My thoughts on Apple’s thoughts on Flash

April 30th, 2010 by max » (1) » this&that

Today, Steve Jobs screamed out his thoughts on Flash!

His six arguments, why Apple keeps Flash away from their mobile devices are

  1. Flash is not open
    Yes, Flash is proprietary, so is Apple. Deuce! But Adobe doesn’t block fdt or Eclipse, if this is your first choice as a developer!
    And Serge Jespers compares HTML5-openess with Flash-openess – his conclusion: they are equal.
  2. Apple devices can access the full web
    It may be that the vast mayority (Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, N.Y. Times …) of video can be watched with an Apple device with the use of H.264 (but have a look  at this footnote), but what about the not so big sites and those little webapps, whichs purpose is not displaying stupid videos? – Apples answer is probably: learn Objective-C and make an app, so that there is an app for everything (and we can earn more money)!
  3. Flash is not secure, slow performing and crashes

    • let’s have a look at the crash-argument: I can’t check if it is correct that »Flash is the number one reason Macs crash«, but from my experience that’s not true: my Mac crashes because of device-drivers (Wacom-Tablet), strange network behavior (Wifi, NAS) and software, that’s written in Objective-C or Cocoa (Pathfinder, ClamXAV).
    • on the FFK10 keynote, Serge Jespers showed some performance examples (particles): and HTML5 canvas was far behind Flash Player 10 and JavaScript.
    • security and Mac… Apple should mind their own business, first!
  4. Battery life
    There are many ways to safe battery life: when I turn down my backlight on the iPod Touch G1 for example, my battery lasts four days instead of one.
  5. Touch
    Apple says, that most Flash webapps would have to be worked over, if iPhone would support Flash, because they rely on rollover-effects. That is true, but keep this in mind:

    • other devices with touchscreen support Flash anyways
    • developers will consider this in future Flash webapps, as they considered it in their HTML-development in the past, when touchscreen-devices became more popular
    • Apple claims to be the usability-kings, they even don’t ship manuals with their products (because they are self-explaining?). I came across two solutions in 30 seconds thinking about how to handle rollovers on a touch device, so they can find a solution, too.
  6. The »most important reason«
    Apple says, that slow third-party layers keep developers from benefitting from plattform enhancements.
    This may be true in some constellations. But developers can benefit from third-party possibilities, when a competition between them and the platforms starts or when they can save time and affort when using third-party material.

Regarding argument 2  and the topic H.264, I would like to cite Serge Jespers: »It [H.264] is owned by a private organization known as MPEG LA who said earlier this year that “Internet Video that is free to end users would continue to be exempt from royalty fees until at least December 31, 2015“. Nobody knows what is going to happen after 2015. The patents awarded to MPEG LA don’t expire until 2028. So… to make this clear… H.264 is not open.« ( on Flash and HTML5)


April 8th, 2010 by max » (1) » this&that

Sometimes A-pple is an a-hole!

With the terms for their new iOS 4, Apple locked out unwanted frameworks and transscription-software:

»Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs«
(Section 3.3.3 of iPhone Developer Program License Agreement in the iPhone 4.0 SDK, via AppleInsider)

The moment of announcement was very hard for Adobe, which will launch their Creative Suite 5 the next monday! A new keyfeature (Update: but not the only one) of Flash CS5 was the built-in export for iPhone OS (like demonstrated by Lee Brimlow on gotoAndLearn();) – let’s see how they will react.

Me personally: I’m very sad about this monopolist-like, money-raking move. I just decided to switch to Mac in december and kind of regret my choice now. Apple’s making tons of money because of their gorgeous marketing for expensive hardware. They earned a lot with keeping Flash away from the iPhone and the Appstore with its intransparent approving-politics (ads, porn, etc.).

I think I have to deal with Objective-C, Cocoa and Xcode now, to judge whether this decision at least makes sense from the developers point of view – and of course (being the »Medien-Nutte« I am) I’ll get some Apple-shares, to profit…

[Update: OS 4 is called iOS 4 now, so I changed it in the post – we don’t want that old posts drop out of search-index, although that’s a great tactic, Apple Marketers.]