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  •  Shawn
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2010-01-29T14:02:38Z
We've covered Apple's forthcoming iPad with a pretty good level of detail, but one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is Flash. Or, the lack thereof, we should say. Steve Jobs was adamant on stage during his iPad introduction that the browsing experience was best in class, but when we think about browsing, we think Flash. Adobe's Flash helps to push content from Hulu, a number of TV networks and it powers a multitude of sites on the web today.

Apple's iPhone has never supported Flash, and existing owners are none too happy about it. The only reason Apple gets a pass is that Mobile Safari is so stellar otherwise. In almost every non-Flash scenario, Mobile Safari beats out any other mobile web browser. But the iPad won't get that same pass. The iPad is tailor made to watch multimedia, particularly video. Does Apple really expect to excite people when all the iPad can do is watch YouTube HD clips? Doubtful.

Adobe has taken the necessary step of putting out a blog post scolding Apple for their refusal to adopt to one of the web's most critical technologies, and frankly, we couldn't agree more with their stance. Even in Jobs' demo of surfing the New York Times webpage, onlookers spotted a "No Flash Plug-in Installed" error logo. Embarrassing. It's really amazing that Apple refuses to bring Flash support to the iPad, particularly since that A4 CPU has so much power that is going unused.

Here's the exact statement from Adobe, and yes, it's a doozy.


It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on theirdevices that limit both content publishers and consumers. Unlike manyother ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not beable to access ePub content with Apple's DRM technology on devices madeby other manufacturers.  And without Flash support, iPad users will notbe able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% ofgames and 75% of video on the web.

If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab -- not to mention the millions of other sites on the web -- I'll be out of luck.

Adobe and more than 50 of our partners in the Open Screen Projectare working to enable developers and content publishers to deliver toany device, so that consumers have open access to their favoriteinteractive media, content, and applications across platform,regardless of the device that people choose to use.


rapid1
2010-01-30T02:04:21Z

Wow Apple is getting crap from quite a few places. This one (Flash "Adobe" does not surprise me) The college humor rips did quite a bit I thought that was one of there darlings personally.

gibbersome
2010-01-30T02:12:08Z

Yeah, but Flash is a CPU-hogging, power-draining app that's been overdue for extinction. Besides Youtube, Vimeo also supports H.264. Why can't the rest?

If the iPad takes off, this could signal the beginning of Flash's demise. I wouldn't be too sorry to see it go.

Inspector
2010-01-30T02:32:28Z

If ALL other's change from flash i wouldn't mind it but if they don't i want want my flash :(

3vi1
  •  3vi1
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2010-01-30T09:20:28Z

>> Youtube, Vimeo also supports H.264. Why can't the rest?

Licensing fees on the h.264 patents, and the fact there's no legal way to freely distribute any open-source encoder/decoders in regions respecting those patents (hence Microsoft's newfound love for it).

Had Adobe not treated other platforms so poorly (they only got scared once Silverlight came about) in the past, they might have more support now.

HTML5+OggTheora+Vorbis FTW.

gibbersome
2010-01-30T09:58:44Z

Thanks 3vi1. Didn't know about the h.264 patents. First I've heard of Ogg and Vorbis, sounds promising. I agree, I should have said HTML 5 instead of H.264.

I don't know how much better Silverlight would be than Flash, from an performance point of view, they're both CPU-heavy.

On a side note, it's disappointing that Google isn't using Theora video and instead opted for H.264-encoded video.

Bighorse
2010-01-30T10:02:55Z

Apple needs to embrace it's technology brothers not be big dog on campus. If you make something that will play with most peoples stuff you have something that can lead long life and many cool innovations.

Der Meister
2010-01-30T14:00:25Z

they wont support flash bc at the moment if you want a game on your iphone/itouch/ipad you have to pay for it from the app store.... if there was flash support few would buy games because of all the free flash games out there.

3vi1
  •  3vi1
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2010-01-30T14:37:25Z

Hopefully apps will begin supporting h.264 encoding/decompression in hardware across all platforms, and that - being licensed by the hardware manufacturer and already paid for by the consumer - it can therefore be called by open source apps without re-implementation/licensing.

Theora's still the best choice, and has been improving by leaps and bounds, but people are afraid submarine patents will surface. The way our software patent system allows for such over-generalization, I wouldn't bet against it myself.

gibbersome
2010-01-30T14:49:40Z

Der Meister wrote:

they wont support flash bc at the moment if you want a game on your iphone/itouch/ipad you have to pay for it from the app store.... if there was flash support few would buy games because of all the free flash games out there.

That's an interesting way to look at it. And all this time I thought the lack of flash was due to CPU and battery considerations.

Inspector
2010-01-30T15:39:57Z

maybe charge for flash then 😉 cause i really want it....

Soupstyle
2010-01-30T17:25:14Z

I am hoping that the HTML 5 spec uses a free/Open source format also, restricting it to H.264 will leave out a lot of sites (which I'm sure google won't mind, killing youtube competition) when they can't afford the millions to buy a license. I like Mozilla's take on the situation, they have refused to support H.264, even though they could afford the fees, they are trying to look out for others who use the net for video distribution.

 

"

For Mozilla, H.264 is not currently a suitable technology choice. In

many countries, it is a patented technology, meaning that it is illegal

to use without paying license

fees to the MPEG-LA. Without such a license, it is not legal to use

or distribute software that produces or consumes H.264-encoded content.

Indeed, even distributing H.264 content over the internet or

broadcasting it over the airwaves requires the consent of the MPEG-LA,

and the current fee exemption for free-to-the-viewer internet delivery

is only in effect until the end of 2010.

These license fees affect not only browser developers and

distributors, but also represent a toll booth on anyone who wishes to

produce video content.  And if H.264 becomes an accepted part of the

standardized web, those fees are a barrier to entry for developers of

new browsers, those bringing the web to new devices or platforms, and

those who would build tools to help content and application development.

Some companies pay annually for H.264 licenses, which they can pass

on to users of their software. Google has such a license, but as

they have described, it does not extend to people building from

their source or otherwise extending their browser. (Apple and Microsoft

are licensors

to the MPEG-LA’s AVC/H.264 patent pool, so their terms may differ

substantially.) Personally, I believe that it is completely their right

to make such a decision, even if I would prefer that they made a

different decision.

Mozilla has decided differently, in part because there is no

apparent means for us to license H.264 under terms that would cover

other users of our technology, such as Linux distributors, or people in

affiliated projects like Wikimedia or the Participatory Culture

Foundation. Even if we were to pay the $5,000,000 annual licensing cost

for H.264, and we were to not care about the spectre of license fees for

internet distribution of encoded content, or about content and tool

creators, downstream projects would be no better off.

"

Soupstyle
2010-01-30T17:32:30Z

Der Meister wrote:

they wont support flash bc at the moment if you want a game on your iphone/itouch/ipad you have to pay for it from the app store.... if there was flash support few would buy games because of all the free flash games out there.

I agree, plus they wouldn't be able to reject risqué games/videos (violent/adult/whatever apple didn't like that day/etc) as they do on the app store if they allowed flash.

rapid1
2010-01-31T00:20:47Z

Yeah using h.264 would definitely be more efficient, but a lot of (and I mean a lot, like my school) support and use flash for lots of things. Where h.264 makes a lot of sense that's a lot of sites which have to enable that compatibility to, which takes time.

rapid1
2010-01-31T01:13:04Z

rofl well I think they were off target on this unit, maybe it is just a first unit there going to upgrade fast. I don't get the unconnected feel of this unit really. The use pattern given and the equipment don't quite go together to me.