eWeek: Perfect Tablets Must Have Flash

eWeek is running an article entitled Picking the Perfect Tablet: 10 Must-Have Features. Here's item #9:

9. Flash Support

Adobe's Flash has been panned by Apple as a potential security risk that the company's iOS platform doesn't need. But further inspection of Flash running on Android OS reveals that iOS does need it. And for tablets, which can be computer replacements, it's an absolute necessity. Because of that, consumers should expect every website to work. That won't happen on the iPad. That's a major mark against Apple's tablet for any consumer who wants the best browsing experience.

Comments (10)

  • Roger

    Ben: No one who thinks Flash is a necessity has ever spent a few days browsing the web on OS X. And no one who has spent a few days browsing the web on OS X wants Flash anywhere near their OS X-derived iOS devices.

    The moment Adobe ships a version of Flash that is performant and stable on OS X is the moment I'll start taking all of this "perfect tablets have Flash" stuff seriously.

    #1Posted by Roger | Oct 3, 2010, 02:25 AM
  • Ben Forta

    Roger, let me preface my comment by saying that I am not a Mac user, and have never been one. But, the vast majority of my team use Macs, and they all use Flash and Flex extensively, and they do indeed browse lots of Flash on their Macs. So, no, not buying your "no one who has a spent a few days browsing the web on OSX wants Flash". That is just incorrect. Having said that, yes, Flash on Mac does not perform as well as it does on other platforms, we've publicly acknowledged this, and have publicly committed to address this. Just keep in mind that we need to work really closely with the underlying OS vendor to get the level of performance that we need, and that's been easier with some OSs than with others. Having said that, we are indeed making progress, as demonstrated by the support for hardware video acceleration announced in August.

    --- Ben

    #2Posted by Ben Forta | Oct 3, 2010, 08:37 AM
  • Frederic Fortier

    I have OSx, Flash runs fine..

    #3Posted by Frederic Fortier | Oct 3, 2010, 03:20 PM
  • JB Tellez

    I'm on OSX right now, and I just got done playing a great Flash game on the web. It ran fine. I wasn't bench marking, so maybe it runs better on Windows.Who knows? The game was fun, and not being able to play it on a tablet would most definitely keep me from considering that tablet "perfect." I like Flash, you don't seem to. No problem there. But let's agree not to put words in each other's mouths.

    #4Posted by JB Tellez | Oct 4, 2010, 12:52 AM
  • Jose Galdamez

    @Roger - I too have experienced many headaches thanks to Flash support on the Mac, but I think even ardent Mac fans were surprised that it wasn't supported on the iPad. At this point, I really feel the onus is on Adobe to show that Flash is performant, reliable, and energy-efficient on iOS as well as Android. We've seen some powerful demos on the Android tablets so far, so I think we are moving in this direction.

    @Ben - Don't you think the opinions of those Adobe employees would be at least a little biased? A bit of a disingenuous rebuttal, no disrespect.

    @ JB Tellez - I would be curious to see if that game would work well with a touch interface. For some games no re-programming is needed. For many others, I doubt that is the case.

    As for the Windows vs. Mac Flash experience, I went ahead and got a powerful Windows-based desktop a few months ago and actually have noticed more Flash crashes within Firefox than I have on the Mac. This is a bit upsetting as one of the reasons I bought into the Windows 7 platform was to get around the Flash on Mac issues. I'd have to do some more digging to see what's really causing the crashes assuming these aren't bugs.

  • Ben Forta

    Jose, no rebuttal intended. Roger made a pretty wide open claim, saying essentially that no one could use Flash on OSX, and I pointed out that I know many who do. But, having said that, I also said that we had acknowledged that Flash on OSX was not performing as well as on another OSs, and that we were working on this problem. I think my reply was rather honest and not in the least disingenuous.

    --- Ben

    #6Posted by Ben Forta | Oct 4, 2010, 12:13 PM
  • Matthew Fabb

    Apple could always add Flash to iOS devices but have it disabled until the user clicks on the Flash element. Android has such a setting and it gives the user choice. Or Apple could even goes as far as to not include Flash, but allow the user to install it if they wish. It's all about giving the user choice, rather than not being able to access a large part of the web.

  • Jose Galdamez

    @Ben - Understood. Maybe it's just me, but when I read or hear phrases like "no one" I almost never take it literally. It's always been hyperbole to me. Thanks for clarifying though.

  • anon

    Jose, I think it's a bit grasping at straws to ask whether the game would work well on a touch interface, as though HTML and JavaScript are always 100% optimized for such experiences. I could point out many JS heavy sites that don't work at all on touch screens as a counterpoint, and likewise can point out flash sites that do. It's a red herring and completely meaningless.

    #9Posted by anon | Oct 5, 2010, 12:28 AM
  • flashProgramer

    "actually have noticed more Flash crashes within Firefox than I have on the Mac."

    I have noticed that firefox 3.6+ crashes often on flash sites. 3.5 did not have this problem, neither does chrome or IE.

    #10Posted by flashProgramer | Oct 5, 2010, 07:25 PM