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Steve Jobs: Thoughts On Flash
engine




msg:4124339
 1:38 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Steve Jobs: Thoughts On Flash [apple.com]
I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.


 

StoutFiles




msg:4124358
 1:58 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

This was a good read and many statements that Steve said are valid points. Let not kid ourselves though, the App Store was a huge reason they're passing on Flash.

Jon_King




msg:4124369
 2:20 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

All this may be true but I still cannot stand browsing the web on my iPhone because of so many Flash sites that don't work.

It does appear that mobile power consumption of a Flash app is the big issue. Maybe there is a Flash hardware chip in the works?

Demaestro




msg:4124402
 3:12 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't disagree when it comes to video but to dismiss the flash games with a one liner about how many free game apps there are is missing the point.

It doesn't matter how many free games there are in the app store. It doesn't enable me to play ones I want on the sites that I want.

That and until html5 is common place on websites support for it means nothing

soluml




msg:4124408
 3:22 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just can't believe Apple when their reason for blocking a competitor (to the App Store) is open standards especially with how they're implementing these "open standards".

HTML5 is still in it's infancy, if you can even call it that being that it's still a draft, and the term is usually used in context to online video.

Safari doesn't natively support the OGG theora codec. It's arguably inferior performance wise, but arguably superior in the long term due to being a free and open codec. This is necessary if we want to protect the internet as we know it. We shouldn't have to worry about licensing when it comes to adding our <video> elements on our website.

There is no good reason in not supporting OGG Theora. A browser is capable of supporting both (as Chrome does) and it's free to implement. Apple, unfortunately, has its paws in the H.264 mixing pot with the Mp4 container being derived from the Quicktime container. I can only conclude they're trying to leverage their market share and force out the only truly open solution for the video element of the future as it gives them some sort of control over the web. Google is close to open sourcing their V8 codec which is said to surpass H.264 and will be without any of the licensing restrictions that make H.264 a dangerous choice for the web and we'll then be able to truly see what Apple's intentions are. Do they support the superior yet open codec or their proprietary one?

Flash, aside from the player, is open source. Anyone can publish content in the swf format. It's superior to the Canvas and svg elements currently and it's used on some 90% of websites. It's the defacto standard for video and animation and I pay nothing to put it on the web. With the amount of effort Adobe has put in to getting flash on the iPhone I don't think they couldn't come up with something that was easier on the battery and was acceptable performance wise.

It comes down to the fact that Apple is trying to assert control over the web using proprietary codecs and is trying to fend of competitors to its walled garden by blocking flash. They have no interest in what's best for the general consumer... they're just interested in their bottom line.

I am excited about the future of video on the internet and the quicker the video element becomes a unified standard the better. But Apple is doing it wrong and I'd stick with years of flash before I bow to how they want the internet to be.

travelin cat




msg:4124413
 3:32 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

It comes down to the fact that Apple is trying to assert control over the web using proprietary codecs and is trying to fend of competitors to its walled garden by blocking flash. They have no interest in what's best for the general consumer... they're just interested in their bottom line.


No.

Apple is trying to assert control over their products, not the web. They have every right to do whatever they want with their products. Don't like it? Don't buy it.

Stating that they have no interest in what's best for the consumer is absurd. If that was true, they would have folded years ago.

trying to fend of competitors to its walled garden by blocking flash


Again, it's their garden, they have the right to remove anything they consider to be weeds.

Demaestro




msg:4124427
 3:56 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple is trying to assert control over their products, not the web. They have every right to do whatever they want with their products. Don't like it? Don't buy it.


Can I at least complain about it?

Stating that they have no interest in what's best for the consumer is absurd.


Perhaps but not when it comes to video on the iPhone they are not acting in the best interest of the consumer. If 90% of websites have flash then it is hard to argue with a straight face that the reason for not having flash support is in the best interest of the consumer.

whoisgregg




msg:4124428
 3:56 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

to dismiss the flash games with a one liner about how many free game apps there are is missing the point

He dismissed games (and all non-video Flash apps) in the paragraph about touch vs. mouse-based interaction. Even if I could install Flash on my iPhone today, very very few of the Flash games out there would even function.

Demaestro




msg:4124440
 4:01 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

He dismissed games (and all non-video Flash apps) in the paragraph about touch vs. mouse-based interaction. Even if I could install Flash on my iPhone today, very very few of the Flash games out there would even function.


True, but seeing that we have had touch screens working with flash since Vista I wonder how true that is.

Maybe "very few" games would work but as it stands now NO games work, I would take some working and some not over NONE working.

Apple is saying some games may not work so they will make it so none work. That is ridiculous, if they said some Ajax sites may not work in Safari so we don't support javascript would that make sense? It is not a real reason to not support flash.

[edited by: Demaestro at 4:02 pm (utc) on Apr 29, 2010]

soluml




msg:4124442
 4:02 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

No.

