Flash & Apple

30 January 2010

I know what you are thinking, another iPad blog, this is the forth one.  Firstly, it is the last one for a while, and secondly I won't be writing another iPad entry for a while, so let me get this one out of my system! One of the things that has constantly frustrated me since I made the big jump to the Apple boat, is the poor flash plugins, when watching a YouTube video on my MacBook the CPU just goes crazy, causing the fan to spin up which obviously makes the sound a little hard to hear and enjoy.

What I'm trying to say is that Flash on OS X is messed up. Ars Technica, a tech blog, tested a Mac Pro Quad 2.66 GHz running OS X and then running Windows and saw that the OS X plugin put a 40% load on the CPU, while the Vista plugin just took 6%, and Linux was apparently worse.  There is some serious issues there.  So is it really any surprise that Apple have said no to Flash being on the iPhone and iPad when the plugins that Adobe are creating are so messed up?

The Adobe blog does make a very valid comment though "...without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web." (Apple's iPad - A Broken Link, 27th Jan 2010).  I'm not going to comment on whether the statistics are correct or not, but lacking Flash support is going to kill the real web experience, which is a shame.

Despite all of this, 9 to 5 Mac have pointed out that in some of the promotional images have shown websites with Flash in them... Is this just photoshop trickery or a sign of things to come?

But, if you are a flash developer it is not the end of the world if Apple decide not to support the Flash on the iPad.  The next release of the Adobe Creative Suite (CS5) is going to contain a cunning program called Packager for iPhone which allows users to export their Flash files (games) in an iPhone format, and with the iPhone app support on the iPad, everything should run swimmingly.

The question is, as users of the iPad, will we be put off buying the tablet because of the lack of Flash?  I personally see it as a two sided coin, the downside being the lack of things such as iPlayer or YouTube which would be great on the tablet.  On the other hand, not having to watching annoying flash adverts on the side of the screen could be heavenly!

That's just my opinion though, what do you think?

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