that is Flash’s most relevant weakness in my opinion. At best, flash will work as intended, but it still works poorly on many devices and drains batteries like a vortex. Android is rapidly growing, but it appears to me that Google’s decision to support Flash was more politically based than Apple’s decision. Google has to support a coalition of manufactures using different hardware architectures. If they were in Apples situation, they too would choose which technologies they would employ…but that’s not their goal. Google is giving away a free OS, hoping to make up for the loss with ad revenue, Apple sells hardware primarily (adverts are coming, though). Adobe’s slim hope in all of this, will be that mobile device hardware will be able to quickly evolve to support Flash, as it’s unlikely Adobe can truly optimize flash for all devices. (Numerous brilliant hacks will not change the fact that it was never designed from the ground up as a portable device technology.)

    Many resent Jobs for having the “arrogance” to make that evaluation and then setting a strategy for his company based on his assessment. To me, his decision is a reasonable response to what he has identified as a paradigm change. The risk is his and Apple’s to take. If he’s wrong, people will stop buying Apple’s products. However, I can see no indications that he is wrong about any of it so far: People really like Apple’s new products. In addition to their blitzkrieg market penetration, Apple is now making almost half of the mobile phone market’s profits. Additionally, Apple’s user base is affluent, which make it a large group of people that advertisers are eager to access. (Most reasonable people can agree that they have made good calls, so far.)

    For web developers to not appreciate the Portable Computing trend, and not optimize their sites to accommodate this continuing explosion of portable devices, will result in an inevitable loss of site usage as more of the devices are employed. Increasingly, any technology that prevents a web site from being compatible with as many devices as possible has a very limited future. Sites will need to be optimized for portable device compatibility, or face the peril of loosing users to other sites that will.

    When I or others in my family are searching for information on the web using our iPhones or iPads, and we find a site that requires flash, we don’t stop and say we have to wait until we can get to a desktop to continue; we simply go to another site that works with our devices. If your website doesn’t support my device, it’s very possible that I won’t do business with your company, and I certainly won’t see your advertisers ads. If a site wants my hit, and by extension of my logic, the business of millions of other iPhone and IPad users, and they presently need to change their sites to accommodate the growing numbers of other mobile devices like Android anyway, why would they insist on using flash and throwing away millions of potential customers?

    • Justin L

      “To paraphrase Jobs, if people don’t like or want Apple’s products they won’t buy them” – I don’t buy them, almost no one I know buys them, there number of former iPhone users is growing, Apple’s market share is sliding and approaching a freefall. 6 months ago, Mac users were laughing at analysts who said Android would exceed Apple’s mobile market share by 2012-2013. It happened recently.

      “I believe the same principle will hold true for web sites that expect people to adapt to the site’s technology, rather than the other way around.” – This is the failure behind Jobs as a deity, Apple as a church, and Apple users as a cult. Diversity and choices aren’t a bad thing, it’s ok to have options, it’s ok for some developers to like Javascript, others to like Flash, others like C#, and others to like Objective C. Developers having a preference for a certain system isn’t a hostile act, and there’s no technical reason why we can’t make more than one option available.

      “Jobs’ decision to not support flash makes sense from a power-management-in-small-devices perspective, and that is Flash’s most relevant weakness in my opinion” – Javascript and the other W3 specs are even less efficient.

      “Google’s decision to support Flash was more politically based than Apple’s decision” – Google’s mantra, which they’re fairly consistent in following, is freedom and openness. You can develop for Android in a variety of languages, you can distribute your apps without restrictions, you can install alternatives to the built-in software, you can access the operating system’s source code, and you can install whatever technologies you want. Flash isn’t on Android as some affront to you, just like developers who like Flash aren’t out to get you. Flash is on Android because Android is a jail and the nasty paranoid law-of-Jobs doesn’t apply.

      “To me, his decision is a reasonable response to what he has identified as a paradigm change” && “Increasingly, any technology that prevents a web site from being compatible with as many devices as possible has a very limited future” – Apple’s app store is built on desktop-style software in a C-derived language, it’s vendor-locked and vendor-specific, and it’s in complete ignorance of the shift to web applications. It’s a throw-back against the “paradigm change” that’s happening. Also, again, Flash is more efficient than Javascript/DOM and is more consistently implemented than the W3 specifications, especially html5. If you look at the new W3 features like video, Flash is actually more available on mobile devices at this point, and is infinitely better supported on desktops, which still represent a vast majority of web traffic. A site designed for html5 would currently face more of a compatibility mine field than a Flash site, even in the mobile space.

      • Justin L

        Correcting myself: “Android is a jail” => “Android is not a jail”

      • Vamsmack

        “Javascript and the other W3 specs are even less efficient” You’re trying to tell me from a power management stand point HTML, CSS & Javascript are more processor intensive and therefore more power hungry than Flash? If you are then I would like what you’re having because it has to be some wicked shit!

        “Google’s mantra, which they’re fairly consistent in following, is freedom and openness” Except you know when they go into your device and remove apps which you have downloaded from the Android Market place.

        “Flash is actually more available on mobile devices at this point…” Err where dude? Or am I just missing that feature when I get shown new phones?

        • Justin L

          Javascript is fully dynamically bound and loosely typed, it requires more dynamic operations to execute the same program logic, and this is apparent in benchmarks. Javascript also has to be compiled/parsed at runtime where Flash is precompiled in a bytecoded format. XML/CSS is also more CPU intensive than the corresponding encoding in Flash, with the W3 specs taking a text-based and dynamic approach to doing what Flash does with static binary encoding.

          Really, the difference in performance is not only a scientific fact, but it also seems relatively obvious in terms of the user experience, or at least it has been for me. Javascript-based animations and scrolling over complicated CSS/DOM configurations are often choppy where Flash is surprisingly smooth for a software-composited system.

          I agree that Google’s kill switch is very unsettling. Intrusive/abusive behavior is no more or less acceptable when it comes from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or any other company.

          I said that Flash has more mobile penetration than the new W3 video, which isn’t even standardized in terms of codecs, and it does. People like to generalize about the new W3 extensions as if they automatically have complete penetration simply because 90s-era Javascript and HTML are ubiquitous. The updated W3 specs that supposedly replace Flash are actually not well supported at all, and that includes the desktop space where roughly 60% of users have none of the new stuff and the machines with some updated features have a random mish-mash of different capabilities.

          For instance, if you’re using one of the major browsers on a desktop, will your browser provide ogg/theora for video tags? quite possibly. Will it have sockets and web workers? not so likely. Will it have WebGL enabled by default? currently, no. The mobile space is much worse, too, with only a limited set of devices having anything from the new specs.

