No Flash for iPad 2: A Mistake in 2011?

By Jamie Pert - Mar 4, 2011

Two days ago Apple finally made the iPad 2 announcement, it is hard not to be impressed by its super-slim design and speedy performance, however Apple has not added Adobe Flash support, this is no real surprise, however with so many competitive devices emerging will Apple regret this decision?

Steve Jobs and Apple have a strong stance on Adobe Flash support, you can see their thoughts on Flash here, to summarize they think that Adobe Flash being closed and 100% proprietary to Adobe means that Adobe has too much control, whereas an open standard like HTML5 is not controlled by one company, also let’s not forget that Flash is not great for portable device’s battery consumption.

With the BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola Xoom, HP Touchpad and the LG G-Slate all offering Adobe Flash support in 2011 we wonder if this will sway people’s decisions away from Apple’s new tablet, however let’s not forget that Apple’s iPhone 4 has done very well in the high-end smartphone despite never offering Flash support, whilst Android smartphones do.

If you buy the iPad 2 there is one solution, if you use the Skyfire web browser Flash content is automatically transcoded into HTML on Skyfire’s servers, this is not a perfect solution, however it is a workaround if you need to view Flash content on a certain website when using your iPad.

Does the lack of Adobe Flash support bother you?

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Also See: WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

  • Lfdcmd

    I hate apple for adobe flash. I think they are jealous and I will not buy an apple products again.


    I cannot believe that Apple lacks the ability to support flash. I will not being buying another Apple unless they come up with a way to view things that require flash. Who cares about the disadvantages like battery consumption, let me decide.

  • Jjs

    I bought an ipad2 recently. I will never ever buy an apple product again. There is a lot that I cannot se with this thing.

  • Hotaussie01

    I am a complete newb and i don’t really understand all the tech specifically. However, as a new owner of an iPad 2, I must say that this flash business is very annoying and upsetting for me. Especially as I have no idea what alternatives are out there to flash. Grrr seriously if I knew I would not have bought it.

  • Hwaters

    It bothers the hell out of me. If I had known I would not have bought an iPad.

  • Hate Apple

    why Apple puts a crippled device on the market??
    and why Steve Jobs is thinking he is God and decides for me what is good or not

    • Not even god decides what’s good or not for you, he let’s you CHOOSE

      • Paul_wilkinsonuk

        not always

  • I am a software developer of 30 years experience and use many technologies to write programs.
    For the web, Flash is an excellent way to get complex content onto a web page. It can read databases, create dynamic, rich graphical content, and no other technology exists to do this in a practical way.
    javascript and Html 5 are just far too long winded and tortuous to create anything near what Flash can do very easily.
    Steve Jobs says flash burns up batteries.  Well it certainly wouldn’t burn up as much juice as half of the games downloaded from the appstore – they simply eat batteries.
    Steve, work with Adobe, they would be able to sort this out with you.

    In my opinion, the real concern of Apple is this….. With Flash, users would be able to get rich content onto their ipads (mainly games) WITHOUT going through the Appstore, and most of it for Free from game sites. Apple would not get their hands on their commission from all the apps which are purchased.
    If HTML5 and java are so amazing, where is the web site which features great games written in this technology?
    It is up to the customer to decide if this approach is fair, in my opinion it is not, but somehow people tend to become such avid fans on the Apple empire they refuse to accept simple facts.
    As a developer of many technoologies I am sitting on the fence and watching. I would think it is a backward step if we have to stop developing Flash because Apple set out to kill it.
    If they kill it, I will move on, but it is a shame that the average person on the street doesn’t see the reality of what is going on here.
    I hope the Galaxy etc do well and force Apple’s hand here.

