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No Flash support on iPad

Adobe’s Response To iPad’s Lack Of Flash Support

by: Giovanni

Apple unveiled it’s newest entry into portable computing, the iPad this past week. While the forum boards are busy discussing whether or not it is “a truly magical and revolutionary product”– there is one company that is showing their displeasure publicly.

Adobe, Apple’s mortal frenemy in recent years, was less than happy to say the least regarding the slick new tablet’s lack of Flash support. In a statement released to Gizmodo, Adobe’s response is as follows:

It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers. Unlike many other ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not be able to access ePub content with Apple’s DRM technology on devices made by other manufacturers. And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games 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.

The relationship between Apple and Adobe has been tenuous at best in recent years, most stemming from the lack of Flash support in the iPhone and iPod Touch. Adobe has recently struck back by  redirecting iPhone users looking for Flash to a less than pleasant message. Although it seemed that the two multimedia giants were finally going to play nice with Flash support coming to the iPhone with the impending release of Flash CS5, it looks like its going to be a while before you can play your Farmville or watch Hulu on your iPhone or iPad.

If you want another take on why you will not be seeing Flash anytime soon on the iPhone or iPad, check out Daring Fireball- John Gruber does a good job outlining points of why the turtlenecked-one might continue to avoid Flash in the future.

Read more about: Technology / Gear
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  • Suge Knight

    You think the adoption of HTML5 (albeit slow) will make this a non-issue? In the interim, it does suck that certain sites that have forms or Flash drop downs aren’t accessible. Jobs’ claim that the iPad is the “Best way to experience the web” leaves out about 70% of content…

  • Giovanni

    It’s no secret that we like Flash, but love open source development as well. It’s a good sign that Youtube and Vimeo both have switched to HTML 5 already. In Adobe’s case however, it’s never a good idea for one company to control an entire medium.

    Having said that, I think there is space to coexist. There have been successfully tested (and approved) Flash-based iPhone apps that are currently in the App store so the technology is there. The upcoming release of Flash CS5 with a built-in iPhone compiler was only going to make creating apps that much easier. With that kind of momentum I assumed Flash support was finally coming to the next iPhone SDK and to the new iPad- obviously, thats not the case any longer.

    I am going to hold out hope. For all the bad things Flash has been stigmatized for (slow loading times, useless intro pages, relearning UI), I think Flash websites by far have helped push web design further and faster than with traditional HTML pages. After all, all cutting edge CSS/jQuery navigation and animations are really just derived from old Flash functions. Flash gaming and the rise of AIR apps (like Hulu) is another reason why I think Flash is still here to stay– and hopefully find its way into an Apple mobile device real soon!

  • stereophone

    Videos and games will no longer require Flash in the Future. Flash is dead and Apple knows that. Maybe they just want to accelerate this process…

    • Giovanni

      I definitely agree that video is moving away but I just think games might be another story. But who knows, you could be right especially about Apple being ahead of the curb when it comes to ditching what they deem to be obsolete- they were first to scrap floppies, then zips (and CD-drives if MB Air counts).

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