Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Memo essay example printer.
Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system. Apple has many proprietary products too. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. Apple even creates open standards for the web.
What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H. Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. Fortunately, there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store, and many of them are free. Third, there’s reliability, security and performance. Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now.
In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will perform? Many of the chips used in modern mobile devices contain a decoder called H. Vimeo, Netflix and many other companies.
Although Flash has recently added support for H. 264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. 264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained. When websites re-encode their videos using H. 264, they can offer them without using Flash at all. Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover.