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Adobe attacks iPad over Flash, ePub book standard

updated 04:25 pm EST, Thu January 28, 2010

Tablet locks iBooks to Apple hardware, Adobe says

Adobe has taken to criticizing the iPad through one of its blog entries, calling the device's standards support inadequate. The company notes that two standards it has been involved with -- PDF and ePub -- were prominently displayed in Wednesday's iPad publicity event. Apple uses a form of ePub in iBooks, a combination e-reader and online bookstore. The app may theoretically support e-books bought from other stores.

Following an embarrassing moment during the iPad announcement, however, when Flash objects did not display on the New York Times website, Adobe has decided to resume its criticism of Apple. Flash has never been supported on devices with the iPhone OS, mainly because of Apple concerns that it could rapidly drain battery life. In rejecting any version of the technology, Adobe suggests that Apple is preventing people from accessing "70 percent of games," as well as "75 percent of video." Sites such as Hulu, ESPN and JibJab are crippled on an iPad.

Regarding ePub, Adobe charges that books bought on an iPad will be inaccessible to other e-readers. While ePub is technically an open standard, Apple is said to have adopted provisions in the format for DRM. Even if competing e-books can be loaded into iBooks, the reverse may not be true. Adobe produces a Mac and Windows e-reader called Digital Editions.

The iBooks criticism is similar to now-defunct complaints about music from the iTunes Store. Although iPods and iPhones have always been able to play unprotected MP3 files, tracks bought through iTunes were for years unplayable on non-Apple hardware. All albums were made DRM-free as of April 2009.

by MacNN Staff



  1. G4_Kessel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe can suck it!

    Adobe needs to get a clue. Apple is pissed off at them. Adobe, how about you make Flash use less CPU power on the Mac like the Windows version... then maybe Apple will stop being pissed off at you (like the rest of us are).

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why would Adobe even care...

    that the iPad doesn't support Flash? Every other computing platform in the world supports Flash so how does it affect Adobe in any way? Apple is likely to be the big loser in this fight because it doesn't seem to have any backers. Flash doesn't look like it's going away. Nearly everyone wants Flash and uses Flash except Apple users, so what is Adobe squawking about. Adobe is angry because Apple users are missing out on Flash goodies. Shouldn't Apple mobile users be the one's complaining? It's Apple users that are losing out, not Adobe.

    I don't know anything about ePub, but I still like using .pdf files. I usually look at them using Preview, though, and not Adobe's reader.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Adobe has taken to [...] calling the device's standards support inadequate."

    Sorry Adobe, but Flash is NOT a standard. You may wish it to be so, but it ain't. You're not even in the running for the decision on the HTML5 video codec - that's between H.264 and Ogg Theora.

    It's an interesting tack though - build sh1te, inefficient software and then moan when people decide not to use it. Either fix it or STFU.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. smoak5

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's all about money

    if we have flash access, we can enjoy more web content that is free, such as hulu, play flash games, etc, which will probably impact sales in the itunes, app store, etc.

    flash can run fine on less powerful smart phones.

    it appears to be all about money and control which apple care most.

    ipad, magical? please.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quite happy

    I meant to add that I'm actually quite happy without flash on my iPhone at the moment - the fewer silly animated banner ads I see, the better!

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Also quite happy

    I would suggest that anyone who truly thinks Flash is worth it try surfing on a Mac, once normally and then once with ClickToFlash enabled. I suspect most people asking for Flash either don't realize how much it slows down a mac or have only used Windows. I rely on flash video to deliver a live webcast twice a week, but I disable it everywhere else - it's miserable.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Most online gaming and top 50 web sites use flash. Is everyone saying they don't need it? Well that is the great minority. I would be buying 2 iPads for the kids if it used flash. Since it doesn't I will stick to our old Macbooks that do everything.

    Seriously, Apple should move on and add Flash. As far as the battery issue, no one complained when we all download a truck load of apps accessing the web thereby draining our battery quickly. We just plug it in.

    How hard is that?

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The problems with Flash

    Flash is one of the reasons why Apple re-architected Safari to play plugins as a separate process. Flash is a 32bit application, and Apple didn't want to run Safari as a 32bit application due to Flash.

    Flash is a memory hog and doesn't work with Apple's H.264 decoding standards and is one of the main reasons why applications on Apple crashed. Apple has the crash logs to prove it too.

    Flash is a proprietary application, and if Apple used it, they'd be dependent upon Adobe to produce Flash clients for each piece of Apple hardware. Personally, I hope Flash dies and HTML5 and H.264 standards can take over.

    Google is moving YouTube away from Flash for the same reasons. By the way, Hulu is Silverlight and not Flash. Silverlight is Microsoft's incompatible proprietary standard.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe can kiss my

    If your Flash is so awesome, why is it whenever that POS loads on any of my Macs, the CPU scales to ridiculous cycles, fans starts run at maximum to try and cool off the CPU. All because of one little flash content on the web page. Yeah, that POS is the most useless cpu sucking POS on the interwebs. WE DON"T NEED IT!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    HTML5 > Flash
    Mp4 > Flash
    No annoying flashing ad > Flash

    Get the point Adobe? No?

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