          So while the W3 “Flash killer” updates may become a viable alternative to Flash over time, which would be great, because having choices is great, the W3 updates are far from a feature-complete and universally supported alternative at this point. Flash, on the other hand, provides a very consistent environment across every supported platform, and the capabilities that the W3 specs are addressing have actually been a part of Flash for years.

          Though, once again, I’m not a fan of Flash, any more than Javascript, and I think that Flash has many shortcomings, but I also think the quest to pare the internet down to a single option is yet another of Apple’s misguided “one size fits all” campaigns, and I want no part of it.

          Personally, my ideal would be for Flash and Silverlight to be open sourced under both a BSD license and the GPL, and for every device to fully and flawlessly support the major development platforms. I think the pre-antitrust Microsoft era sucked, where Microsoft was trying to kill choices for the public, and I think it sucks that Apple is now going that route.

          • Dude… I very much like your point of view on this.

  • Dot

    See you lost me when you started saying that Apple was a church, Jobs is a deity etc. It is simply a company that makes products. Does it make products for everyone? No. Do I continue to be satisfied and am I a repeat buyer? Yes. It does however seems to inspire hysteria among the people who don’t want to buy products from Apple and are angry that other people do buy them. This is hard for me to understand. Why the sour grapes?

    • I really think it’s just super-biased articles like this which causes the hysteria, not the company itself, really.

      Read this article. It says “Flash fails”… then goes on to talk about the experience with ABC.com and Fox.com… then finally quotes Steve Jobs to show proof that he knew Flash would fail in this way.

      Really? Is the Internet REALLY defined by ABC.com and Fox.com? Are these really the two most visited sites using mobile phones?

      It’s one thing to have slightly biased media, which we have had since the beginning of time… but super-biased media is the one that says “FAILS” as a result of testing less than 1%. No respectable journalist or scientist would make such an absolute claim on such a limited test.

      Secondly… what is it, exactly, that Flash is “failing” at? Making the journalist happy, or solving world hunger?

      From the beginning of Flash, I’ve had a problem with it. It’s a memory hog. It barely runs on older hardware. It became the defacto standard for annoying advertising. And yet, there are subtle uses of Flash that many take for granted and, in some way, the Internet has been made a tiny bit better from these more subtle uses of Flash.

      There are charts in Google Finance which make more sense and operate better using Flash. There are menus on some sites which transition more nicely in Flash. When Google created their famous Pac-Man logo, they used Javascript for the game… but to get the sound just right and get it synchronized properly with the game play, they used Flash.

      So, when you visit these sites using a non-Flash-supporting mobile device, you’re just missing pieces of the website… whether it’s the site navigation… or some charts… you’re simply missing pieces. The only way to get these pieces is to:

      1) Visit the site using a Flash-compliant mobile browser. 2) Visit the site using a computer. 3) Wait for the developers of that website to rewrite the Flash-based functionality in HTML5.

      Now, from a consumer standpoint… it makes little sense to invest in a device that lacks Flash-support, then complain about all of the web developers of the world who are taking to long to fill in those gaps for your phone. It just doesn’t make sense. Many of those developers may very well be feverishly rewriting code… but for many sites, it’s about money… and right now, the money just isn’t in mobile. People don’t visit E-Commerce sites to make large purchases using their mobile phones. The money in mobile, at the moment, is in apps written specifically for that phone.

      So, this means that #3 really isn’t a viable option for a consumer who is interested in viewing the full web using their mobile phone.

      Option #2 just paints the clear picture that the phone isn’t as good as a computer. It’s less than a small computer. It’s like an entirely different entity altogether, supporting only some of the things computers support, browsing websites differently than computers support, etc…

      Yet, with option #1, it’s clear. Phones CAN be small computers. Phones CAN browse websites and display them in the same way computers do.

      For those who have been WANTING their phone to be a full COMPUTER, the only option is a mobile phone which supports Flash. It isn’t about complaining about how Flash is slow… or complaining about the web developers of the world who won’t rewrite everything just for your phone… it’s about whether or not you want phones to become just like browsers.

      With the introduction of HTML5, Flash has already been out the door… its days are numbered… but it’s not going to die overnight… nor will it take a year or two… it’s going to take a long time for Flash to completely die… look how long it has taken for IE6 to die (it’s still hanging in there, to the dismay of many).

      So, the approach Apple has taken is “Since Flash will be gone eventually, there’s no point in supporting it now.” This kills the “phones are like computers” analogy. In Apple’s world, phones aren’t computers… they are other devices entirely. This has been the same mentality mobile phones have been stuck into for decades.

      The fact that someone can DEFEND this concept as a CONSUMER just makes no sense… UNLESS you actively DO NOT WANT your phone to be like a computer. If that’s the case, you’re clearly happy and all is good with the world. Why, then, would an article be written which essentially says, “See, Flash was a bad idea! Jobs was right!” It makes no sense. What lesson does it draw? Android phones aren’t trying to be non-computers like iPhones… they’re headed in the other direction… Android phones are trying to be like miniature computers. So, by supporting Flash, they are succeeding… even if ABC.com and Fox.com works poorly in the phones, those are just two websites. In other words, if you added up all of the websites of the world that render differently in an iPhone because the iPhone doesn’t support Flash and compared this to all f the websites of the world that render Flash poorly on an Android device… Android would easily come up ahead, because if even only ONE website loads Flash perfectly… that’s one website that an Android device will render exactly like a computer that an iPhone won’t. The iPhone displays websites the way it WANTS to display websites, not the way a computer would. This is the same game Microsoft played with Internet Explorer. Microsoft lost that battle, and now Apple is trying to do the same with the iPhone.

      As long as people recognize that the iPhone isn’t meant to be a mini-computer… but more like a mini-computer-lite… and that Android isn’t meant to be like the iPhone… but is meant to be like a mini-computer… and that most websites were not specifically designed to work on a touch-based device, but on a computer with a mouse and keyboard… then everyone would realize that there isn’t “failure” here… simply success in different goals.

      Flash doesn’t “fail” on Android devices… it just doesn’t succeed to the same level that it does on a PC. Even if we say that Flash is only supported to a degree of 5% on Android phones, this is still ahead of the game when compared to the fact that the iPhone is still at 0% Flash support.

      Flash only becomes irrelevant when it no longer exists on websites. It still exists, so it is still relevant. Thank God Apple hasn’t yet decided that the GIF image format isn’t too old to be relevant anymore.

      • Justin L

        Flash isn’t going to die. Many people prefer the design experience in Flash over that of the W3 specs. They’re entitled to that. Choice is good.

        The Apple camp has carried on with its “one right way” practices for 20 years, and the other 90+% of us have carried on without them. “No Flash for you” won’t be the first case of Apple fans being ushered out of a party by Steve, and it won’t be the last.

