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.


  1. Kenrick

    04/29/2010 at 2:58 pm

    Flash has been running on the N900 since last year.


    • Chad Essley

      04/29/2010 at 5:43 pm

      What we’re talking about isn’t the flash lite version running on the N900, or any other device. It’s the fully hardware accelerated version of flash, that’s as fast as the desktop version.. for phones.

      As far as Steve’s reason #3, Adobe has already announced a public beta for flash on Android, and stated that they’re sticking to the first half of 2010 deadline.

      This video gives a small preview of the massive plate of crow that Steve and Apple will be eating in just a few short months. (Or sooner!)


  2. Mickey Segal

    04/30/2010 at 5:09 am

    Adobe responds in the Wall Street Journal:

    “Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen fired back in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, disputing Mr. Jobs’s assertions about shortcomings in Flash. That is a “smoke screen,” he argued, for Apple’s plan to keep its own lock over software development for its mobile devices. “It’s clear that it has nothing to do with technology,” he said.”

    “Analysts and industry executives don’t expect Mr. Jobs to readily share that power with other standard-setters such as Adobe. “They are trying to control their ecosystem,” said Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research, of Apple. “It’s all about control.””


  3. Mickey Segal

    04/30/2010 at 10:16 am

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