Flash for iPad 3 / iPhone 5, doubts & mixed opinions

By Jamie Pert - Feb 20, 2012

Last year I wrote an article titled ‘No Flash for iPad 2: A Mistake in 2011?’, at the time of this post we noticed huge demand for Flash functionality to be brought to Apple products like the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and original iPad, however 11 months have now past and we can’t help but think the demand has dwindled.

An Adobe blog post back in November revealed that in the future Adobe would be be concentrating on HTML5 rather than Flash as it is now universally supported by a wide-range of devices and is considered the best solution for deploying content on the web.

So does the iPad 3 / iPhone 5 need Flash? There is no easy answer for this, the huge success which previous iPad and iPhone models have seen suggests that it is not a necessity, but Apple’s reasons for snubbing Flash technology are dubious to say the least. Many believe that there could be an ulterior motive as the reasons explained in Steve Jobs’ open letter titled ‘Thoughts on Flash’ mainly mention security and power consumption as Apple’s reasons for not offering Flash support in iOS. A lot has changed since then, Adobe increased the rate at which new Flash versions were rolled out, which ensured that software bugs and security holes were squashed far quicker than before, also with each new Flash build there were optimizations made to ensure power consumption was as low as possible – Apple don’t seem to mind that plenty of apps and games available drain battery life quickly do they?

We think that if Apple was planning to bring Flash to iOS it would have happened in 2011, now that Adobe has revealed that the future lies in HTML5, not Flash, there’s even less reason to support it. Many believe that the reason behind snubbing Flash in the first place was more to do with the fact that there’s thousands of free Flash game sites on the web (Kongregate is one of these) which would have been fully accessible via the iPad / iPhone’s browser, this could have affected App Store sales which Apple earn commission from – so could this be the real reason behind it? We’ll never know.

Now that Adobe has revealed that HTML5 is the way forward we believe that throughout 2012 more and more web designers and software developers will begin utilizing this tech instead of Flash, in-time this will mean that people won’t come across as many sites which utilize Flash and thus not desire it as much, also let’s not forget that you can watch Flash videos on your iDevice by using Skyfire!

So there you have it folks, we strongly believe that no iOS-based device will ever boast Flash support, but what are you feelings towards this? We find it a little worrying that Apple is in such a strong position that they can pick and choose what sort of content its devices can display – surely if Microsoft did something similar there would be antitrust issues.

We would love to hear from you if Apple’s lack of Flash support affected you quite seriously, did it make you jump ship to Android? Did you have to learn to develop using HTML5? Will no Flash support result in you not buying an Apple device in 2012? We’d love your answers in the comments section below.

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Also See: Apple iPad Cortana app better than Siri say some

  • Fabio

    Still talking about Flash? What about Shockwave, or VRML?

  • My

    Yes apple left off flash to gain more control over what parts of the web you could use, and to boost sales of their own products not because of any other reason. Will this matter obviously not, but as most Free sites and features are catching up I would watch out from some new slid of hand. I would also watch what the do with this apple TV I am sure it will be made to be compatible with large parts of the web, for what ever reason they list at the time yet by now we should know the real reasons

  • Riazali

    I will not buy an iPad if it dosent have adobe flash player

  • Jack

    Why should there be antitrust issues? Apple simply decided to move to a different standard and not include flash player, because they knew and understood that this would have been the future of the web.

    This fact does not put obstacles to competition, as it reflects a decision, discussed and controversial, to step out from the current standard and embrace the upcoming one.

    All in all, doing this, Apple even risked to give a competitive edge to Android devices (they went on with the silly neener – neener “I got Flash and you don’t” for years) and at the beginning this seemed to be a concrete advantage for Big G.

    Would you mean that antitrust should investigate Apple due to their fault of making very appealing products years before the others (being wildly able to market and promote them)? Are you implying that they are abusing somehow of a “Dominant position”?

    Because, sorry, but that’s not the case: apple hasn’t a dominant position in Phones (both in the “Smartphone” and global industry), as well as on pads: even if there they have a over 70% mkt share, infact, is very unclear whether this is their “Reference market” or if it has to be considered as just a segment of the whole PC market (ultra portable devices).
    In the second case (that is the most likely) the 70% mkt share would shrink immediately and substantially (I doubt it would get to double digit), as it would be made by:

    Quantity of Apple pads/(Total PCs + Laptop + tablets quantity).

    So, as all the PCs, laptop and tablets different from Apple iPad can support Flash, there would be once again no basis for a “Antitrust issue”, as there would be no dominant position by the Cupertino based Company.

    Off course, if Microsoft would banish flash from ALL its devices, the situation could be different, as they do detain a dominant position on their reference market, but also in this case I doubt that Antitrust could find any limitation to competition, making so decay also  any accusation of “Dominant Position abuse” (For Antitrust, you infact can detain a dominant position as far as you don’t abuse of it).

    Not including flash, is a choice to be evaluated by customers, not a limitation to competition!
    If a producer hasn’t it and it still is a “Standard” he will actually lose his customer.

    The reasons why this didn’t happen to Apple are, basically, that their iPhones & iPads were great and that the web was already moving to HTML 5, so after a first period in which you couldn’t actually see anything on your iphone, now you can see almost everything on it.

    maybe the popularity of iPhones and iPads accelerated the “Shift”, but didn’t trigger it at all! 

    • Jamie Pert

      Very good points raised Jack, I must admit perhaps the antitrust segment of this post shouldn’t have been added.

  • Slimsack

    Apple users are nothing but uneducated computer users.

    • Noemail

      People who make blanket statements are simple minded idiots.

      • Mus

        As are people who reply to them < including me 😀

  • Artywah

    Adobe have officially stopped Flash for Mobile development. Google aren’t including Flash support in Chrome for Android. Flash is dead, move along, nothing to see here.

    • mixnitlive

      Windows 8 isn’t even going to support flash.

      • Kcclark62

         BS yes it does you idiot.

    • Wimpie Goedegebure

      That’s a misunderstanding. Adobe have stopped developing the SWF player for Android browsers…. They are actively developing and improving AIR apps for iOS and Android.