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New MacBook Air comes without pre-installed Flash

updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010

Apple extending anti-Flash stance?

The 2010 MacBook Air is shipping without a preloaded copy of Flash Player, early buyers note. Although the plugin can still be downloaded and will work properly, its absence is unusual, as all other Macs come with Flash pre-installed. The technology remains standard on the web, used for video, advertising and many site interfaces.

Apple has however adopted an outspoken anti-Flash stance in recent months, prompted mostly by the plugin's performance on mobile devices. No iOS device supports Flash; Apple has instead thrown its weight behind HTML5, as well as dedicated apps that bypass web interfaces entirely. Apple has also attacked Flash as being the largest cause of crashes on Macs. This and other charges have forced developer Adobe to publicly defend itself, even if the companies have come to terms over Flash-based development tools.

The absence of Flash on the Air may represent an attempt by Apple to eliminate some hassle on its end and nudge people towards websites with HTML5. Sites with Flash content will often prompt people to download the plugin, however, limiting any impact such an effort might have.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart move...

    ...since Flash is getting updated more frequently lately because of all of its critical security issues.

    This way, Apple doesn't ship an older version and get criticized for it (which already happened with an OS update, even though the installer was smart enough to not install the version of Flash it contained if a newer version of Flash was present on the system), they don't have to bother with updating their shipping system build to keep up, and users who need it download the most up to date version on their new machine.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this is really nothing new

    i had to manually install flash on my first couple of macs years ago.

  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Non issue

    Yeah I think the press is reaching on this one to make a story out of nothing.

    First off the MBA has limited drive space in today's standards so they probably want to limit what is loaded as part of the OS. The next issue is the frequency if builds coming out now that basically renders what would ship as being outdated in a month. Then there are people who dont want flash and prefer it never be installed.

    Apple is satisfying everyone by leaving it out and it's a simple install when/if you want it so please stop sensationalizing this!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Non-issue

    Yeah I think the press is reaching on this one to make a story out of nothing.

    It's not included. It used to always be included. Hard to call that 'reaching for a story', unless your definition of 'news-worthy' is just "If it bleeds, it leads!".

    Pointing out it is missing is a story. Especially noting Apple's past hatred of Flash as a whole. It seems more of a story then most would want to admit.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Teq

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Actually quite an important issue in the bigger sc

    Apples presumptuous behavior is really starting to get on my nerves... I always thought that it's the company that has to adapt to it's customers requirements and not the other way around, but apparently the APPL stock price has gone to Steve's head and he actually believes everything he says (then again I still remember the bag of hurt the netbooks are - and now, welcome to the 11.6 Netbook Air).
    I love this company to bits, every single computer in my household is an Apple, but I swear to God if I have to give up on a another piece of modern technology in the next two years (like I did with eSata, bluray, usb 3.0) I'm off the bandwagon, doesn't matter how much I love it, I will go back to building my own machines and switch everything over to Ubuntu.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe it's time MacNN stopped saddling the site with all the Flash ads...

  1. aussiemacman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How is being presumptuous!!!

    Dear Teq,

    Thank you so much for my morning ROLFLMAO moment. The thinly veiled efforts of trolls to sound logically upset is always fun to read.

    If you had of taken the time, which of course you wouldn't, you would of found out Windows does not have flash pre-installed, unless done by a third party such as Dell. Windows doesn't even come with silverlight preinstalled.

    Ubuntu also does not have flash as a default installation.

    So, what you are saying is, you are upset because Apple has taken away something you aren't getting anyway!!!

    As for flash itself..

    Apple was also recently taken to task because they released an update with a so called older version of flash although the new version of flash came out only one week prior to the mac os update. A flash update to patch, yet more, security vulnerabilities in flash!!!

    So we have Apple pre-installing flash as a convenience to customers where Microsoft (unless done by 3rd party) and Ubuntu do not! We have Apple bundling flash updates in its own OS updates to update functionality and security where Microsoft and Ubuntu do not!!! And you are bitchin' about Apples presumptuous behavior!!!

    Apple has, as your own B.S. shows Teq, is only getting grief from flash and disingenuous people like yourself, because what is more disingenuous than having different standards for the same software and applying it as your own preconceived ideas see fit...

    Please go back under your bridge and wait to scare some pilgrims out of a few shiny coppers...

  1. _Rick_V_

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash on Windows

    AussieMacMan beat me to it, but I was going to say...

    This is no different than any other platform-- Windows 7 doesn't include Flash, either.

    So OS vendors (Apple, Microsoft, Ubuntu) are no longer bundling it. Big deal. Usually by the time Flash is burned to the master and sent off to be duplicated, Flash is already out of date anyway. If anything, this is a good thing, it ensures that the user will have a more current version, if they need it at all.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To Frequent Updates

    Flash is updated just about every day and the last few times Apple was blasted for having an out of date version. So, take 2 minutes to download the most current version after you download Firefox and you're in business.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hear, hear, aussiemacman

    I couldn't have said it better in your rebuttal!

    When did it ever become Apple's responsibility to install software for 3rd-party companies?! Adobe's abysmal record of updaters, software development and feature parity for Mac users is appalling and uncalled for. So "good for the goose is good for gander" is Apple's approach and I applaud them for it.

    Apple certainly is not obligated to assist Adobe any more than Microsoft has, as you so aptly put it!


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