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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. chuckiecheese's Avatar
      chuckiecheese -
      Flash will become obsolete....so who cares if its not on the iphone or ipad right now....if u need flash go to your desktop..
    1. yusefgharib_1997's Avatar
      yusefgharib_1997 -
      steve jobs is too busy trying to make things fit in a manila envelope instead of working to improve his stuff
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Nit picking something that's still in development and is going to change the game in mobile devices just makes you look more stupid than you normally do in your posts.
      rota.... this is why i love you. you proove my point time and time again. you make my life so much easier

      Quote Originally Posted by cpkirkley View Post
      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......
      outdated technology. theres allways a lull between old and new...im assuming your still hanging onto Beta/VHS/DVD/and HD? they all work fine...just like the original telegraph. of course we all know we dont send messages that way anymore. why is it that we all need to view video content on the web through flash? if it wasnt flash it would be something else. dont fear change. embrace it. Apple has allways been on the forefront of technological change.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      rhekt, i think u and chuckiecheese need to stop talking now! wot the others are saying is we are using flash right now!!!!!!!!! forget the future for a min as all the devices we have now will b gone in a year, but what about now!!! and apple will give us flash in 2012 when the rest of the web has moved on.
    1. SchmilK's Avatar
      SchmilK -
      Quote Originally Posted by homing View Post
      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


      Why not just put a flag over the flash content that says 'click here for flash' or something



      It would save bandwidth, cpu time, and user confusion, knowing EXACTLY what is flash based and what is not..if you are not interested, don't click it...

      Obviously a better preview image than a grey box would look better, but this is how one forum I am on implements flash content in a user signature.
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Nit picking something that's still in development and is going to change the game in mobile devices just makes you look more stupid than you normally do in your posts.
      Nice try TORLL BOY, you're the stupid one. "I love you Flash". "Flash, Ah ah......"

      You and your stupid flash games, what a dumbasss! Flown any toy helicopters today trollboy???
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Funny, seems to work just fine on Android. Sounds like Steve Jobs is the lazy one.

      YouTube - Flash Player 10.1 on Motorola Droid


      EDIT:

      Also works just fine on the Palm Pre, and they have optimized it to save battery life as well.

      YouTube - FLASH PLAYER ADOBE RUNNING ON PALM PRE
      The videos were interesting however I would liked to have seen them actually load the web pages as apposed to having them preloaded. They only show how it works when it's loaded but i want to see performance. How long does it take to load flash websites? And these are battery and CPU drainers so how much "optimization" was actually applied to these devices?

      It's going to take more than just preloaded web pages to convince me that flash is good on mobile devices. Another thing that bothers me about flash is the unwanted ads in websites. Will that load every time you visit a web page? I'm sure that would slow the loading of pages to a certain degree but I guess I'll keep waiting and testing phones out.

      Quote Originally Posted by clikzip View Post
      ]

      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

      LMAO you had me in tears with that picture ohhh man! Good stuff!

      Things is Steve hasn't been too wrong yet. Although, we all make fun of this iPad and him but what if it turns out to be a real seller in the future? What if he makes millions on it like he did with the iPhone/iPod Touch?
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Control! Control! Control! It's all about control.

      Flash removes Apples absolute control over content.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Nit picking something that's still in development and is going to change the game in mobile devices just makes you look more stupid than you normally do in your posts.
      You're one to talk since yesterday you were nit picking on Messany for using "your" instead of "you're"

      It's nice that it's in development but maybe apple doesn't want to associate with something that is still in development. Maybe they would rather it have full functionality before adding it to phones and since it doesn't seem like it can he's choosing another route.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      As far as I'm concerned, if you're a staff writer, you need to know how to properly use the English language. It's pathetic that he still makes that mistake and calls himself a staff writer.
      Yes, but people make mistakes and no one is perfect. I've even seen MSN articles with errors. And this is only ModMyi so come on man.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      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.
      Or do it a way that is similar to some of the iPhone VNC clients, like Mocha VNC, where you have a mouse icon of sorts and you set what function is corrently in play (click, right-click, hover/drag); expanding on this model that seems to work in VNC maybe a decent solution for some Flash based programs, but probably not for the more complex games and such that require multiple keys or keys + mouse simultaneously.
    1. piganddan's Avatar
      piganddan -
      I dont know why they dont have an option to make an area of the ipads screen like a touchpad featured on all macbooks ect.. then you could control a cursor and tap it to select things thus making it work with flash.
      Simple or am I just missing something here?
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      this means that the jailbreaking community most likely will not come up with flash either...
      i think leaving out flash for the iPhone its ok but for something like the iPad its just stupid
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      rota.... this is why i love you. you proove my point time and time again. you make my life so much easier



      outdated technology. theres allways a lull between old and new...im assuming your still hanging onto Beta/VHS/DVD/and HD? they all work fine...just like the original telegraph. of course we all know we dont send messages that way anymore. why is it that we all need to view video content on the web through flash? if it wasnt flash it would be something else. dont fear change. embrace it. Apple has allways been on the forefront of technological change.