  • Michael Marshall

    This year I bought a Macbook Pro, my first apple product and Ive got to say so far I am really impressed in fact really like it.
    I was going to get an Iphone 4 but was put off because it didn’t have flash so decided on the Samsung Galaxy s (Android) and glad I did as I love the phone, but since getting this great mobile I realise I dont really need flash on a mobile phone (so not priority next time) but saying that flash is there if I need it. I wanted to get a Tablet since they first came out, but held off and have waited patiently for the  2nd generation  Ipad 2 / Galaxy tab to come out. I think its a real shame that Steve Jobs hasn’t changed his ideas on flash, because Ive got to admit I really like the look,feel and UI of the ipad 2 and would have definitely bought one , but its a no buy from me. For 600 GBP I want the full website experience or certainly the choice.With all the Tablets know and on the horizon I think Apple have made a huge mistake and may end up regretting it.

  • Mary

    I feel the same way and I love playing games online, but the dudes got a point about how the battery life drains quickly and it would give the device the same issues as we commonly have with the computer. Our videos would be slow and lagging all the time. It would eat up the gigs and memory that we have quicker. It's like sony's ps3 issue where apple would have to rebuild a new way to view our flash without all the bugs if Steve cares about his consumers demands and not just big money off of poor suckers that put more then half their paychecks in to buy his devices without knowing that more then part of their Internet is missing which apple fan boys seem to deny that fact and say oh well we don't view those sites. Well you fan boys will learn as you begin to use the browser more often and it will piss you off. And most of the games in the app store do not appeal to me. I'm just going to give the app store time since I now own the iPad 2 and it's lack of flash features. I will wait for better features as Steve claims will awe us in the future if he doesn't retire soon. Then I will be completely disappointed and lost lol.

  • Hun

    I cannot play my game online! Grrrr

  • Mariaan Labuschagne

    I bought the new IPad 2 and am very disappointed, because there are no flash player. I payed a Lot of money and can't look at any video. It really sucks….!!!!

  • Ipad

    Its a extremely bad idea

  • John

    I am a new Apple convert. Bought an iMac (my first) in March and then just bought a MacBook Pro a week ago. I would LOVE to have an iPhone and/or iPad (I have a Droid 2 – no pad), but I too use a lot of sites that a primarily Flash driven. It's a shame that Apple is at the forefront of computer manufacturing and operating systems, but falls far behind in mobile. Come on Apple – I WANT to give you more of my money, but you're making it very hard.

  • Dave Nelson

    I am a web developer. It is impossible for me to use an ipad/iphone.since I can't even display portions of my own website which uses flash, including flash video, exclusively. The majority of people purchasing the ipad/iphone have to make adjustments to their browsing habits to use the ipad/iphone.

    It's also true that most users don't know what they are missing until after they have purchased the ipad/iphone and a 2 year contract, and are stuck with it.

    Using the ipad/iphone on the web restricts users to sites that have been created specifically to support the ipad/iphone directly.

    This virtually eliminates the majority of all websites on the planet, and tends to squeeze out the small companies that created these sites from the playing field because they can't afford to hire programmers to support the ipad/iphone.

    This is not good for Apple.

    Ironically, for filmmakers, the creators of much of the video content on the web, are forced to view video which is not on youtube (much of the independent film community) on a mac or pc to display their own content.

    I think this is a mistake for apple.

    Now that the android's market share exceeds that of Apple's ipad/iphone, and is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds, I believe this will force Apple's hand or will relegate the ipad/iphone to the also ran category in the coming years.

    This may have escaped the notice of many ipad/iphone watchers and fanboys, but a simple trip to WalMart illustrates this. Everyone has heart of HTC. LG, HP, Motorola and Samsung, but there are many Low Low Low cost android phones available and many more from manufactures all over the world are hitting the streets.

    You can even get android phones from the pay as you go suppliers now.

    All this tends to marginalize Apple.

    What's more, Apple's ipad/iphone market penetration in Europe and Asia is dwindling at a more rapid rate that here in the US.

    I know that this doesn't sit well with many of you, But I have personally assisted many people in choosing the android platform instead of Apple's ipad/iphone, and discourage anyone from considering one solely due to the lack of flash support.

