Flash on the iPhone, some thoughts about HTML5

Ok, It has been what 3-4 years and flash has yet to be on the iPhone. It never seemed to be a big deal until Apple pulled the plug on any apps compiled in third party compilers and with the announcement of the iPad.

This isn’t speaking to Adobe directly but since Adobe had a Flash App bundle set to release about 2 weeks after the iPad was announced it set the pace for the Brand wars.

Steve Jobs released a public letter “Thoughts on Flash

Adobe countered with the launch of an ad campaign We love Apple

A few facts.
Most if not all flash on the net is designed for mouse interaction meaning anything with that requires hovering will suffer on the iPhone only because it was not designed as the designated device for delivery.

Flash used in Kiosks is generally designed for touch interaction.

Think of any Flash interaction that has a hover state like a drop down menu. Most sites require the mouse to be in the active area. Now put your finder over top of the text, remembering your screen is now 3.5″ (granted not as bad on the iPad) It becomes obvious that your finger is not transparent and in the way.

Most if not all flash websites are not optimized for mobile browsing. EDIT

You load up the website in question. It is not Mobile optimized meaning the width is probably set to 960px wide. you have a navigation system that uses flashes hover state to navigate the drop down menu.
The text is more than likely to small to read, and then put your finger over top.

This could be fixed for the mobile devices if flash developers stop using Hover or if the iPhone Flash plug-in modifies the code.

What if Hover is used to rotate an object? OK more issues.

More facts.

There are plenty of non-mobile accessible websites on the Internet. I don’t think that having a flash plug-in is going to increase the likelihood that you would come across a flash site as it is. Your search habits will probably be the same. For me I don’t come across to many websites that use flash in as a integral part of the site. If it is then the site in my opinion chose to not be as fully accessible as it could be.

Apple has the right to say what does on their phones.

Apple made the iPhone/Pod/Pad and they can choose what apps they allow on it. If people want a more open system then they should develop for one maybe the Android.

As Steve said about the SDK if there are to many platforms being used the development of core features suffers and I agree.

Flash on Android demo crashes twice. Speaker says “What site would you like to see?” Someone says “Hulu.” Speaker says, “Hulu doesn’t work.”

Via: @jcroft

The people upset are not iPhone developers nor are they really the users of Apple products; they are the flash developers and community.

I feel that Adobe has not put together a game plan (that I have seen) that would address the shortcomings of flash on the mobile web using Apple products.

There is no good way to secure a good user experience on the web with or without flash.

Steve Jobs listed the reasons why Flash isn’t on the iPhone and Adobe has done nothing to change that. The way they can prove that is for Apple and Adobe to work together on this.

I think people are ill informed when they say well HTML5 will solve online animation issues. I’m sure it can! HTML5 will still rely on JavaScript and unless the iPhone processes JavaScript using hardware acceleration I don’t think the animation will be any better. Have you ever tried using the web version of Google maps on your iPhone or a simple jQuery modal pop up? Not so fast is it.


HTML5 is not a standard and inst set to become a standard for 10 years! Not to mention that there isn’t an application out there that offers a GUI for HTML5 and JavaScript Animation. Even for CSS3. It’s like the days of making animations in DOS(that thing that Apple used to run on.) using QBasic

What can be learned from this? Well maybe Apple and Adobe should speak to one another instead of having a teenage spat over the Internet. This isn’t Canadian politics based on he said she said and name-calling.

Make a Mobile Flash standard and show some Initiative Adobe.

GROW UP both of you!

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