        The real irony is that I always thought Flash was largely a mac thing, especially given the single button mouse. I always pictured the aspiring artist completing a 2-year graphic design course and sitting in Starbucks, drenched in handimac’d self-satisfaction, turning out vector graphics and Flash animations in Adobe CS for local real estate agents and supermarkets, thinking the forced cohesiveness of Apple’s offerings was somehow in line with the processes of a creative and critically analytical mind, as if the Van Goghs of the world clamor toward uniformity and obedience.

        • Dot

          There you go again. Bashing people who like something different than you do.

          Of course flash isn’t going to die although I as a librarian certainly wish it would. It is the main reason for our public computers slowing down and for crashes. The university up the street blocks flash and I wish we did too.

          If people can’t see flash or real estate agent’s offerings and supermarket’s ads, I expect that they will change how they do things so more people can view their sites. They will be afraid that those consumers will buy their competitor’s products instead. That is a business decision.

          • Justin L

            I’ll bash all I want. Flash is garbage, I wouldn’t develop for it if you paid me a King’s ransom. That being said, I respect the right of others to sit in Starbucks developing Flash content on a Mac, thinking they’re very sophisticated and artistic, when in fact they are useless bumpkins who understand very little. I don’t have to agree with someone’s choices to respect that being able to make those choices is great.

            Flash and other unprivileged software shouldn’t be able to crash a multitasking operating system, something is wrong if your machines are going down due to a browser.

            People won’t abandon Flash simply because Steve won’t allow it on his devices. Companies have always been happy to leave Mac users out in the cold when Apple doesn’t play nice, and an institution on the scale of Flash is certainly not going to be an exception.

  • Dot

    Listen, everyone goes by their own experiences and the thing you are angry about is that the person who wrote that article went by his experience too and he didn’t have a good experience. You don’t blame him for having a bad experience. You fix things so next time he is pleasantly surprised, so that he can run the things he wants to run. You don’t say “It’s going to be crappy but that’s okay, the iphone can’t run flash at all.”

    The internet and one’s mobile experience will be defined by what sites the individuals want to go to. ABC news and Fox will be right up there for the normal consumer. If they have a poor experience on their mobile phones, they aren’t going to say oh, I have to wait a year or so or it’s the site, no big deal. No. They will be frustrated and think the phone stinks and look around for a phone that gives them better experiences. That’s just human nature.

    We consumers don’t care why something won’t work. No, I haven’t been to any flash sites on my iPhone, I haven’t missed them. That just means that I will never see any of the ads people who insist on flash want me to see. That is not my problem. That is the businesses who want to sell me things problem.

    • Justin L

      Flash has been in use since before the iPhone existed, and people aren’t “insisting on flash,” they’re just continuing to use their preferred platform. The fact that people didn’t drop a 15 year old platform the day Steve wrote a nasty note about it isn’t some attack on Apple users. Also, to a large extent, you’re talking about content that was created before the mayor of Apple town made his decree. I mean, the rift here isn’t coming from the Flash community, it’s coming from Apple management. The idea that everyone must drop Flash and rewrite 15 years worth of content or they’re “insisting on flash” i.e somehow attacking the Apple community is just insane. It’s like testosterone-pumped macho thinking.

      • Dot

        Why should they drop a platform if it is working for them? It is a business decision. People migrate to other platforms if they think that more consumers will be reached.

        See there you go with the calling people names because they don’t care for Flash. It isn’t just a business decision with you, is it? Is this your livelihood?

        • Justin L

          I don’t believe that Apple’s users are numerous enough to warrant dropping Flash, at least from a business perspective. I also suspect that Apple will capitulate, so it will be moot.

          This is not my livelihood, I don’t develop for Flash and it’s more often than not a nuisance for me.

          • Dot

            I think that Apple will allow flash on their mobile devices when flash runs well enough not to make their devices look bad and make people frustrated and angry. Businesses will decide if they want to recode for the mobile flash market or recode with something that the whole market will be able to run.

    • That’s the difference between statements presented as opinions and statements presented as facts.

      STATEMENT 1: “I had a bad experience with X, therefore I don’t like X.” PRESENTED AS OPINION

      STATEMENT 2: “I had a bad experience with X, therefore nobody will like X.” PRESENTED AS FACT

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the difference. When anyone posts something publicly in article form (even if only on a blog) and they present their opinions as facts, then are asking for attacks and they deserve it. They are essentially making scientific sounding statements without using the scientific method.

      If someone wants to state an opinion and leave it at that, they can use the proper terminology… “in my opinion” and “others might like it, but I don’t”… etc… but when presented as “I had a bad experience, so it’s a failure.”… they’re really inviting the rest of the world to tell them that nobody wants to see them writing anymore.

  • MikeJ

    “Diversity and choices aren’t a bad thing, it’s ok to have options, it’s ok for some developers to like Javascript, others to like Flash, others like C#, and others to like Objective C.  Developers having a preference for a certain system isn’t a hostile act, and there’s no technical reason why we can’t make more than one option available.”

    Agreed. But many who have expressed this or similar opinions on this forum speak about these choices like they are the only ones who will have to live with their descisions. I’ll defend your right to develop using any code you want to use, I just don’t see why you want to choose a technology that looses me as a customer! 

    Web developers and IT professionals: If you don’t want my business, you’ve made your choice. Please don’t view my lack of patronage as a hostile act (it’s not), you are free as you wish to restrict access to your sites by insisting to use technology that forces me to go elsewhere (which I normally do with indifference).

    My issue here, is that when a developer makes his choice of technology to use in his site, without supporting other alternatives, he is inducing some site users to make a choice as well: Inefficient Java, heavy use of Flash with little or no option for HTML  support (let alone HTML-5), sometimes forces users to abandon using a site in the case of iOS devices and sometimes Macs as well. Both parties should be free to make their choice, as well as live with the results.

    Apple has the choice to support an inefficient open standard technology like java, while not putting resources into supporting Adobe’s proprietary Flash, which has had an atrocious history of lousy support towards the Mac platform. From Apple’s customers perspective, what indication is there that Adobe will suddenly provide responsive support to it’s newer devices, especially considering their historical indifference to Apple support?  

    As a Mac user I’ve long been weary of web sites whose attitude is “this is what we require you to use if you want to see our fabulous content.” Anyone who is self employed knows that their customers are their bosses, and it’s time web gatekeepers understand this fact. I have put up with flash screwing with my system for years, I guess, because I’ve had no choice. I am now enjoying the fact that I have new-found leverage to vote with my feet, with relatively little compromise on my part. My abandoning a web site is now more painful for them than it is for me. 

