How do you solve a problem like Flash?

Who Can Do Something About Those Blue Boxes?

Users could make Apple change its mind by refusing to buy iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads because they don’t support Flash. That does not seem to be happening. In fact, iPhone sales are accelerating.

That’s because the question is simpler: What do these users want more, Flash or the iPhone? Flash doesn’t change your life the way the iPhone can. Flash is a platform that enables developers, not users. Sure, you might not be able to play that one game you like, you might not be able to see that actor’s web site, but you’ll open so many other doors you won’t care anymore.

The same will be true with the iPad.

The Macalope’s sorry if he sounds like some crazy iPad nut. No one knows for sure if it’s going to be a success, but he sure thinks it will. And something that essentially just makes developers lives easier isn’t going to stand in its way.

  • Drew Caster:

    I have always hated the overuse of Flash. I hate, hate flash driven web sites and think it’s just a symptom of lazy graphic designers.

    HTML5 will finally drive this 90’s technology into the ground.

  • Jeff Garbers:

    If these guys ( can do a viable Flash runtime in JavaScript, couldn’t Apple do their own in Objective-C for OS X / iPhone / iPad and eliminate the external dependency on Adobe? Is it that they don’t like Flash, or that they don’t like the implications of using Adobe’s implementation?

    “Forking” Flash might make it tougher for Flash developers, who’d have to test on an Apple runtime. But that’s just another cross-platform / multiple-version issue, and we’ve dealt with them (albeit unhappily) in the past.

    Besides, “Fork Flash” would make a good rallying cry. 🙂

  • DB:

    Jeff Garbers: Apple could do that, but they won’t. It seems pretty darn clear from the evidence that Apple’s unstated goal is to kill Flash dead, dead, dead with a stake through the heart. The iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad are the hammer; HTML5 is the stake.

  • Jeff Garbers:

    DB, I’m sure you’re right, given some of these recent leaks about Steve Jobs’ comments about Adobe & Flash. I’d still like to have a *reliable* way to get to some of that content. But then I’m the sort of guy who hoped the Packers could figure out how to play both Favre and Rodgers.

  • Josef K:

    There have only been 2 tech items in the last 10 years that my wife and I completely open mindedly wanted, based on what it does and what we need.

    The first was the iPod (first gen, no less)

    The second is the iPad. Everything else we have bought have either been upgrades of what we have already got, or just cold cheaper replacements.

    Against my expectations, it seems to probably found the path into a possible future, and that is why there is so much fear.

  • Ari Blackthorne:

    I plan to buy an iPad.

    If Apple introduces anything “Flash” on it before then, the effing deal’s OFF. Flash is the *scourge* of the Internet. I love the webekit hack “Click2Flash” because it prevents Flash garbage from loading-up unless I click on it and choose to load it up.

    Also why I stick with Safari (on my Mac and my Windows machines).

    Adobe can take that abominable terd (spelling intentional) called “Flash” and stick it back into the place where the sun don’t shine. My entire internet experience is so much more pleasurable (and faster and safer for that matter) ever since I have shunned all things “Flash”.

  • Ari Blackthorne:

    Add: allow me to be clear…no, I am not a troll. I am real and I mean this.

    The only things I see in Flash anymore are:
    Loud, too-flashy advertising; video (Flash being the worst of all codecs or wrappers anyone can use,) and games.

    Too many other ways to see advertising that doesn’t try to actually steal my attention, movies are better suited in better codecs and player-wrappers – hell, I’ll even take Windows Media Video format over Flash, and there are too many other, more entertaining games to play.

    As for Flash-based web sites: I hope they aren’t depending on my business because as soon as I run into one, I click-off.



  • Jeff Garbers:

    I’m ready to retract my original proposal — you guys are all correct that Apple wants the world to move to HTML5 and avoid dependencies on Adobe. However, the death of Flash wouldn’t mean the death of tacky, loud, annoying content. We’ll just see tacky, loud, annoying HTML5 content — which, as a possible downside, won’t as easy to segregate and block as Flash is now.

    It’d be ironic if that became a motivator for purveyors of annoying ads: “Hey, we should move to HTML5; too many users are blocking the Flash content, and it’s a lot harder to selectively block HTML5 elements!”

  • Ari Blackthorne:

    @ Jeff:

    OMG! LOL. I *didn’t* think of that.

    Hell’s wrath be upon you for generations to come for giving them (the garish content and advert creators) the idea! LOL

  • Jeff Garbers:

    I’m sure they’d have thought of it soon enough… from clay to guitars to TrueType to HTML5, there’s never been a creative technology that couldn’t be used poorly!

  • Doug Adams:

    If I were an ad house using Flash I think I’d start worrying about a significant number of eyeballs only seeing blue boxes rather than my clients’ messages.

  • Sigivald:

    If Apple can, as a side-effect, kill the “flash only website”, they’ll have done the entire world* a giant service.

    (* Okay, except for people at Adobe on the Flash team.)

  • jjoojjiiboy:

    (To the Tune of Flash! by The Queen – altogether now!)

    Flash! ah-ah, pdf’s the next to go!

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