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iPad review Pt.1: Flash rant

June 7, 2010

I have held off reviewing the iPad until I had time to get used to it. Recent events, though, spurred me to start my review by ranting about a limitation of the device – incompatibility with Flash. I have alluded to this before, but this time it’s “official.” Almost daily I visit a website where access to content is crippled because the iPad can’t display Flash.

[Note: beginning with part 2 of the review I will have nice things to say about the iPad, so stay tuned]

Last Thursday Apple posted an HTML5 demo gallery as a way to boost its position that Flash is unnecessary on the iPad because HTML5 is the wave of the future. To view the demos you need Safari. I don’t have to install a third party add-on, but I am required to use Apple’s browser.

I visited the page, followed the “Learn more” link, and was taken to a “Safari Technology Demos” page. The demos are cool, no doubt, and very nicely presented. However, everything was branded Safari, not standard (if there were such a thing) HTML5. This is pretty disingenuous after all of Steve Jobs’ talk about open standards.

The newest TV commercial for the iPad (below) claims that it puts “all the world’s websites in your hands.” Adobe claims that 85% of the top 100 websites and 75% of videos on the Web use Flash. There’s nothing to keep an iPad from visiting a Flash-based website; it just can’t view the content once it gets there

I don’t think Flash is the be-all and end-all, but it is a widely established tool whose continued existence should not be subject to the dubious dictates of Mr. Jobs. I have been a die-hard Apple user for nearly thirty years and I have never been as disappointed with them as I am over this. Heavy-handedness does not become them.

I look forward to the availability of Flash on products that compete with Apple in the mobile device market. So far this year, sales of iPhone OS devices are running in third place behind Blackberry and Android. Flash does run on Android’s new OS 2.2 and will work with Blackberry 6 OS (due in the second half of 2010).

More: What is HTML5? (previous post on this blog)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 3:37 am

    great post, thanks for sharing

  2. mikenouveau permalink
    July 26, 2010 7:36 pm

    Nice review! Check mine at the below link..

    Gear Lust (part one) iPad –first impressions

    Like so many other Apple users I’m enamored with each deliciously-designed product that they release. But I understand what they are doing to us – they are changing the way we think, compute, consume and buy. As a futurist and early-adopter of most technology I’m ok with these changes. But Apple seems to be single-handedly launching us into new markets long before the public knows what to do with them. On one hand it’s the entrepreneur’s dream to have a new wild-west to conquer. But as consumers we are easily tricked into putting money back into Apple, AT&T and so many other companies’ products to feel like we are on the cutting edge of technology in this brave new age of computing. My first impressions of the iPad are exactly these thoughts. It’s not a matter of is it cool (it totally is) or do I want one (couldn’t wait.) It does everything I wanted and more. It’s got a few limitations I find frustrating. But once I got my hands on it I was drinking Apple’s kool aid once again and didn’t put it down for about 14 hours. Below is a brief review of the product and some initial impressions of the philosophy behind the technology, some questions about productivity and some excitement about the possibilities.

  3. June 25, 2010 11:06 am

    I’m as frustrated and disappointed as all the rest of you that this glorious device doesn’t support Flash. But on the other hand, perhaps this is a great chance for the iPad to revolutionize the way we see Flash by using HTML5 instead.


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