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  • Roger Howard
    ... Hard to say, but have you seen a single Flash-based video playback device, comparable in form to the iPad, that can even remotely approach its battery life
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2010
      On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 10:31 PM, <> wrote:

      > I'm curious if the reasons they give are true, outright lies, or somewhere
      > in-between. When asked about flash on the iPad, Jobs stated that running
      > flash would take the battery life from 8 hours down to 1.5 hours.

      Hard to say, but have you seen a single Flash-based video playback device,
      comparable in form to the iPad, that can even remotely approach its battery
      life while playing back fullscreen video?

      > Most
      > experts agree that it's really because flash can operate pretty tightly
      > with
      > the OS, and that would take control away from Apple.
      It's quite the opposite - Flash is a platform in its own right, and has very
      little integration (whether the Flash Plugin or AIR) with the underlying OS
      and native APIs... it's, by design, a neutral, platform-agnostic runtime,
      with very little in the way of platform-specific support. Even the Flash to
      iPhone OS cross-compiler promised in Flash CS5 did not support the complete
      set of iPhone 3 public APIs. This is most obviously of biggest concern to
      Apple, as expressed in a number of comments by Jobs, and is a very different
      issue from whether Flash is allowed to be hosted as a Mobile Safari plugin.

      To be clear, there are two very different issues here:

      1. Flash as a Mobile Safari plugin - I think the concern here is stability
      for Safari (given the track history of Flash Plugin on Mac OSX) and perhaps
      battery life while mobile browsing (which, again, anyone on a Mac OSX laptop
      who surfs the web on a battery can attest is an issue).

      2. Flash as a development environment for native iPhone OS applications -
      the main issues here are entirely different. It has nothing to do with
      battery life - there's no inherent reason an iPhone app written in
      ActionScript but compiled to a native application would be any worse for
      battery life than a comparable app written in ObjC. The issue here, which
      has been stated clearly enough, is the desire for developers to not be
      writing applications for lowest-common-denominator, OS-neutral runtimes, as
      that dilutes the iPhone OS benefits. It also means every major OS release,
      with new APIs, will be trailed significantly by the common runtime, meaning
      some large subset of apps developed on these common runtimes will not
      benefit from the upgrades quickly, if ever - again, witness Adobe's
      complacency in shipping Flash Players quickly for new or updated platforms -
      the 64 bit migration, OSX Intel support, multitouch support, scroll wheels,
      etc. Why would Apple want a third party providing the runtime and developer
      tools for a significant percentage of apps running on its otherwise tightly
      managed, and highly successful, consumer product? Apple has been through
      this problem many times, from the legacy of CodeWarrior based products
      (including Photoshop) which significantly slowed, or even killed, major
      products transition to OSX, and they obviously want to avoid it now.

      One thing I find highly amusing is the latest round of stretching the term
      "open" to mean something different. 2 years ago, I hardly think anyone would
      have called Adobe's Flash runtime strategy at all compatible with an open
      computing model. It was nearly the posterchild for single vendor, single
      platform closed computing which all but entirely shunned the underlying
      stack and reinvented each wheel itself (or, to Apple's concern, not at all).

      I think time will tell whether it's a sound strategy, but it's not
      inconsistent, nor hard to understand. Adobe and Apple have clearly
      incompatible objectives, but don't let the public melodrama convince you
      this is about spite or childishness - only the pundits are guilty of that.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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