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Apple removes Flash references from iPad marketing

updated 09:50 am EST, Mon February 1, 2010

No Flash support coming?

Apple has quietly stripped references to Flash content from its marketing imagery for the iPad. Upon introducing the tablet last week, the company prominently displayed the New York Times as an example of website content. One still image showed a Flash-based travel slideshow, while a promotional video depicted a Flash-based video player.

Over the weekend, has Apple replaced the slideshow image with one of an article on Japan; the promotional clip has been altered to display a missing plug-in icon, as seen in the actual live product demonstration. Together the changes suggest that Apple has no plans to incorporate Flash into the iPad, and that it may be responding to media pressure. Many websites have noted the conspicuous absence of Flash from working iPad hardware.

The most vocal statements have come from Flash's creator, Adobe. The platform has never been supported on iPhone OS devices, mostly out of Apple worry about battery life. Adobe argues that as a result, iPhone and iPod touch owners -- as well as future iPad users -- are missing out on a majority of games and video content on the web.



by MacNN Staff



  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I want my on the iPad.

    Get on that, Apple. Chop chop.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Adobe is not Flash's creator. Flash was created by Macromedia. You can't rewrite history just by buying it!

  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "quietly stripped"

    Why must you use language that makes it sound as if Apple are being underhand?
    Apple did not "quietly stripped' the content, they simply removed it.
    What do you want them to do, put an announcement up in lights?

  1. Mr. Fartleberry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash Content

    I can live without it. Flash is just plain annoying. Dancing Baloney it's called.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    FLASH Please...

    So Apple does not like Adobe Flash implementation... I think they have the right to, but so why the h*** not implement is own Flash??? In Linux you do not have only Adobe Flash, you can use another implementations. Why not use that?

    If Mr Steve Jobs, says Adobe are lazy, let him give the example, and show how its done... Talk is easy and waiting just for HTML5 is not the answer. Don't take me wrong, but if I buy a iPad, I want at least have a Flash Implementation that works. But that is me...

    And about Google! Just get a grip!!! Google rules and is good, and if affects iPhone domain is because they are doing a better job, so if you want to keep on the top, just do as google, do a good job. I have a iPhone and I am happy with him, but I know lots of features just happen because you Apple Company had to keep on with your competitors.

    I just want iPad to be a success, so I say what I think is wrong! But I am just a potential buyer, no one important. ;-)

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's little war

    The Flash issue is an example of Steve Jobs's uncompromising determination. At some point, he made a decision that Flash had become too bloated and decided to kill it. He is now engaged in this struggle to eliminate, or at least marginalise Flash from the web.

    The reality of today is, 97% of today's web content that uses Flash could be faithfully recreated using open standard technologies, such as AJAX, HTML5 and similar. The reason there's abundance of Flash out there is that it can be quickly learned by non-developers. Many current web content and layout creators are graphic designers and not developers. For them, Flash is a godsend; any idiot can learn in one day how to create interactive animated banner. Couple this with the ubiquity of Flash plug-in and you get heaps of completely unnecessary, bloated Flash junk out there.

    Apple (actually, Jobs) is on the quest to purge today's web of all the unnecessary Flash. If this iPad becomes primary web browsing device for a significant percentage of the world's web surfing public, tide will begin turning. If you are a web site operator, and an increasing number of your visitors are not able to see Flash content (no "conversions", no click-throughs, not even eyeballs, meaning no revenue) and are just abandoning your site, you'll soon begin to explore possibilities of building your site around that Flash. As soon as that percentage of Flash-less surfers reaches a critical number, the elimination of Flash from web content will rapidly accellerate. How high is that number? I would guess about 15% of visitors.

    In the end, we all will benefit. Site operators will continue to try and design visually attractive, interactive pages with multi-media content. They will just avoid using Flash for that, and I wouldn't be surprised if new authoring tools (perhaps even from Adobe themselves) appear on the market that would provide same kind of usability as Flash once did, but output open-standard content.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    But is it true?

    Apple says Adobe is lazy. Is it true that Adobe can write a better plugin to prevent it from crashing?

