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  • Flash Halves New MacBook Air Battery Life: Tests


    Apple's rated 6-hour battery life on the 2010 MacBook Airs can only be achieved without Flash, according to a couple of new tests. Ars Technica found that installing Flash cut battery life to 4 hours on an 11-inch Air, while Anandtech's tests showed battery life cut in half on the 13-inch model. Apple claims that they do not install Flash on new MacBook Airs because they think "the best way for users to always have the most up to date and secure version" is to download it from Adobe.

    In his review of the 11-inch MacBook Air, Chris Foresman of Ars Technica was able to get only four hours of battery life doing normal web surfing. After he removed Flash, Foresman got six hours and two minutes out of the Air, browsing to the same sites. He concluded that the Flash ads on most of those sites was draining the 4500mAh six-battery array, observing that the CPU was "running far more than seemed necessary" when sites had Flash content.

    Anand Shimpi and Vivek Gowri at Anandtech did some different tests, but found similar results using Flash. Doing light web browsing, document creation and music playback on the 13-inch MacBook Air, they were able to get over eleven hours out of its larger 6500mAh battery pack. The 11-inch model got 7 hour battery life in this "glorified typewriter" test. However, when browsing pages with one to four Flash ads, the 13-inch Air's battery life was cut by more than 50% in comparison to browsing sites with no Flash and iTunes playing music.

    Apple has made no secret of its disdain for Flash. Steve Jobs, in a closed session, reportedly referred to Flash as "buggy," and called Adobe "lazy." In an open letter, Jobs claimed that the problems with battery life were due to the fact that Flash must be decoded in software, rather than in hardware like Apple's preferred H.264 standard. So an Apple spokesman may have been disingenuous when he told Engadget the company is "happy to continue to support Flash on the Mac." You can have it, he seems to be saying, but don't expect your Mac to run well or have much battery life.

    Source: PCWorld
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Flash Halves New MacBook Air Battery Life: Tests started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 60 Comments
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Quote Originally Posted by JacquesChirac View Post
      this is a problem with flash, although flash has a ton of room for improvement. It's a problem with Apple's incompatable OS and their hardware. Why is it that this doesn't happen with PCs?

      Apple blaming flash for its crapiness (although it is kind crappy) is just a way for it to avoid its own problems
      Um dude, fanboy, whatever. Ask a linux user what they think of flash. We run the same hardware as pc users, same processors same everything and guess what? It's a dog. Don't turn this into an anti apple hate fest, adobe flash is crap, 15 year old technology and a hugh security hole in your firewall. Flash is only optimised for windows, period, the rest get to suck adobe eggs. Now tell me whos fault it is again???????
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Quote Originally Posted by JacquesChirac View Post
      this is a problem with flash, although flash has a ton of room for improvement. It's a problem with Apple's incompatable OS and their hardware. Why is it that this doesn't happen with PCs?

      Apple blaming flash for its crapiness (although it is kind crappy) is just a way for it to avoid its own problems
      it's the way Adobe writes their code. Do research before you play the part of an annoying windows fanboi.
    1. Rob_Quads's Avatar
      Rob_Quads -
      OK so flash is not great but lets try and do a fair comparison and visit the site where there is HTML5 content instead.
      Not really rocket science that showing an animation is going to take up much mcuh much more CPU than a static picture. I could have told you that without even touching a Macbook Air

