Tell me again why Flash isn’t on the iPad

Adobe Flash

It is rather frustrating that iOS devices, including the iPad, do not support Adobe Flash and our delvings into the matter reveals that there seems to be more than one reason for this.

The late Steve Jobs, co founder of Apple, wrote a detailed explanation of the reasons why Adobe Flash was not supported by his company. If you would like to read this you can find it here

Basically Apple decided that due to the conflicts Adobe Flash has with other applications, resulting in the possibility of freezing or crashing of the iPad, security issues, problems with performance and reliability and the amount of memory required for the mobile version, it was a no go. Other sources say it is because Adobe Flash is considered to be “buggy” whereas an Adobe spokesman insists that it was all about money, Adrian Ludwig said “It’s pretty clear if you connect the dots: the issue is about revenue”, referring to the fact that users could access content for free instead of buying through the app store. Mr Ludwig added that Apple does not also support Python, .Net, Ruby and Java, declaring that “Apple is keeping the device closed to protect their revenue streams.”

Not everyone feels that revenue is the only reason, in fact there are some developers out there who have a completely different perspective on the issue and they say that current Adobe Flash sites just cannot work properly on any touch screen device, not just the Apple iPad. The problem seems to be a fundamental one but something that is vital when using Flash and that is the function of the mouse-over, the ability to hover, you just cannot do that with your finger. We have all seen words or images suddenly appear when we move our mouse around on the screen, for instance over certain buttons to show us choices before we are required to click on our option. Without the function of the mouse-over any Flash app would be completely different, unrecognizable and a wholly altered and new experience for the user. These developers say that what everyone really, really wants, i.e. current Adobe Flash sites on their iPads, is just an impossibility because without the ability to mouse-over, it simply cannot be done. Perhaps in the future developers will come up with a solution, maybe it will be something like a type of sensor that can detect a finger held just above a touch screen or some completely different piece of software or hardware that has not even been invented yet will solve the whole issue.

In the meantime it is possible to use third party web browsers to achieve a limited form of Adobe Flash support, Puffin is one version and it is free from the app store.

Of course Apple is perfectly entitled to block support to whomever and whatever it wishes, it certainly doesn’t seem to have done much harm to the sales of their highly sought after iPad either, in fact its popularity is enormous and growing daily.

Special thanks bfishadow for providing the image.

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