    I can easily see Apple preferring just not supporting Flash and having iPhone, iPod Touch, and now iPad users be annoyed at them verse having their devices not working because of a crappy plugin - most people would associate the crashes with the Apple device and not the plugin leading to negative press.

    I'm sure Apple's implementation isolating plugins to prevent Safari from crashing when Flash crashed was for this very reason.

    Look, not supporting Flash is not good for Apple, it's on "The List" of why Apple $ucks - the anti-iFan, or windoze divers, or Linux Rulz 4ever, or my kung-fu-rules-them-all people. But I don't think it's a stretch to recognize constant (perceived) hardware/OS failure is even worst for the company. Of the two, just not allowing Flash to work seems the better choice.

    If it is true, that Adobe failed to do everything it could to make flash stable, then they have no one to blame but themselves if HTML5 does kill the Flash plugin.

  1. 7stringdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Designers vs Programmers

    I agree that Flash might get a little bloated, but just a little. If Adobe can successfully run Flash on the Android devices, I can't see why not on the iPhone devices. Apple's avoidance of Flash is going to hurt them in the long run with Android poised to take a serious chunk out of Apple's market.

    For those who think HTML5 and other standards can replace Flash, I would say you are living in an alternate reality. I have yet to see other standards that replace the smooth interactivity available in Flash. One example would be virtual tours for real estate and other purposes. Every non-flash virtual tour (using 360 images) I have seen has problems such as jerkiness in movement, lack of responsiveness to user input, lack of interactivity, inconsistent loading issues, or unbearably long download times.

    But the bigger issue is that Flash provides a solution for designers, and until someone creates an easy implementation of some other standard for designers, Flash will never go away. Flash does a few things very well, it allows designers to be creative without the hindrance of having to muddle through a ton of code. As much as this may bruise the ego of programmers who think they need to be involved in every step of a website's development, designers need the freedom to try out their own ideas without having to tell a programmer to implement every single idea they come up with. If the web had been left up solely to programmers, we would still be looking at static pages without CSS formatting, because a lot of programmers I have worked with typically don't care much for appearance. To them, if they figure out how to put a beveled edge on a button, they think they have just created the Mona Lisa. The web is always going to need programmers, but they should be focusing their talents on making life easier for graphic artists, not more difficult. You compare the websites that I have designed by visually laying them out with Dreamweaver and Flash, and compare them to the websites that the programmers I have worked with have done on their own, I guarantee that the client will choose mine every time. Does that mean that I don't recognize the value of having a programmer that can add unique functionality to a website? Of course not. But there are studies that prove that users are much more likely to trust a company that has a well designed and attractive website. In fact, my clients are often willing to settle for less functionality if it looks better to them.

    I said all of that from the point of view of a designer. But I'm also one that understands programming logic and can go in and fix code if I need to. I understand that their are shortcomings to Flash and that it can be a better product than it is. But Apple's avoidance of Flash is not going to make it go away. On the contrary, Apple and Adobe should be striving to make Flash better rather than bickering.

    I have an iPhone and in general I am quite happy with it, but it is frustrating as a web surfing device because so many of the sites that I like to visit have content that I can't access. For people whose sole purpose for having a smartphone is surfing the web, I currently would have to recommend a Droid rather than an iPhone. The number of empty boxes that kept appearing on the web pages Steve Jobs was demonstrating on the iPad during the keynote had to be really embarrassing for Apple.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple is.....

    Apple is taking on msft, google, amazon, nokia, and now adobe. Is anyone else keeping track of this? If they win, macs will become the standard and apple will regain its position as the market leader, before sugar water guy fired steve, before win 3... Interesting they returned to the number system, a sign perhaps? My bets are on apple, they got the money, talent and smarts to school all 5 of these companies & more.

    - A

  1. combs1945

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How To Make or Port to an iPad Website

    I stumbled upon the first comprehensive explanation of several methodologies of how to make an iPad Website or Web App. It covers caching, Flash image swap, lightview popup, and all you need to know about building or porting a website for iPad.

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