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  • The Real Reason Apple Will Not Support Flash?


    The drama surrounding Apple's refusal to support Flash on the iPhone and iPod (and soon, iPad) has been long and acrimonious. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made a series of caustic comments about Flash and its corporate developers, calling Adobe "lazy" and Flash a "CPU hog." Now, however, a Flash developer has weighed in with an alternate - and intriguingly simple - explanation for the banishment of Flash: namely, the lack of a mouse pointer on a touchscreen.

    Morgan Adams, an interactive content developer, wrote a note to Dan Dilger, who has been doing a series of video blogs on his RoughlyDrafted site debunking what he calls the "ten myths of Apple's iPad," such as "It’s just a big iPod touch," and "It needs cameras." Adams wrote in response to his myth #2: "it needs Flash." Dilger redid his videoblog on that point, incorporating what this Flash developer had to say.

    His argument was this: beyond all the complaints about speed and security, there is one fatal flaw with Flash on the iPhone's touchscreen: Flash animations need a mouse pointer - and an interface that can distinguish between hovering and actual clicking - to function normally. Hulu's Flash player is held up as an example of the difference: hovering the mouse pointer of the bottom of the screen brings up the controller, while clicking is for pause/resume.

    The practical rejoinder is that workarounds could be created for touchscreen Flash players, but Adams details numerous such solutions and finds them all wanting.
    • "every Flash app on every site is re-thought by its designers and re-coded by its programmers (if they’re even still available), just for touchscreens:" either removing mouseovers altogether, or making "touchscreen/non-touchscreen" versions of each bit of content, and Adams safely predicts that is not going to happen
    • "Gestures, finger gymnastics or extra physical buttons are created that simulate mouseover:" which Adams dismisses as "absurd" and a violation of good user interface design
    • "requiring a double-tap or two-finger tap before anything is registered:" confusing, and doesn't allow for movement: dragging vs. a moving mouseover.
    • "have a visible mouse pointer near your finger, and not interact with things directly:" again, confusing, requiring the user to distinguish between "direct touch mode" or “drag the arrow” mode on different parts of the screen
    • "Require extra force for a “real” tap:" Adams calls this option "non-intuitive, cramp-inducing, and easy for the user to get wrong."
    So after all is said and done, even more than being a drain on the iPad's battery or CPU intense (which Adobe admits it is), Flash may be just too much of a deviation from what they've come to expect from a touch interface to be usable even if it were reworked for touchscreens. Users would no longer know what to expect when all the rules are suddenly changed on one part of the screen. And as Adams [ame="http://forums.appleinsider.com/showpost.php?p=1574343&postcount=58"]noted on AppleInsider's forum[/ame], people "would hate that broken promise much more than they hate gaps in pages, missing banner ads, and the need to download a game once from the App Store instead of re-downloading it every time they visit a Flash game page."

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2xrAAhAsDw&feature=player_embedded]YouTube - Ten Myths of Apple's iPad: 2. It needs Flash[/ame]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Real Reason Apple Will Not Support Flash? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Why not have a mouse pointer that is not directly underneath your finger? Make it scroll 1/4 inch to one side or the other with a click option elsewhere on the screen.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      A new report asserts that the GPU unit that Apple baked into its A4 chip powering the iPad lacks full OpenGL ES 2.0 support, a major problem for games and allegedly the reason why the tablet won’t run Flash Player 10.1.


      http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/...chip-20100222/
    1. wingedfoot26's Avatar
      wingedfoot26 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Why not have a mouse pointer that is not directly underneath your finger? Make it scroll 1/4 inch to one side or the other with a click option elsewhere on the screen.
      ""have a visible mouse pointer near your finger, and not interact with things directly:" again, confusing, requiring the user to distinguish between "direct touch mode" or “drag the arrow” mode on different parts of the screen"
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      as for the hovering option ummm same on modmyi when you hover over the news or downloads tabs at the top a window popus up, and when you click it registers and goes to the link. i go to modmyi on my iphone a lot in the normal view, and all that happens is you click on the news or downloads then the window box thing shows up then you click again and the actually link is opened. couldn't this be what would happen with the hovering?
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      there are two solutions to this problem.

