Thoughts on Flash Don’t Matter

Today, Steve Jobs published his thoughts on Flash, specifically the six reasons why it isn’t supported by the iPhone OS. It’s nothing new, pretty much a summary of all the reasons previously cited, but ultimately, the party really keeping Flash from running on the iPhone has been Adobe.

From Steve’s reason #3:


Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath.

Ain’t that the truth. Sure, there’s the mobile version of Flash called Flash Lite (based on Flash 8), but that’s a far cry from the desktop version that supports the games and interactive applications that we think of as Flash. The video of Flash running on the HP Slate only showed us that Flash can run on Windows 7; no breakthrough there. Even the HTC Hero, which Adobe held up as the first Android device to run Flash, just runs Flash Lite, not the full version. Today we learned there may be an announcement of Android 2.2 and Flash 10.1 next month. No, not a release. An announcement. Maybe.

Adobe, if you want to prove Steve Jobs wrong about his criticisms of Flash, then you need to deliver proof. Demos are fun to look at, but they don’t put Flash on users’ handhelds. Looking forward to you talking about Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2 next month, but if you want to shut Steve up, announce and stick to a release date. Otherwise, good or ill, thoughts on Flash don’t matter.