      Also remember - once flash dies (not that I think it will for a long time) then all those ads etc will be coded in HTML5 like the rest of the page and it will just be much harder to disable as you won't have the ability to not install the plugin.
    1. mardinn's Avatar
      mardinn -
      Jesus another stupid story to mock flash. Yes like the other guy said how come this does not happen to windows? And don't tell me that it's the way they write the code. Give me a link where it says that's the fault.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Years ago adobe decided that they were going to write their programs in one language and then crappily port them.
    1. Mrducati's Avatar
      Mrducati -
      Quote Originally Posted by mardinn View Post
      Jesus another stupid story to mock flash. Yes like the other guy said how come this does not happen to windows? And don't tell me that it's the way they write the code. Give me a link where it says that's the fault.
      Do you really need a link to tell you what's already obvious?
    1. mardinn's Avatar
      mardinn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrducati View Post
      Do you really need a link to tell you what's already obvious?
      What is obvious? Nothing is obvious. Give me a link. Evidence or it's a simple lie.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Quote Originally Posted by mardinn View Post
      What is obvious? Nothing is obvious. Give me a link. Evidence or it's a simple lie.
      I don't think you know much about computers and coding.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Keep it a clean debate. Just a heads up.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      We are. want to play a round of L4D2, Cer0?
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      Years ago adobe decided that they were going to write their programs in one language and then crappily port them.
      Seriously. Of course they were going to code for Windows...it is a Windows world we live in. Apple's crappy port of iTunes is far worse than Flash. Adobe has many great products on the market. They are leaders in their fields. Flash sucks, I agree. For some strange reason people like it and it isn't going away.
    1. jose060789's Avatar
      jose060789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by braddahjosh View Post
      Flash sucks
      Agreed.


      Sent from my iPhone 4 using ModMyi
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Seriously. Of course they were going to code for Windows...it is a Windows world we live in. Apple's crappy port of iTunes is far worse than Flash. Adobe has many great products on the market. They are leaders in their fields. Flash sucks, I agree. For some strange reason people like it and it isn't going away.
      save for that fact that more photoshop graphic artist prefer macs. I'm not saying all of adobe's products suck, but flash is just horrible for mac.

      With hardware acceleration in flash, 80% CPU on hulu, average.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      save for that fact that more photoshop graphic artist prefer macs. I'm not saying all of adobe's products suck, but flash is just horrible for mac.

      With hardware acceleration in flash, 80% CPU on hulu, average.
      Flash is horrible for everyone. I personally avoid it. Surely this isn't a surprise that Flash would effect battery life. It is a no brainer. A page that has generic html vs a page that is actually doing something will win every time. Jobs wants to have a format running on the iPhone that preserves battery life as much as possible since the battery is its biggest weakness. So it has to be that way for Mac boxes too...otherwise he couldn't tout such long runtimes on laptop batteries.

      How is Photoshop on a Mac? Is it buggy and choppy with moments of freezing? This is what I deal with every time I want to sync my phone.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Yep, yep it is. You know what, apple could have just decided to not make itunes for windows and force anyone who wanted an iphone to buy a mac. (it would have been incredibly stupid though) I've never had problems with itunes on my fam's dell. I don't know what you are talking about.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I am running a powerful windows box and iTunes is very laggy. I can render 3D images that perform better than iTunes, but this is about flash. They should release it on the iPhone so people can have their fill.
    1. hypertripo's Avatar
      hypertripo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      Fanboy, much?

      Flash is garbage. Accept it and move on, those with half a brain have.

      The way flash encodes and decodes inside the browser is 15 year old technology. It fundamentally hasn't change in all that time. "And now it's time for something completely different".

      If you run a windows machine you are the lucky ones as it has always been adobes policy to optimise flash for windows and screw the rest. As a linux user we've been treated like dogs by adobe so has osx users. They don't deserve any respect.

      FYI Youtube vid using flash, cpu 33-35%. Same vid html5, cpu 11-14%. You tell me Einstein.


      I never said I loved Flash or that it's awesome. I'm just saying that everyone says we don't need flash and that it's crap.

      If it is crap, I will totally agree with you if there is some proofs, benchmarks, test, etc, but saying flash takes more power than not having flash is just plain dumb.

      The thing is that Apple seems to protect itself from not really supporting flash by saying it's power hungry, crap and not needed.

      But i'm pretty sure everyone here has flash installed and it will be like that until we get a decent alternative that is accepted EVERYWHERE. Because now there is some flash over here, some html5 over there.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      I have flash installed on my MBP. I also have click to flash installed.
    1. mardinn's Avatar
      mardinn -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      I don't think you know much about computers and coding.
      If you know more than me, then show it to me. Show me that Adobe writes it's code for Mac in a way which it halves the battery life.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Are you that ******* lazy that you can't loom it up yourself? It's common knowledge.