Apple is trying to assert control over their products, not the web.


I find this naive. You have a better explanation for the lack of OGG support? Would it somehow hurt their brand or product by support a free codec? I recognize the control over the products, but don't be surprised if they wouldn't like to have a hand in proprietary web video. Most companies would.


They have every right to do whatever they want with their products. Don't like it? Don't buy it.

Stating that they have no interest in what's best for the consumer is absurd. If that was true, they would have folded years ago.


They almost DID fold years ago. Microsoft bailed them out to avoid anti-competitive litigation.

They do have the right to do whatever they want and I do not buy their products because I appreciate openness and choice. I recognize that others out there really enjoy their products and that's fine.

I do have, however, have an issue when big ole Apple's decisions directly impact me. By not supporting mobile flash they make my job as a web developer HARDER and ignoring OGG support has a potential to shape how the standard ends up. A closed source plugin is not an ideal solution but neither is dropping support for that free plugin when it's become a defacto standard for an even less ideal solution... a closed source video codec.

Again, it's their garden, they have the right to remove anything they consider to be weeds.

I agree for the most part. I don't care what they consider weeds as long as they stay inside their walls and leave the peasant folk alone.

Demaestro




msg:4124445
 4:05 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Again, it's their garden, they have the right to remove anything they consider to be weeds.


It isn't their garden once they sell it to me, so why the efforts to block me from letting some weeds grow? It is my garden once I buy it.

Harry




msg:4124446
 4:09 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bah, soon Apple will be investigated for anti trust and just like Google is no longer a media darling so will Apple. HTML5 just cannot do all the things Flash can do right now. HTML5 is not a replacement for Flash. There's not even a serious suite to develop HTML5.

If Flash were so bad, it would not have obtained its dominant place on the Web. Jobs is just bullying a competitor as usual.

maximillianos




msg:4124464
 4:24 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm no fan of flash, but I don't buy their reasoning for not supporting it.

But they are the boss when it comes to iPhones, which is another whole problem in my opinion. I bought the darn thing and I can't put on it what I want without some hacking knowledge, and even then it is getting near to impossible (or so I hear).

I hate to say it, but I'm considering "switching" to a Droid. I know it is not in the same league from a usability perspective, but if I don't have to worry about losing all my songs and videos every time I plug my phone into my computer (iTunes!) then it might be worth it.

jgstyle




msg:4124470
 4:38 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

It doesn't run well. Point blank that's the biggest issue to me. Everybody's so concerned with standards and anti-competitive motivations and blah blah blah.

These may be true but I don't even consider them because of the fact that it DOESN'T RUN WELL. Even on the Mac it maxes out the processors and gets your fans running like crazy. Adobe should make it run with decent performance and this issue would dry up and blow away. There would just be no reason not to have it on the phone then.

Adobe just can do it, though. For years they've had their chance to do it and they CAN'T. Nothing else matters. Flash will heat up your phone and quickly drain your battery. Period. If Adobe could get it together (which they can't) they would have it on there already.

Harry




msg:4124479
 4:45 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

The reason Flash doesn't run well on a Mac is because Apple refuses to give Adobe access to the video card and also blocks a lot of other processes which if Adobe had legal access to, would make Flash run great on a Mac. Tests have been done with Adobe Flash using the card and it works great. Microsoft does not block access to the video card to Flash on the PC and that's why it runs so much better. Apple and Steve Jobs are responsible for crippling Flash in the first place.

travelin cat




msg:4124484
 4:53 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

tests have been done with Adobe Flash using the card and it works great


I would like to see proof of this.

Harry




msg:4124490
 5:06 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Go to Adobe's Flash blog. It's been there for months.

J_RaD




msg:4124495
 5:14 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has the web become that addicted to a single closed source product?

I browse the flash free web in my 64 bit browser everyday, my keyboard doesn't have tears on it.

Harry




msg:4124517
 5:41 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

You mean the iPhone as a single closed source product?

soluml




msg:4124522
 5:51 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

It doesn't run well. Point blank that's the biggest issue to me. Everybody's so concerned with standards and anti-competitive motivations and blah blah blah.


If you're a web designer or deal with web marketing than you should be concerned with standards and anti-competitive motives. That kinda determines how you do your job.

IanKelley




msg:4124540
 6:06 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple has every right to do whatever they want with their products, even if it's self destructive.

But Jobs' statement is complete PR BS... and he's talking down to those of us that understand technology.

Why not either keep quiet about it, or admit it's a competitive move, it's not as if everyone doesn't already know it.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.


There may indeed come a time in the future when HTML5 will make Flash obsolete... But that certainly isn't the case here in the present, which is where I believe most people use their iDevices.

kapow




msg:4124541
 6:09 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Flash IS a major part of the web, not everyone likes it but a lot of sites use it. Apple are just making themselves easy to kill (again!). I love my iPhone, it really is the best smart phone 'currently'. But as soon as someone does what Apple are too proud to do I will dump my iPhone for something more open. I'd give it about a year.

