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Was Apple right to dump Flash on iPhone?

Fresh in from the historical inevitability department comes news of a failed Adobe Flash demo — and an all-new video clip showing what the proprietary multimedia standard can do on an Android phone.

Last week’s FlashCamp Seattle saw Flash Platform evangelist Ryan Stewart demo Flash Player 10.1 on a Nexus One phone during his opening keynote. It didn’t go well, wrote blogger, Jeff Croft.

Here’s what happened: On his Mac, Ryan pulled up a site called Eco Zoo. It is, seemingly, a pretty intense example of Flash development — full of 3D rendering, rich interactions, and cute little characters. Then, he pulled up the same thing on his Nexus One. The site’s progress bar filled in and the 3D world appeared for a few seconds before the browser crashed. Ryan said (paraphrasing), “Whoops! Well, it’s beta, and this is an intense example — let’s try it again.” He tried it again and got the same result. So he said to the audience, “Well, this one isn’t going to work, but does anyone have a Flash site they’d like to see running?” Someone shouted out “Hulu.” Ryan said, “Hulu doesn’t work,” and then wrapped up his demo, telling people if they wanted to try more sites they could find him later and he’d let them play with his Nexus One.

Contrast that clear disaster with this latest video clip which shows Flash working on a pre-release build of Android 2.2, set to ship near May 19. Ryan again does his demo and shows it browsing CBS, games and more, and it all seems slick.

All the same, given the time this is taking, many commentators are beginning to ask, ‘Was Apple right to refuse Flash?


  1. What i watched on the video is just amazing…the demo as he says is a beta development that’s why it’s buggy and not released…apple crashes too…but whe adobe lauch it all, all I can see at the final, it’s a really better better experience for all of us…

  2. Flash isn’t a standard on the www. The improvements on html, css jquery,… will make flash redundant

  3. Apple’s loss… for now. Flash is a great platform with a lot of creative developers. HTML5 and W3C are slow. I think HTML5 is good, but Flash is way ahead and Adobe keeps innovating. Flex 4 for example is pure pleasure and my designers/developers love the workflow it enables. HTML5 just won’t attract the creative talent that Adobe CS can.

  4. Users don’t care if it’s HTML5 or flash, they asked me why I cannot see this or that and I see a blue brick in my screen (iPhone, iPad, etc) and in this other phone I can see it…and it looks normal (not slow). For me as a developer is so much easier to have almost the same code in different platforms (applications). And on the browser, meanwhile HTML5 and jquery you can do nice and clean animations (and play videos as the BIG release), with flash you can interact with 3D and videos as textures or materials (important to games and entertaining on the web) and flex4 is a really powerful tool…I was not a big fan of flash a few years ago, but now saves me time and the community is getting bigger and bigger.

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