    What Adobe and IT gatekeepers are now having problems with, is, they are having their options to dictate which web client technologies they mandate being limited by user demand (not Steve Jobs). Suddenly there is a quickly growing percentage of non-PC web clients that are statistically meaningful. Ignore them if you’d like, it’s your choice.  

    Until recently, many web managers only saw a need to support Windows clients. They saw other clients and OS’s as statistically insignificant to their core web strategy. The sooner IT managers and developers realize this this no longer the case, and see that they part of a world (already in progress) that is actually competing for market share, the better off we’ll all be. 

    • Justin L

      “I just don’t see why you want to choose a technology that looses me as a customer!” – I don’t see why you want to choose a technology that excludes you as a customer.

      “Web developers and IT professionals: If you don’t want my business, you’ve made your choice.” – Many of these people made their choice as many as 15 years ago, and are heavily invested in Flash. Also, for much of what Flash does, there is no viable alternative at this point. The updated W3 specs cover a fair bit, but those extensions are not widely available.

      “you are free as you wish to restrict access to your sites by insisting to use technology that forces me to go elsewhere ” – No one is insisting on anything in the Flash community.

      “Apple has the choice to support an inefficient open standard technology like java, while not putting resources into supporting Adobe’s proprietary Flash, which has had an atrocious history of lousy support towards the Mac platform. From Apple’s customers perspective, what indication is there that Adobe will suddenly provide responsive support to it’s newer devices, especially considering their historical indifference to Apple support?” – I’m just not seeing how it’s beneficial for you to have no Flash rather than limited Flash support. I don’t see how you would be harmed by having an option to view what Flash content you can. This kind of thing is why I got rid of my iPhone after a few months, I guess I never got it, I never learned to “think different” about having choices.

      “My abandoning a web site is now more painful for them than it is for me.” – It’s too bad for both of you, that some rift would exist on a technical level to have this effect. Ideally, your machine would safely support as many platforms as possible, and you’d be able to view as much content as possible. Nobody wins but warring tech companies when consumers are isolated from content providers due to platform evangelism by megacorporations. It sucked when it was Microsoft doing it and it sucks now.

      “Suddenly there is a quickly growing percentage of non-PC web clients that are statistically meaningful.” – We’ll see how many get Flash. Apple’s market share is declining, their user base alone won’t be enough if everyone else eventually has Flash.

      “Until recently, many web managers only saw a need to support Windows clients.” – Which sucked. Platform evangelism always sucks and hurts users. Developers should be able to develop using their preferred platform, and consumers should be able to consume using their preferred platform.

  • matt

    Thats odd, flash works super fine on my nexus one and I seriously enjoy being able to render full websites.

    • Dot

      What is odd about it? He wasn’t using a nexus one.

      • What’s odd about it is that there is a new technology being built today that is pretty powerful, but it’s incapable of doing what many 10-year-old computers are still able to do.

  • Jay

    Am I missing something here? All this hoopla over how bad Flash is has me scratching my head. Flash has never crashed on me – having said that I do find all the flash animations distracting. As a developer (not in flash), I can say that you have to jump through hoops to do it with other technologies. HTML5 is still fairly new and this discussion would make more sense when it does go mainstream. Until then, Flash has its place and not necessarily in the mobile space although some devices have no problems with it. Jobs can go suck eggs if he thinks he can dictate what the web should or shouldn’t do.

    • Dot

      I see no place that Steve Jobs is trying to dictate to other companies what business decisions they should make concerning flash. He (possibly with input from many other people) made a decision to not support flash on the mobile devices that his company produces, based on how flash operates on mobile devices at this time.

      • Justin L

        That’s accurate, though, many Apple users now seem to be suggesting that Steve’s decision places an onus on the entire internet to abandon Flash. Also, what you do with your equipment isn’t Steve’s business.

        • Dot

          You know what they say about assuming, don’t you? All his business decision did was eliminate flash from the mobile devices that Apple makes – and you do keep stressing what a small portion of mobile devices that is, don’t you?

          It is really truly up to you if you how you want to use your equipment. Didn’t you suggest as pingpong paddle? Go right ahead.

          • Justin L

            Yes, I can do what I want with my equipment because I’m not an Apple user. I don’t need anyone’s permission (or to break the law) if I want to use Flash.

      • You might need to be a programmer to see the nuances.

        Let’s say Microsoft decided that JavaScript shouldn’t be the web scripting language anymore and it should be VBScript. So, they change Internet Explorer to not support JavaScript anymore and, instead, support only VBScript.

        When a page tries to load JavaScript, Internet Explorer throws an error that says, “Sorry, this website is old and is using old technologies. Please inform the webmaster to get with the times.”

        This is an exaggeration, of course. Or is it? The same argument could be made about Microsoft. Hey, they’re not forcing OTHERS to make a business decision. But, of course, they are.

        If Apple had less than 5% of the smart phone market, or if the iPhone was a flop, then you’d have a point. Instead, however, iPhones are selling like hotcakes… they are overtaking all of the other cell phones. In the process of reaching #1, Apple then starts dictating how the rest of the world needs to start programming to the web or else fall into obscurity. People will tell you that you are using old broken technologies because Apple said so. The majority of the mobile market will not view your website the way you intended.

        Whenever a player shows up from relative obscurity and starts becoming the dominant one, then starts using that dominance to start dictating (by refusing to support technologies that it CAN support) then you end up with hurt feelings. Luckily, in the (mostly) free market that exists, these hurt feels result in only the true brand fans sticking to the game… #1 doesn’t stay #1 for very long (unless they unfairly use existing monopolies, like Microsoft)… and the dark days pass… but the dark days still existed, so it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.

        People tend to get this idea that businesses are in the game of making the people happy so that people will happily hand over their cash. Unfortunately, players like Apple come along and remind everyone that sometimes businesses are in the game of making lots of money and then convincing these people that they SHOULD be happy for the privilege of handing over their money.

        • Justin L

          “iPhones are selling like hotcakes… they are overtaking all of the other cell phones”

          Apple’s market share has declined of late. The expectation was that Android would pass the iPhone by 2012-2013, but it happened recently, years ahead of schedule. Also, Windows Phone will be coming out soon, and while I’m not convinced it’ll do well, being another jailed system patterned after the iPhone, it’s bound to add some downward pressure to the iPhone’s popularity.

          • Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. It hasn’t happened yet, but is still on track to happen by 2012. My bet is by the end of 2011, but we’ll see.

            Keep in mind that the prediction of Android phones overtaking iPhones is about devices owned… actual users. The recent figure where Android phone have surpassed iPhones is in the number of new devices being activated.

            Imagine if this were a race… and the hare was way ahead in the race while the tortoise lagged behind. Then, the tortoise straps on a jet pack. During a moment of time, the tortoise is now going much faster than the hare, even if the tortoise has not yet passed the hare because of the huge gap that existed. The tortoise WILL pass the hare… it’s only a matter of WHEN.