    Kind regards,
    Dave Nelson

  • AlexG

    It kicks BOTH WAYS fellas (and fellesses).! Although I do like flash as a nice, easy way to create active content, it IS a closed technoledgy. No one other than ADOBE is legally allowed to produce a Flash encoder! So though you have a point saying that Apple want to keep the revenue close by excluding Flash Apps, the same can be said of Adobe.
    In fairness, I would imagine the 'clever' approach is for Adobe is to open up the codebase of Flash to opensource developers,- OR turn Flash into an HTLM5 JS development scripting tool and drop the SWF format altogether. (see early indicators of the latter in their half-baked Wallaby tool)
    I think we are looking at an interesting 'precident' case here and the issue will be resolved by the parties concerned. Don't throw your Flash out yet, the fat lady has not yet sung!

  • chris rudge

    I keep having to put my iPad to one side and switch on the laptop so I can view Flash content. So many sites use it now, to marginalise Flash sites simply means only windows users can use those websites

  • Guest

    No flash, no cash. Until then, the device is useless to me.

  • jjjjj

    LOL you know the real problem is adobe CEO slept with Steve's wife and Steve is pissed.. end of story. It is that simple

  • Matthew

    The worse thing about Apple is everything is over priced. For the same price as a top end Apple, I cam build 3 PCs that are light years better and for less.

    • apple is not over priced (not counting custom built and walmart special’s) 

  • Jonathan

    without flash its substandard experience period. Ipad killers are already out with multitouch and cameras and camera lights, oh and flash. Wake the hell up. I would sacrifice half battery life for flash idiot.

  • StevieT

    Same story here as most! If the iPad had used Flash, I sould have bought one or maybe even two already!! But I can't even show clients the websites I build, so it's out of the question.

  • Warrene

    Would have ponied up for ipad2 if it supported flash. No flash, no upgrade. What would be the point if ipad2 is to ipad1 what iphone4 is to iphone3.

  • Indonesian

    too bad, apple, i was really prepared to pay for your 64gb ipad 2. The no USB decision was hard, but I think I can live with that.. until i realize web browsing will suck so hard without flash. Can you imagine having a 1000$ device, but when I want to download from a file-sharing website, I have to put the device down and go back to my 300$ netbook? Not to mention booking an airline ticket is impossible, or even looking at a product catalogue. And don’t get me started on videos.
    Basically I would be buying a very very expensive toy, nothing more. count me as another lost sale, steve jobs.

  • Ygor

    Web is increasing use of video each more. TV will go to web. All videos run on Flash. Sorry, Apple, Ipad is great but without Flash is out of time, out of reality.

    All software and hardware of Apple are proprietary since 19… and so on. Because this reason Apple computers always had little market, while IBM compatible machines had almost all market. The wilfulness of CEO of Apple about proprietary copyrights almost bankrupted the Apple years ago. Now the CEO does protest against Flash proprietary? Ridiculous.

  • Peggy

    We purchased the iPad to use in our business as a selling tool.
    The hope was to download all our catalogues on to the iPad.
    Since many of our suppliers use adobe flash on their websites and their catalogues, the iPad becomes less functional.
    It is quite frustrating and discouraging!
    I think apple is making a huge error in this limiting way of thinking.
    So many industries could benefit from using the iPad as a selling tool and therefore increasing the sales of the iPad.

  • Stephanie

    No Flash really sucks! Very limited!

  • Sergio

    I play a web game for 3 years now and it uses flash, i was going to buy Ipad 2 if it had flash support, but since it doesn't have, well the solution will be and Android based tablet. Imagine whenever i want to change a tactic in the game, i need to get out of my living room and go to my desktop to change it!!! It's absurd, I aggree when someone here said that the option should be there to activate or deactivate flash support.
    I really wanted to buy the ipad 2 but had to be crazy, since I use lots of websites and games with flash.
    No money from me to Apple, just because they are stuborn!!
    Maybe wait for quad core Kal-El coming up suppposedely in August, according to Nvidia.