StoutFiles




msg:4124549
 6:17 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd give it about a year.


In which almost every major site will use HTML5 instead of Flash. You think companies are going to sit on their hands while the entire iPad/iPhone base can't view their videos or site?

Harry




msg:4124554
 6:26 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Translation: You're hoping Web Developers and promoters will cave to Steve Jobs and use HTML5.

Bentler




msg:4124587
 7:12 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

This reminds me of the browser wars around the turn of the century-- only instead of a proprietary Microsoft IE, wembasters now have the Apple Ifu to contend with. Whether its a strategic blunder on Apple's part remains to be seen since they do dominate part of the mobile market... but I suspect Apple's chickens will come home to roost, eventually.

Demaestro




msg:4124592
 7:19 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

The major point being missed here is that they not only don't support it out of the box, they go out of their way to block people from doing what they want.

Once they sell me the phone it is no longer their device it is my device and attempts to block me from using my device the way I want is not right, no matter how you spin it.

Performance issues? My problem if I want flash.
Large percentage of flash features don't perform as expected? My problem if I want flash.

Any reason Jobs gives may be a good enough reason not to ship it, but to block it and to block 3rd party flash plugins isn't right. Lots of apps are battery and performance hogs, that is the user's problem.

He is giving excuses not reasons and I think as people who run business we have learned the difference between a reason and an excuse.

Once I buy it, it's my phone warn me, but let me do as I will.

skipfactor




msg:4124603
 7:39 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm actually starting to like Bill Gates.

travelin cat




msg:4124605
 7:48 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Once they sell me the phone it is no longer their device it is my device and attempts to block me from using my device the way I want is not right, no matter how you spin it.


It is your physical device after you buy it, but it is Apple's concept and their implementation and anyone should do research in to a device before spending money on it.

If a buyer is ignorant of a piece of machinery's capabilities, whose fault is it?

Don't like it. Don't buy it. If you bought it and don't like it, return it. But don't blame Apple for somehow trying to deceive you.

Demaestro




msg:4124622
 8:24 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

It is your physical device after you buy it, but it is Apple's concept and their implementation and anyone should do research in to a device before spending money on it.

If a buyer is ignorant of a piece of machinery's capabilities, whose fault is it?

Don't like it. Don't buy it. If you bought it and don't like it, return it. But don't blame Apple for somehow trying to deceive you.


Who said they deceived me? I understand it is my right to not buy the phone but that doesn't make what they are doing right or even ok.

Once I buy the phone I have the right to do with it as I please. They are blocking me from this.

You can't excuse it with tales of concept and implementation. They can put their concept and implementation in it all day, but don't block me from customizing it.

Name 1 other non-Apple product where the manufacturer blocks you from customizing your purchase as you see fit. I am not talking about discouraging you, I am talking about proactively taking steps to outright block you from customizing it.

Only Apple does this and it isn't right I don't care how you spin it. I know some will continue to spin away but all you are arguing is that Apple has the right to block me from using my property as I see fit for the simple reason that they sold it to me.

Ever seen a Ford's radio and engine stop working after putting Toyota Sport Racing tires on it? Would it be acceptable to you if Ford disabled the engine if it detected non-ford wheels on it? Would you excuse this as being their vision and concept?

Hugene




msg:4124633
 8:34 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm actually starting to like Bill Gates.


That's just hilarious, and realistically scary.

I tried, but I just can't, I just can't read Steve Jobs raving about Flash. This guy is seriously starting to loose it, and I am very very happy he is not a politician, especially in the mid 20th century.

OK, I managed to read some more, and it is complete BS.

The H.264 standard is the worst thing ever, it's proprietary and needs royalties (except for end consumers of free video, meaning that if you charge your user to view videos on your site, you have to pay royalties; this is a deathtrap for WMs).

Flash draining batteries and not being performant? That sounds like M$ back in the days when Netscape didn't work that well anymore. I guess that when you make the OS and the hardware, it's not difficult for Flash not to work so well all of a sudden. How about Apple sits with Adobe developers and make this thing work.

Finally :
Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products – but beyond that there are few joint interests.

WOW, what a dirty position, what a stab in the back, I have no words. When Apple was down the drain, the only people that supported you Mr Jobs were graphic designers: newspapers, magazines, print, early web, these artists saved your company, and made it cool actually. And what did they use, Adobe products. but beyond that there are few joint interests.

Really?

Well I am happy that I have nothing to do with company, and never will have.

I don't own any of their products, and never will, but now I've also decided that I am ever mandated to design an app for the iDevice monopoly, I'll refuse.

This 75 message thread spans 3 pages: 75 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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