            There are still more iPhone users than Android users in the mobile market. However, there are more Android devices being sold and activated each day than iPhones. The rate for Android activations is accelerating (jet pack). The rate of iPhone activations is starting to get a bit stale. It’s probably because iPhone users switched to iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 3Gs users switched to iPhone 4. So, the base of users isn’t growing so much as it is replacing one set of hardware for another. I suspect many Android activations are people who are trading in non-Android devices like Blackberries, non-smart-phones and, in some cases, iPhones.

            It would be incorrect to say, however, that the predictions for 2012/2013 have already happened because, technically, they haven’t. However, it does look like the predictions are holding true and, if anything, are slightly ahead of schedule.

          • Justin L


            “It hasn’t happened yet, but is still on track to happen by 2012.”





            Though, while device sales in the last 8 months, web traffic, and the number of devices in China are higher for Android, you’re right, there were roughly 8.7 million Android devices to 10.7 million iPhones in the US in April. I don’t see it taking more than 20 months (Apr 2010-Jan 2012) to cover the last 18% of the iPhone’s installed base, though. However, you could be right about worldwide figures where the margin is wider. “By the end of 2011” sounds very plausible for the worldwide number of devices.

          • The only “prediction” where Android would overtake the iPhone by 2012 or 2013 was when it was based on a world wide takeover.

            So, this is what I was referring to. If there was someone out there previously predicting that US sales would take until 2012 or 2013, then I would agree with you… they were smoking something good.

            As for US figures… I don’t believe any charts have come out (yet) which include the spike from iPhone 4 sales… I don’t think it’s going to be as huge of a spike as many are expecting… but it will be a spike nonetheless… but shouldn’t take too long to overcome, and then some.

        • Dot

          I think that you are wrong about that. Apple is in business to build the products that it thinks customers will appreciate and buy because they like them. I think that they are doing exactly that.

          The problem that you describe – of there being sites (businesses) on the web that have flash so Apple HAS build devices to support them – is wrong. Apple is in the business of pleasing their customer base and selling devices. It is doing that.

          • Which means the Apple user base is about people wanting a neat toy to play with, not a small computer.

    • Tom

      You are simply mistaken about my master’s position : he is not trying to control only the Internet, but all of us, down to the last fandroid!

      (I bet you believe this, don’t you?)

      Now, GO HOME!

  • David

    I am a total android guy and love my Droid……but I have to admit, Jobs was correct and this article describes the exact experience I have on my Droid. I am only running the beta version of flash but it is, to my dismay, useless. 🙁

  • Rastablood

    Got flash yesterday with Froyo and it works fine, I watched 3 tv episodes on YouTube plus a match on another site and had no problems whatsoever. Just cos some journalist has trouble loading something from his Droid doesn’t mean flash is a failure.

    • Dot

      I’d be really interested if you or anyone else will go to exactly the same sites that the person who wrote the article (and filmed the Droid’s reaction) and then tell us if you have a different experience on your phone.

      Otherwise, I’m glad that you are happy with your phone. Me, too – mine’s an iPhone. It handles every site that I want to go to, as well.

      • You’re right. The Internet was one massive failure. I went to ABC.com and Fox.com using my computer. Both of those sites made me puke a little in my mouth. The invention of the Internet was clearly one big mistake. We might as well start dismantling it now, strip out all of the parts from all of the computers, and use the cases as flowering pots. Man, what a waste that whole Internet was. Oh well. Maybe someone will come up with something better that isn’t such a huge failure.

        • Dot

          You’re having a bit of an overreaction, aren’t you? Not that I mind if you give up the internet for good, mind you. That is your choice and it might be something you need to do for a while.

          • If I’m overreacting… then the original poster of this article is overreacting.

            Oh, wait…

            Ahhh… I see what I did there.

  • Rastablood


    Sounds like the Droid is the problem. You want to get yourself a Desire, mate.

  • Writing some software that would convert Flash to HTML5 would probably be bloated and wouldn’t be the best solution.

    Ever see how Dreamweaver generates html? No thanks. Enough with the WYSIWYG editors, please! Learn it yourself and you’ll never need to use Flash as a crutch.

  • MikeJ , explain how Java is inefficient? I’ve never considered myself a Java developer, since I use a wide range of languages but I’ve made a small fortune working on Java based solutions.

    Java’s speed, security, and portability are fine.

    • Justin L

      Yeah, it’s strange how the JS/HTML/CSS people are so quick to criticize Flash and Java for having performance issues when Actionscript (Flash) is several times as fast as Javascript, and modern Java is usually at least 80% as fast as C/C++. Though, I think one reason for the strange ideas about performance might be a comparison between software-decoded video in Flash or Java, and hardware-decoded video in a native player, but that has nothing to do with the performance of Java or Actionscript vs that of Javascript.

    • NativeClient is more efficient than Java. Hence, Java is inefficient.

  • A Glamor Geek

    This is B.S. I’ve had no problems with flash on my Nexus One.

    • Dot

      Did you go to the same sites as the person who did the reviews? I saw the videos he did of his experience. Were yours different at the same sites?

      • Since when did this particular sites become the benchmark of the Internet? It would be no different than trying to go to a few Flash-only websites using the iPad, then considering the iPad to be a failure because the sites won’t load at all.

        To truly test something, you need to use a well balanced benchmark. The benchmark that was used by the OP was not balanced… hence, he got the results he was seeking. He specifically chose a benchmark that would always point to a failure of Flash on mobile phones because he wanted Flash to fail. Then, he quickly ran to write this article. And, for whatever reason, you also want Flash to fail, so you are suggesting that everyone needs to stick to this same biased benchmark.

        There is no logical and sane reason any consumer would want a product or service to fail unless they had an unreasonable concept in their mind that businesses are football teams, and while they’re rooting for their own team they are also rooting for the other team to lose. When any business or product concept “loses”… consumers lose a little. Assuming you are a consumer, you should want every business concept to succeed, even if it’s not something you like or prefer… because it drives innovation in all corners… it keeps competition tight… etc…

        So, either you are a stock-holder, a fan-boy, or a consumer who wants consumers to lose. What a curious disease.

        • Dot

          Flash is a failure (at this time) on a cell phone if it does not allow the customer to go to a site that the customer wants to go to. ABC and Fox are not odd sites to go to for the normal customer. My boss goes to those sites multiple times during the day on a computer. If she could not go to those sites on a smart phone she would consider it a failure.

          It is okay if you want to give the customer a list of sites that they can’t go to and say Flash does not work at these, do you still want tot phone?

