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Steve Jobs’ Thoughts On Flash

April 29th, 2010 04:20 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Adobe to stop Flash to iPhone compiler investment

Adobe recently announced that it has stopped working on Flash for iPhone, which caused some uproar among iPhone users.

Steve Jobs has posted an open letter on Apple’s website offering his “Thoughts on Flash”. It is a must-read to find out the reason for not allowing Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Steve Jobs has provided six reasons for not allowing Flash on its iPhone OS devices.

Open Standards:

Steve Jobs points out that Adobe Flash is proprietary. He admits that iPhone OS is proprietary but argues that web standards should be open giving examples of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript etc. He has also given an example of how Apple had started the open source project and created WebKit, an  open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser, which is widely used in almost every smartphone web browser.

The Full Web:

Steve Jobs points out that Adobe’s claim that iPhone OS devices cannot access 75% of the video on the web is not accurate as almost all the videos on the web is available in H.264 format, which works on iPhone OS devices.

He admits that users can’t play Flash games on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch but highlights that there are 50,000 game and entertainment iPhone apps available in the App Store of which many are free.

Reliability, Security, and Performance:

Jobs points out to a report by Symantec, which highlighted that Flash had one of the worst security records last year.

He claims that Flash is the number one reason for Mac crashes that have persisted even after working with Adobe to fix the problems for many years.

Steve Jobs also highlighted that though Adobe has mentioned that they will bring Flash on the smartphone in early 2009, we still haven’t seen it work well on the mobile.

Battery Life:

Steve Jobs explains that to preserve battery life it is important to decode videos in hardware, which is possible with chips used in most smartphones as they have a decoder called H.264 rather than decoding videos using software. Apple has observed that H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours.


Jobs points out that Flash was designed for PCs using mice and it is not compatible with Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch iPhone OS as there is no concept of a rollover, which is widely used in many Flash based websites.

Third-Party Cross platform development Development Tool:

The most important reason for not allowing developers to use cross platform development tools is because Apple believes that developers end up developing sub-standard iPhone apps as the cross platform development tools would be slower to adopt the changes and improvements that are rolled out by Apple.

Steve Jobs concludes by saying:

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.

You can read the full text of Steve Jobs’ open letter by following this link.

Are you convinced why we don’t need Adobe Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch?

Source: Steve Jobs’ Thoughts On Flash

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