  • Michel

    pay more get less. it's a tech/hardware company that sells devices that every company will be able to make. not supporting flash is dumb, unprofessional and arrogant.most award winng sites are in AS3. in two years apple will be no more than a marginal company.. Galaxy will be my choice…

  • Justasaint72

    Bottomline, this is about Apple limiting what a browser can do and pushing the App instead, and Apple taking a piece of all subscribed-to-content delivered via the App. I have been a Mac user for 20yrs… It's sad to see greed taking over in Cupertino. Apple is going to regret this…OSX and Apple computers are still excellent, but I'm done with their gadgets on principle. I will be buying a Xoom.

  • Mike

    For $829 you can get a non-multitasking device that will give you a dismal web-surfing experience.

    Sign up, suckers!

  • Jamie B

    Steve Jobs is a hypocric , he says Adobe have to much control but there Apple are demonising anyone who jailbreaks there iphone so you can only get apps on the itunes store, the man is a joke.

  • Stewart

    No flash = no ipad for me. I am only one of a million potential customers that feel this way. No matter how many units apple has sold, it has sold far less than it could have. That is a bad buisness decision. I have sold all my apple stock as android will take over because if this foolish path Steve jobs has chosen. I have owned evey iPhone including iPhone 4, I was an idiot for believing in Apple.

    • Agreed

      God Bless You Stewart.

  • Fredb1963

    Just from all the comments of xoom and ipad it is obvious that there is a lot of improvements needed,its still way too early to expect much from ipad or xoom…better wait next year and you mostlikely will never regret spending 500-800 bucks on some premature technology…stop supporting (buying from)greedy corporates that sell substandard products too soon to rip you off..let them feel a loss of investment due to there greed and poor products. better things come to those who patiently wait.

  • stsimpson

    Does Apple make great products? Absolutely. But they also try and create our lifestyle and manipulate the marketplace by limitations on their hardware that forces buyers to go one way or the other.

  • The-Truth

    Apple is way overrated! PERIOD. Not having Flash nor Adobe is pathetic. I have a blackberry put simply…although I know for a fact everyone I know is going Android. Which I may do as well. Android is smart, they wait to see Apples huge blunders and capitalize on it. Who cares who came up with what first? Seriously? The point is Apple has NOT done anything amazing. And by saying “Flash has to much control” is having the tea kettle calling the pot black…they do THE SAME THING. Remember when Apple refused to allow MMS picture messaging?? I do. Their a complete joke.

  • MacBook Pro Fan

    If you care about flash so much, just get a Mac Book pro instead of an Ipad. I still think that Apple is the most innovative.

  • 98% of websites are flash based. I tried to look at some videos online regarding the Japan earth on CNN, failed, no flash. Tried to watch golf on the go, failed no flash. basically with the ipad 2 you have the “Apple” and still a p3 laptop can do more, yah yah, the apps, how much of them are really productive and can be used profesionally that isn’t already being done by standard Windows, or Linux OS. Apple fanboy faggots need to realize that since you’re already embracing the lifestyle.

  • Asa

    BBC uses Flash, PBS uses Flash on their website (they have a limited offering on an iPad App but not all programs are available), and for me most frustrating almost all programs on the Swedish TV uses Flash (I am Swedish and really enjoy this website). I can go in and on – very, very frustrating!!

  • Charlie

    It drives me crazy! I own a design company. High end, luxurious websites are to my opinion still best made with flash. Html5 is nowhere near the animations of flash. So the companies that work on apple, have problems viewing there own websites. I think it's definately a risk they're taking, my frustration is building up.

    • Name

      Apple sucks they sell products that are mostly for looks but you can't do real work on them

      • justasaint72

        I've been getting work done on my Macs for 20yrs with stability, speed, and security that Windows users are just simply ignorant of. My hardware lasts 2x as long, while still running the latest OS – and no virus ever…EVER. Costs more for certain, but some people are willing pay for quality.

    • Bobby

      and adding one more line,
      few things like nice luking menus, slide shows, videos can be added to the web using javascript + html 5. but
      java script + html 5 combo is no match for actrion script 3.0 when it comes to simulations & games on web.