          I don’t care if Flash fails or not. I have been very upfront that I don’t like Flash on regular computers because of the problems it causes me at my workplace. As long as Flash on other people’s phones or computers doesn’t cause me any problems, then I just don’t care if it runs or not.

          You are so wrong about so many of your assumptions. My cousin just bought herself a Droid and I helped her learn how to use it. I don’t hate her or her phone. I like my phone better. She likes her new phone just fine. And guess what? Neither one of us feels that we have to denigrate the other or call each other names for liking the product that we do like.

          Unlike you.

          • Justin L

            “Flash is a failure (at this time) on a cell phone if it does not allow the customer to go to a site that the customer wants to go to.”

            I see the possibility of having had a Flash player that would have supported a given site, but having had Steve block it, as exactly the same failure, only for infinitely more frustrating reasons.

            “It is okay if you want to give the customer a list of sites that they can’t go to and say Flash does not work at these, do you still want tot phone?”

            It sounds like you’re describing the iPhone.

            “As long as Flash on other people’s phones or computers doesn’t cause me any problems, then I just don’t care if it runs or not.”

            Tell that to Steve.

          • Dot

            JustinL, well, then, you’ve got a simple answer – don’t buy an iPhone and go your own way.

            Do you see me on Flash sites berating the people who like it for liking it or on Dell sites berating the people who buy Dells for doing that?

            Yes! I bought an iPhone knowing full well that no flash was supported. They did not hide that. I did not mind it, that’s why I bought one. And I am very happy with it.

            I don’t know Steve Jobs. I don’t think that you do either, although you have a lot of emotional baggage about a man you don’t even know, don’t you?

          • I’m not on one side or the other, which is why I don’t understand how someone can defend this “failure” standpoint.

            If Flash is a “failure” because the Flash doesn’t perform well on Fox.com and ABC.com, then wouldn’t this make the iPhone a bigger failure for not loading Flash AT ALL on Fox.com and ABC.com? I don’t think it’s a fair statement to make… but by following your logic, it’s the only reasonable conclusion.

            This isn’t about liking phones or not liking phones. If you re-read the original article, it is simply saying that Flash (as a whole) is a complete (not just partial) failure simply because of a limited bad experience on a single device on a couple of websites.

            If I crash my car into a McDonalds, does that mean the entire corporation of McDonalds is a failure… my car is a failure… the entire invention of the automobile is a failure… the entire human population is a failure?

            I’m just saying that the original article writer is using a severe exaggeration to write an opinion piece, and others are jumping to his defense because they happen to agree with him. Agree with him all you want, but at least agree that he didn’t use the scientific method and that this is poor journalism.

          • @DOT,

            People don’t dislike Steve Jobs because they know him personally. It’s due to the things he says publicly. Through his own public statements, it’s clear that he’s more interested in building a wealth-building empire than by innovating for the common consumer. This would be fine and dandy if he also wasn’t claiming to be innovating for the common consumer.

            Steve Jobs made the mistake early on by convincing the populace that he was trying to save the world from the evils of IBM. And yet, what he is doing right now (in the business world) is 10 times worse than IBM ever did. It’s that two-faced attitude that has people bothered. It’s not about his products or how financially viable he can make his corporation… it’s about how two-faced he is when speaking to the public.

            I can guarantee you that if he ran for President, he wouldn’t even come close to winning. And if he did win, we’d all be in biiig trouble.

          • Dot

            It really depends. If you sell a person a phone and say that Fox is going to load and run just fine, StareClips, and it doesn’t then you have lied to the customer and the customer is going to think that Flash is a failure. And face it, from the business standpoint it is the customer that decides if it is or is not.

            Apple doesn’t lie about it – you know up front that it won’t run Flash sites, so you don’t have any expectation that it will. To me, the iPhone is not a failure because I don’t have unrealistic expectations.

            I think that if Flash developers make up a list of sites it won’t run well on – at this time – so that the customers don’t have unrealistic expectations, people will like their phones just fine. If, however, people go around saying the customer can go to every site and have a good experience (look at what some of the posters here – they have said that) then they are going to create unrealistic expectations in their customers and the customers are going to be disappointed by the reality.

            I have warned my cousin that her new Droid won’t run some Flash sites well. It was the first she heard of that. Now she’ll have to decide if the sites she wants to go to run well enough for her or now.

          • Dot


            See Steve Jobs just doesn’t affect me. I buy stuff from a company he runs. Period. I don’t care if he makes an ass of himself, or what religion he is, or what his political views are, or if he eats Cheerios for breakfast. Got me? I don’t care if he retires as long as the next person creates stuff I can use.

          • @DOT

            Right… and nobody said that FOX.COM doesn’t work well on Android phones. Flash is optional on Android phones. It just means that when you try to run the Flash-specific stuff on FOX.COM, it doesn’t work as well as it would on a computer. That’s all. Trying to run the Flash-specific stuff on an iPhone means it won’t run at all.

            Nobody sold an Android phone specifically saying that FOX.COM’s Flash content would work as well as it does on a PC. If they did, it was likely as clueless of a person as the one who wrote this article. So, I would imagine you wouldn’t listen to such advice inasmuch as I don’t make purchasing decisions based on silly articles such as this one. One in which you are defending for some reason. Not sure if it is to justify your purchase, or what the motivation is. Personally, I like the iPhone. I owned one. It’s some great hardware. In my particular case, however, I just want more control. I want phones to be more like computers have been. Open ended. Install whatever you want. I don’t need to “hack” my PC to install software on it that wasn’t written by Microsoft, so I shouldn’t have to “hack” my phone to do the same. That’s just me. If you’re happy with the choices you have, it’s your prerogative. Don’t just lump me into the category of the crazies who think that iPhone users shouldn’t own iPhones. People should own whatever it is they like using. Period.

            My only motivation to posting in regards to this article was simply that it was an over exaggeration. It is essentially a lie, with clear ulterior motives behind it. A conspiracy theorist would say the original poster was paid by Apple. I’m not that crazy. I just think it’s someone who is so bought into brands that he will defend the brand he has chosen and bash the brand he has not chosen for some psychological reason that I don’t quite understand. I can make various assumptions, or speculate, or compare it to other psychological diseases… but in the end, there’s no knowing. It may simply be that the original poster is a “troll” in a sense, trying to get more traffic for a blog that has ads on it.

            Now, as for you not caring about the attitude of a company you buy products from… again, it’s your prerogative… but this doesn’t mean that others are somehow inferior to you because they do care. I, personally, believe there is much more to life than just buying stuff until you die. I believe there is a human element to everything. If a company talks about working to improve the environment, etc… then news breaks that they’ve been dumping toxins into the oceans, etc… and when caught, they just deny even with plenty of evidence to the contrary… it’s enough to make me think twice about whether or not I support that company and make them even more powerful. That’s just me.