      the blackberry's click screen, where you can "hover" or click.

      or you can use a click wheel, like with android devices. i think that click screen would work better
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      I think the only thing I can take from articles like this that this time I will not rush out and buy. This time I think I will wait a while and let the so called experts dissect this devise just to see what it is capable of.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      The best solution to this problem is for users to cut the Adobe cord and move on with life.
    1. LukeGab's Avatar
      LukeGab -
      Wow everyone is just realizing this?
    1. norfskate's Avatar
      norfskate -
      I think we're all missing the point here, it's sooo simple:

      "Maemo" supports flash,
      "S60" supports flash,
      "Windows mobile" suppots flash,

      If you develop an app, that runs perfectly in flash: there is no exclusivity, it won't matter if you have a N900, a Hero or an iPhone, Apple won't make a penny, there toy is no longer specal.
      This isn't perfect of course, apps like "tomtom" and games like "monkeyball" will still have to be a installed app, but I bet a great percentage of the app store would work fine in flash.

      Don't get me wrong, I love the iPhone, I love my iPhone, Apple are a fantastic company, and I really really hope they DONT allow flash, but it's really quite simple:

      If the iPhone had flash.... webapps would be really, really good.

      Peas
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Apple didn't think it through, too busy thinking £££££ or for those in the US $$$$$ 'The apple maggot!!!'
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Thank God. Now people can shut up about wanting Flash for the iPhone.
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      the only thing that i use flash for on my computers is youtube. and well, the iphone os has a youtube app. so i dint see the point to slow the device down with flash...
    1. dbizzy1's Avatar
      dbizzy1 -
      I just want to be able to watch embedded videos from any site, not just ones that have been designed to play on iphone. Honestly, I could care less about a mouse pointer.
    1. PainBlade's Avatar
      PainBlade -
      The iPhone was supposed to be a game changer during launch right? Revolutionary phone and iPod? Multi-touch? Why not make the ability to hold down two fingers, and once a third finger is sensed, it will create a mouse pointer? It won't interfere with the iPhone 3GS's zoom either. Revolutionary.
    1. KingRichard's Avatar
      KingRichard -
      Its excuses from Apple by blamming other people for their lack of development or they just want to monopolize everything...

      Anyway Nokia does it perfectly since like ages ago. The rest is following Android, Palm Pre, BlackBerry, sooooo the explanation above is just not acceptable....Steve keep on saying iphone/ipad is the future mobile device. Faqs that it fail to make FLASH up and running after this years said it all.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i love how the flash was lagging on the videos and he would only show it playing for 1-2 sec before switching out of it and talking about something else.
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      ]
      Quote Originally Posted by Bluprint View Post
      A new report asserts that the GPU unit that Apple baked into its A4 chip powering the iPad lacks full OpenGL ES 2.0 support, a major problem for games and allegedly the reason why the tablet won’t run Flash Player 10.1.


      iPad allegedly can't run Flash due to sub-par graphics of the A4 chip ? Cell Phones & Mobile Device Technology News & Updates | Geek.com
      I was really disappointed that the tablet didnt run os-x. I dont care about the apps, I have my iPhone for that. I thought it would just be a big touch screen laptop. Instead its just a big iPhone, epic fail IMO

    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      So basically the iPad and iPhone won't be using flash...which is what's been said since the beginning....no change.
    1. homing's Avatar
      homing -
      No way, the real reason is that Apple dont want people playing free flash Games, when they can make money by getting a part of the sales of the app store
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      i love how the flash was lagging on the videos and he would only show it playing for 1-2 sec before switching out of it and talking about something else.
      At least one could appreciate the fact that effort is being made to provide it. Granted, its in beta, but even in its beta stage it is better than not having it at all.

      Apple has always had its head to the future. I can appreciate this. But their arrogant refusal to support the present is time and time again the reason for their utterly meager marketshare.

      Android is improving at a scary pace. Personally I'm still going to wait for Mobile 7 though. Gets sexier by the minute.