Some say Jobs was motivated by hypocritical business reasons. He discussed the proprietary nature of flash and didn’t want the open web…the open mobile web suppressed by a proprietary wrapper for transport and execution by dissimilar platforms, but Jobs made money selling proprietary, closed-system hardware platforms. Flash had a purpose, but it was overdeveloped and turned into platform for user interface for controls and animation.
I remember doing a (very) little development in Flash. I thought it was the best thing ever, but I also went to public school. A mediator between 2 opposing or competing platforms engaged on the web that allowed a little plugin to download and…boom, video, audio, dynamic content by mouseover.
It was especially useful for low bandwidth and dial up connections, because it could degrade the quality (to a fault) so weaker systems could present it for consumption. When Adobe realized they were in the position to market it as a platform for anything rich media based, they turned into a development platform for everything. Videos, games, and ridiculously stupid websites all…built…in…flash even when it didn’t have to be. Why should text be encapsulated in flash? Because people are lazy, and developers are people. So if you had a requirement for a single multimedia component on a website, the whole damn thing got built that way.
Which industry was Adobe helping out the most? Porn. Because the video could be streamed, over low bandwidth connections and the only thing your computer needed to do was run a browser.
iPhones aren’t capable of executing Flash
Let’s jump right to the important part so we don’t waste time. Were Apple mobile devices capable of running flash?
More than capable. This clip was 4-5 years ago. Which was why I was one of the ones who opposed its exclusion from iOS. I wanted the choice. If I wanted to shop on the Tuesday Morning Ecom platform I should be able to do so. So Jobs said I could…on Android:
“However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.”
-Steve Jobs, circa 2010
Android is capable of running Flash…
He was actually wrong on that because Android wasn’t fit to execute flash. Hell, in 2010 Android phones couldn’t even push its own operating system to the point where scrolling didn’t make you think you were having an epileptic seizure. But that didn’t stop Android marketing.
Much of it came from that thing Motorola called a tablet. The Xoom (pronounced ‘exhume’ because when using it you felt like you would rather be outside digging up a dead dog in the sweltering heat than to have to deal with the all the fail) was marketed as the tablet that would bring you ‘all of the web you are missing’, by coding its product page in flash. And when iOS devices attempted to view it (there were literally 10’s of us who tried) it stated we should get a Xoom so we could experience the ‘full web’
Ironically, but true to Motorola character, on launch day the Xoom couldn’t even view its own product page in flash and the SD expansion slot didn’t work. This is how the Open Source Android 3.0 Honeycomb (whose source code wouldn’t be released…we know why) first product launch went.
Of course, Motorola said it was the internets fault, and all of the internets needed to be updated so the Xoom would ‘work’ with the Flash:
“There are some sites where minor work needs to be completed to take advantage of the updated Flash solution”
Minor work? If it was so minor, why didn’t Mot just knock it out? The good thing is the only people who bought a Xoom were those who were susceptible to Motorola marketing and the hard-core loyalists. The internets decided not to change, and only a few people were disappointed.
Google, Porn.com, YouTube
Google no longer allows flash based ads. YouTube runs great in HTML5. Today, Wired reports that Porn.com (reported as the largest porn disti on the web) will be migrating from Flash because of the horrid security issues Adobe refuses to address in a timely manner.
Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.
The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.
-Steve Jobs, 2010
Flash will be around for a little while longer. If nothing more than a back up, like Facebook. But even the former heavy Flash deployers like YouTube and Facebook as backup isn’t going to help Adobe Flash remain viable on the mobile web, perhaps on any version of the web.
One thing is certain, ifAdobe was pinning their Flash hopes on boobs and cheesey music…that dream died today.