            Sure, Apple isn’t dumping toxins into the oceans… but what they HAVE been doing is making claims that have turned out to be false. I bought into their “think different” mantra for a while… until I realized that they’re no different than anyone else they claim to be better than. So, without that “feel good” concept… the only thing they can sway me with is a product I want to invest in… and I want open products that aren’t clamped down by arbitrary rules. It isn’t just that I don’t need training wheels, but that I don’t WANT training wheels. I didn’t use AOL for that reason. But, some people were/are perfectly happy with AOL… so, more power to them. AOL… it just works.

  • R.Pearce

    There’s another secret product in the works at Cupertino. It is called the iPap. It is a high-tech toilet paper kept under wraps. Apparently, while it does what it is supposed to, it also renders the butt to a mirror-shine. I can imagine the Apple minions standing in line all night to get their hands on it at $5 a roll. They’ll even swear that their butt never looked better.

    • Dot

      Jeez, you might like to get some professional help if you hate people you haven’t met because they like a different smart phone than you do.

  • I believe Jobs really took a good point in his letter; we will make our decision, and if people don’t like it, they won’t buy it. And yes, it’s true. If people didn’t like the way Apple works, the fact they hate Flash, and it was so ‘vital’ factor of good smartphone, they would not buy iPhone. Do you really think all the people who bought the iPhone is either idiot or fanboy?

    Anyway, it seems quite write about the flash programs need to be re-written to be played on touch-based screen and phones. The resources they can use are highly restricted, and actually most of them are not playable without PC environments: mouse, keyboard, etc. Although it perfectly illogical to say, ‘why not re-write on different modern platform?’, since flash and HTML5 seem perfectly different for me. -maybe it’s not for pro developers-

    After all, as I quoted from Jobs at the beginning, just don’t buy it if you think you really ‘need’ flash support for your phone.

    • Justin L

      A lot of Flash content is accessible without a keyboard and mouse, and a lot of HTML/Javascript content isn’t. HTML is also more resource intensive than Flash.

      People who like Flash aren’t going to drop it simply because Apple has one system in mind for everyone to use. Apple’s sales are down and people are enjoying Flash on their Android and Nokia devices. So I guess I’d have to agree, there was one coherent point in Steve’s letter: people vote with their feet.

      • I have to say 2 things. First of all, I guess you really didn’t care what I said, -what I pointed- and second, I don’t agree with amount of Flash contents that don’t need keyboard and mouse.

        I haven’t seen any flash contents that is out of area of “marketing”, which is basically advertisement. Besides, if it doesn’t need keyboard or the mice, then basically it is not something that entertains you but rather gives away info.

        Anyhow, we somehow get to agreement on the part, ‘let Apple fall or just overcome with not supporting flash’.

        • Justin L

          Steve’s arguments seem to boil down to the idea that the web is bad because it isn’t iPhone-specific, given that HTML sites can be just as dependent on a keyboard and mouse.

          For instance, HTML sites can require “hover over” logic that the iPhone can’t provide, and many HTML sites do exactly that.

          Also, I think Javascript is used for abusive behavior more frequently than Flash.

      • Vamsmack

        Shoot I didn’t know Apple sales were down. Were they? http://www.loopinsight.com/2010/07/21/analyst-apples-impressive-growth-sustainable/

        It seems to be up and their growth is only continuing. Their sales are strong and don’t show any signs of slowing….

    • Jay

      It is not so much the leaving out of flash but the inference that all other smartphone makers are cretins for trying to make it work, that irritates the hell out of me. The very drift of this blog seems to suggest that. I’d rather have a smartphone that ALSO does flash – albeit with a few glitches – than not at all. It takes a different mindset to put up with Jobs’ highhandedness and Apple fans seem not to mind that. Others don’t care much for it. That’s the long and short of it IMHO.

      • I think I got what you meant by that. The choice, isn’t it?

        But as I said already, ‘if you really need smartphone with flash support, then just android. That’s it. What I argued for, is quite simply that flash is not so neither important nor helpful. I’m sure the part ‘helpful’ may be arguable, but well I believe I made my point.

        Saying ‘choice’ seems irrelevent at the point since customer actually buy the iphone. We know flash has been literally embarassed by Jobs and his Apple. But people, even knowing how “vital” the flash support is, seems not really give so much value for it.

        The choice has been made at the point when people bought their phone, not from where Apple decided to not to support. Personally, I never expected Apple to, because on my PC, really flash is anonying.

        Apparently it seems Jobs is forcing customer to abolish flash. But in more business-related way of thinking, I tend to think putting flash support only makes iOS fatter and requries Apple to pay to Adobe. -No one belives Adobe is going to give flash support for free, aren’t we?- I do not want to pay more just for the flash support.

        • Justin L

          Adobe gives Flash away for free, the player is never a paid product.

          • Well, with all regard, I’ll repeat some of what I mentioned. It doesn’t matter whether Adobe chooses to provide players for free or not. It’s matter of Apple, whether or not to make it free. -iOS update is basically provided by Apple, and most of iPod Touch users had to pay for each major update-

            Then, it comes to the point again. If you bought Apple iOS devices, then it only means you abandoned flash support. Apple probably change, or update as soon as possible when Adobe makes some changes, which is somewhat obvious.

            So, I want my iPhone light as possible, and hope Adobe to make better player, or nothing. And for iPod Touch user’s sake, please I hope Apple to make update for free.

          • Ted

            The charging for major OS upgrades for iPod Touch owners was because of a horrible little “law” called Sarbanes-Oxley.

            It wouldn’t allow corporations to legally add features to products that have already been purchased. So Apple couldn’t add features for free. They had to charge something for them or be fined.

            Thankfully, these accounting rules have been modified so there is no longer that penalty.

            But I agree it confused a lot of owners who weren’t also accountants or lawyers 🙂

          • @Ted Just little question. Then how Apple could update iPhone for free until today? I’ve been using iPhone 1st generation and 3G, and just bought new iPhone 4, but I never paid once.

            I am not totally convinced by explanation that Apple must charge customers for update, since then Apple could just charge $1 for it.

  • http://www.absolutelyandroid.com/great-flash-sites-for-your-android-phone/ This is an article I wrote about about real time use of flash on android devices.

    To say flash fails on mobile devices is a great exaggeration.

    • Sadly, because of existence of this page, one that you posted, gives quite a good example that many of flash aren’t supporting touch-based OS, or devices. Besides if there are already plenty of them, why would you or we look for those kind of flash contents anyway?

      • Justin L

        Many Javascript sites are incompatible with a touch interface, too. Developers make inaccessible or poorly thought out interfaces using many systems, but the examples show that Flash has no special incompatibility with mobile devices.