  • GEH

    Not sure why the lack of a functionality will be considered a good thing by any logic – if you don't like it, turn it off (as with many other mobile devices), but if you don't have it, you don't have choice. Lack of choice is NOT a good thing. No matter how much you like Apple, you don't have to bury your head in the sand.

  • Ryan

    If you notice none of the other producers of a Tablet have invented anything. Apple made the IPhone and touch screen on a phone then everyone else followed. Apple invented the app store and "I have an app for that". Everyone followed. Now Apple invented the IPad and again everyone is just feeding off of the Ideas of apple to try and make things better but always driving in second place, without any imagination.

    • A.Rod

      Actually, Samsung makes the screens for the iPhone.

    • Xander

      There have been tablet PCs out for years, way before there was ever anything like an iPad

      There were touch phones out there for many years before the iPhone came out…(most worked best with a pen, but could work without very well)

      Phones had downloadable apps for many years, before Apple even started thinking about creating a phone…

      What Apple did was creating a revolution by improving the user interface, improving the way apps were handled, etc…

      If Apple truly invented something new, they would have a patent on it…

      The fact that all others are making them too, shows that Apple didn't invent anything new…

      I am not trying to say that Apple hasn't created a revolution…They did!…But not by inventing something new…They did it by improving everything that was out there…

    • Xander

      Just to illustrate, here are some devices that were out there, years before Apple's products:

      PlamOne Tungsten T5 & TX…2004/2005…

      It took more than 2 years for Apple to make it thinner, improve the icons, etc. but the basically the iPhone looks like a modern PalmOne …

      Or how about the iPad…Samsung has the Samsung Q1 in 2007:

      Therre were already many touch tablets out before that one…But most of those had a qwerty keyboard that could be folded out…This Q1 had a camera, wifi, could use it over phone network, etc….It's a windowsXP version of an iPad, many years before Apple made anything touch related at all…

      Samsungs Galaxy Tab might look like an iPad, but actually the iPad looks like a Samsung Q1, with less buttons on it…

      Apple didn't invent, but use existing technology to create a new revolutions…By marketing, great design, user interface improvements and very smart thinking…


    • Asfo

      you dufus! i had touchscreen on my HTC phone back in 2004!.. after toying between the idea of getting a ipad or motorola's Xoom.. your comment helped me make the decision… i certainly dont want to become an Appledroid

  • dross

    Lack of Flash simply means I don't need to install Flashblock. I'm really going to miss all the annoying animated pop-ups that chew up bandwidth to annoy me unless I take action to remove them.

    • Xander

      They will be replaced with annoying animated gifs or html/java combo's…

      If you are annoyed by flash animations, you will get the same: flash or not…Flash isn't at fault.,..It's the people that create content, which is annoying to you…What they will do now, is create more animated gifs…And more animations in HTML/java…

      You will also get many pop-ups telling you that you need sa certain codec to watch videos…New codecs coming up all the time…People using that codec…And then you can't see those videos…

      Flash on the other hand doesn't require updating your video codecs on your computer…

      And: the more interactive a website is, the more processor consuming will the HTML5/java/etc combo be, compared to a Flash solution…

      So…Now you will need a "HTML5" blocker…Only viewing websites that are in HTML4 and older…You'll also want to disable javascript…You'll also want to make sure no gifs can be loaded…And of course be sure to turn your pop-up-blocker on…

      And there you are back in 1995 again!…Enjoy!


      • Wendell

        Excellent response Xander!

        Evidently, dross doesn't realize that instead of having to install a "Flashblock," all he had to do was uninstall the Flash Player from his computer, or whatever it is he's using the access the web.

  • crwilon6

    Whether Flash is good or bad doesn't matter. My daughter's school sites all use Flash, so she has to have it.

  • Theadversary

    I have a new saying, no flash, no cash. I have two iPods and an iPad. I will be damned if I buy another product, Apple or otherwise, that can't handle half the web content that is out there. HTML 5 MAY be the future, but TODAY, not yesterday, is ruled by flash. Screw Jobs, he has gotten his last dime from me.