      Never at ANY point did I say not embrace change. Beta/VHS/8 Track... All of these things had a place until something more efficient took its place. But there was/is/always will be some sort of overlap time. No one said to use Flash INSTEAD of HTML5. But to remove the feature altogether without the replacement being ready yet is as foolhardy and arrogant as one can be. Granted your looking toward the future, but why limit yourself, when the solution is already established, and would take mind-numbingly simple effort to implement?

      And stop talking down to us until your grammar improves.


      Edit -

      Airmouse for iPad?
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by cpkirkley View Post
      ...But to remove the feature altogether without the replacement being ready yet is as foolhardy and arrogant as one can be
      Apples' 'we-know-better-than-you' attitude. The love/hate relationship continues.
    1. silent revolt's Avatar
      silent revolt -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      Yes, but people make mistakes and no one is perfect. I've even seen MSN articles with errors. And this is only ModMyi so come on man.
      When people make simple mistakes on your credit score, you get ******..problem with the world today is that everyone is becoming less proffesional. ******* hippies, who cares about simple mistakes, no one, but when you get PAID to write article you had better ******* step it up..ESPECIALY the msn people they need to fire those lazy wankers and higher me, ill type more compelling and proper articles about how LL cool j can be compared to a shark than they can about how you know your gf is going to dump you...and as for the flash on iphone...there are a plethora of ways that internet 2.0 could deliver multi media content, personaly i hope jobs decides to use hobo blood..it takes care of two problems at once...no more homless (dead men need no homes) and blood can carry everything from aids to zinc.. music, pictures, and videos fall between those two alphabeticaly so why the hell not NOW THAT is the future
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Apple said their device can do it all. But they would not support flash. That doesn't made any sense to me at all.
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtyDiddler View Post
      The best solution to this problem is for users to cut the Adobe cord and move on with life.
      No.

      Considering the community that is having problems with Adobe (read: the apple community)...and considering that community represents about 8% of the computer market...the best solution would be for said Apple community to recognize that their market share is small and that the overwhelming majority of that other 92% are quite happy with how Flash works for them on all their Windows and Linux boxes.

      Apple users can feel free to "cut the cord". But don't be bitter when certain websites just won't work. the 92% won't placate to the incessant whining of the 8%. and the 8% experience doesn't reflect the 92% experience. Sure would be nice if Apple would get over themselves and work with Adobe...but why would they do that? Apple wants H.264 to take over to hurt their competitor. Big fat meh.

      Sincerely,

      Satisfied flash user, for whom Flash works well for all his Windows PCs.
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Let it all out!
      Last gasp of a trollboy. Just go away will you. You have no knowledge and NOT ONE THING intelligent to contribute. You have your droid. These are Apple/iPhone/iPad forums. GO A-WAY you unintelligent TROLL!

      Quote Originally Posted by adrian1480 View Post
      No.

      92% are quite happy with how Flash works for them on all their Windows and Linux boxes.

      Apple users can feel free to "cut the cord". But don't be bitter when certain websites just won't work. the 92% won't placate to the incessant whining of the 8%. and the 8% experience doesn't reflect the 92% experience. Sure would be nice if Apple would get over themselves and work with Adobe...but why would they do that? Apple wants H.264 to take over to hurt their competitor. Big fat meh.

      Sincerely,

      Satisfied flash user, for whom Flash works well for all his Windows PCs.
      WRONG. Flash doesn't work well on Linux buddy. Not at all. Looky here: http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/lin...rfing-web.html http://www.yoism.org/?q=node/152

      Third party browser coders are dropping flash support on Linux and Unix, because the flash app is rubbish. Get your facts right before you trash talk. If you love flash so much, then one simple thing. Get something other than an iPhone. I don't care about flash Only whimpy little gamers who don't want to buy apps seem to complain here. Boo freakin hoo. Get over it. It's not on the iPhone, and won't be on the iPad, so find something else and stop whining like a little girl.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Lets be honest here people... I would venture to say the vast majority of people complaining about not having flash don't typically go to Hulu all the time... the want it for pr0n. Especially all the 14 year olds trolling this forum. Get over it... grow up... use a PC for your /persona/ entertainment