        Both Flash and Javascript require content to follow certain guidelines to work on a touch screen. Both have a lot of existing content that is not touch-friendly, and also a lot of content that is touch-friendly.

        The point is: the claim that Flash simply can’t work on mobile devices due to performance or other technical issues is debunked by that site and countless other examples.

  • Jay
  • Steve

    You clowns completely miss the boat on this…

    Getting Flash wasnt about playing games. There are whole websites out there that you can’t use without some sort of flash technology and these Android devices have that!

    What am I trying to say here? If you want the whole web, get an Android device but if you only want what papa jobs tells you that you can have get an iPhone.

    Now think about this, if you walk into some place that has a Blockbuster Kiosk and you’re 6 people deep, in line, but you notice the movie you want is in… Well, with Android you can quickly jump on that phone and reserve it before the others can rent it. Yes I know a PC can do this but you’re not always in front of a PC.

    Another experience I had, looking at certain Motorcycle manufacturers websites required flash and can’t see them on my iPad but I can on my incredible!

    Anyway, it is obvious you guys take this as a failure but remember these devices are setup to succeed because we all know that these phones are getting faster (1.6 GHz and dual core will be here by January) and will run the software well in the future… As for the mouse features, all adobe has to do is set the interpreter to recognize mobile devices and change what things like a mouse over do…

    So the point is that you really shouldn’t trumpet somebody else’s efforts because your preferred device manufacturer failed to even try.

    • Kafka’s Vault

      I think it is a little rich to say that other people have missed the boat but then go on to support Adobe.

      So you provided one hypothetical and one real life version where Flash was needed. Well done you. I’ve not needed Flash for anything during the last couple of years of abandoning it. So I slightly outweigh your one real life example. You don’t score any for the hypothetical one because I’ve got millions of those.

      As for tech speeds, yes they do always get bigger, but the demands that software/hardware/users/businesses place on them is always increasing. Difficult to number but there is a lot of cancelling out there.

      “All Adobe has to do …” still waiting since 2007 for them to do it.

      And name calling is beneath any sentient being who doesn’t need their mom to dress them every morning.

      • “And name calling is beneath any sentient being who doesn’t need their mom to dress them every morning.”

        That is awesome. I’m putting that on a poster.

        “Personal insults are only made by stupid people, stinky mcstink-face. You’re momma is huge.”

        • (and yes, the incorrect usage of “your” was intentional)

  • Noma Homa

    Surely he was right when talking about Mobile Phones but leaving Flash out from iPad was not justified. Its more powerful than lowend laptops – it should surely run Flash smoothly! Early implementations shows that Frash is going to be must have on iPad!

    For mobile phones – flash is not a necessity.

    • Agreeable, and yet sadly Apple seems not to have so much ‘technology’ for it.

      As many above comments already mentioned, there are contents can be run on touch-based UI, and the iPad is one of them. Since iPad was designed to be mobile PC, somewhat cheaper than laptop, but better then netbook, it suppose to have better performance or some solution to run the flash. That’s what I think, at least. Most of the websites that aren’t English-based use quite a lot of ActiveX and Flash. And, unfortunately I speak not only English but other 4 languages as well. -Damn, I guess now Jobs’ going to say English prevails or something-

      I hope 4.0 or 4.1 for iPad supports flash somehow, or iPad 2.0 will. iPad’s performance was greatly overpassed my personal expectation, but in comparison to iPhone, it is unreasonable to just stay in 1Ghz Core.

      P.S. If Jobs had put better CPU in it, it could probably run the flash without any problem.

  • Gman

    Wow, so man fan boys fighting for so long?! This article is dumb and factually incorrect and has caused the fandroids to get upset and jump to defend their devices. Facts are, Flash works great for 90% percent of Android devices evidenced by all the comment responses. Just for good measure I will add my tick for Flash on my Desire. It does everything and more that could ever want.

    Oh and Tom, having read the majority of responses now, I can safely say, YOUR A TOOL. Go have a jerk over your I-Phone4 and stop wasting my oxygen..

  • To say that “we don’t need Flash” seems like a premature decision to me.

    I prefer to develop with Flash because it uses, (please write this to memory) in my opinion, cleaner and more type-strict code than Javascript.

    Seems to me that the wrong people are complaining about what stays and what goes. I’m the programmer. I’m the person who’s going to make whatever you’re using work.

    It frustrates me to no extent to hear people who don’t even program try to say what is best for society in the realm of technology. It’s like trying to tell a French man that he needs to speak English in his own country.

    I see HTML5 taking a long time to adopt because programmers will be forced to revert back to Javascript’s “looseness” for lack of a better word.

    • Jay S

      Well @Jeremy, while I take on board your point about Flash over JS, it is not up to us to decide what the market must use. Surely, the builders of Edsel would have touted it as the best thing they’d ever made. The issues about Flash has nothing to do with its programmability or otherwise. The main bottleneck is the drain on battery from the allegedly, redundant CPU cycles it consumes – and that is an architectural thing that you and me – as programmers, have little say in.

  • TellMe

    I’m an Android user and I hate Flash. I remember when I got my G1. I was so happy! But then: “Omg! What is that little cube with a question mark I see in almost every webpage?” Then I learned what it was. “Oh no!!! This just can’t replace my laptop in functionality! nOOOOO!!!!!!” Months and months waiting… at some point seeing a video of Adobe demonstrating Flash working on Android. “Oh Yeees pls pls gimme gimme!” Months later I thought “F*ck it, you can shove it wherever you’ve got room Adobe. Why do you tease me this long and give me nothing?” That day is when I started getting into rooting to be able to use wireless tethering with my laptop. Now, I’m glad I grew more savvy about many things and feel I can say YOU SUCK ADOBE!

  • Slickstyles

    This is all funny. But here is the way it will go flash will not die, the player will be engineered to conserve on CPU cycles thus lowering battery drainage. ADOBE has millions and millions of dollars and will not let their products fall to the way side from propaganda. And this will all force adobe to improve it’s technologies and make them better thus in the end the consumer wins getting to use better products, competition is good! Html5 and JS will continue to grow and will be a viable alternative solutions to development. (OH and JS is nothing new and been around longer than flash) Neither is better or worse than the other, they each have their own place in the development cycle and should be used accordingly by developers making the right educted decision on which technology should be used for the present project needed to be executed.

    One thing to note people Apple isn’t the greatest company making the greatest devices, look at the blog below and take a small peak on what Apple is really amazing at doing, making you the consumer open your pocket book and shelling out your hard earned money on new technology which replaces the latest and greatest Apple technology you just bought last year.


    Pay attention to your leaders people, KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THEM!