    • Agreed

      You are NOW a smart man. But sadly, you contributed to much already to the Apple scam by purchasing multiple units. Don't you just feel raped? Dirty? Stupid?

      I feel sorry for you but it's good to hear you want to put a stop to it.

  • Derek

    Apple wants all the $$$ they can get. If adobe flash is available on the ipad, we can access a lot of free online flash games and movies. This mean consumers will rely less on their Apple app store, which Apple charges a chunk of $$$$ commission from the developers. All lame excuses aside, Flash is buggy, Adobe is lazy, Flash drains battery, Adobe has too much control….etc; basically they just want consumers to rely fully on their apple app store 100% of the time for everything.

    • Can Ozmen

      They Can't Stop Jailbreakers

  • Ben

    Again a massive mistake, it drive me mad I can't use flash on either my iPad or iPhone! A limited web experience!

  • James Taylor

    Apple made the right decision, Flash sucks donkey balls.

    • Can Ozmen

      No Flash No Real Browser.

  • morganmoron

    @cmorgan, grow up boy,…the thing is….it doesnt support adobe flash, ok

    • anil

      Having flash on mobile device does not suck.. I think it should be more of the consumers choice whether he wants to browse a flash site or not.

  • Cmorgan

    Well so far, the devices that the other companies have produced are no iPad killers. So they have to try with whatever means possible, to try and get you to buy their products. Apple knows that flash sucks on mobile devices, and bravo to them for having the courage to say it. These other companies throw whatever they can in to these things to get you to buy them. HTML 5 is the future of the web and Flash is yesterdays way. Move on and quit crying.

    • Tomas

      I guess you haven't developed a HTML5 site and tried it work in majority of browsers?

      A lot of people talk about video, but don't people see the bad HTML5 demos that look like Flash for 10 years ago and work even worse? It's stupid to think Flash going away when there isn't a better alternative. Standards are good but I believe more in commercial alternative that have interests to push the technique forward fast than standard organisations that take years to even implement the most simple things.

    • FlashLives!!!!!

      Why does there always have to be some guy like Cmorgan and anyone like him saying flash is yesterdays news. I'm work in IT and HTML5 hasn't even sprouted wings, it's still just a concept if that. HTML5 is absolutely crappy and cannot render 1/5 the things that flash can. That is the only reason I have not upgraded my first iphone 3G to any other and made it my foster child when I passed it over to the wife. I then, did not go with an iPad 1 or 2, and instead bought me a mobile browsing device that COULD render any website, it was an Evo ANDROID! I can't stand how stupid so many people are, you only want an apple product because you've been brainwashed, worst of all, at your own will. Steve Jobs, apple reigns because mindless sheep buy your product.

      • Ed Wood

        here here

      • Xander

        Why?…Because Steve Jobs is a genius…He can turn a flaw in his phone, into a revolutionary technological evolution in the next device:

        3G on the iPhone 3G
        GPS on the iPhone3g
        Frontal camera on the iPhone4
        etc. etc.

        While other phones are handling Flash perfectly fine, he is the only person that can say "Flash is too heavy for Apples mobile devices", while also saying "this device is super fast & powerful" …

        A true genius!

  • Todd

    What bothers me is Apple's marketing department which somehow convinces millions of lemmings that they are still innovative. They are no longer innovative and their latest product offerings (including the iPad) show it. They haven't been innovative since the original release of the iPhone.

    • Dave

      At a deep dive on IOS with Apple, the technical product manager stated that apple makes consumer devices and not enterprise / business devices. Their target market is non-technical consumers, therefore they are not going to have anything like browser plugins, antivirus, lo-jack, firewalls, etc… While I respect their honesty, the iPad and iPhone are a joke when it comes to security and are not visionary devices.. but just hype. It was a natural evolution to have a touch screen tablet, not evolutionary, since we have been working with manufactures to make those for 15 years. Apple is not the innovator they make themselves out to be.