DESPITE APPLE’S BEST attempts at telling its iPhone and iPod touch users that Adoble Flash is something they don’t need it now looks like more and more users of the devices are longing for some lovin’ from Adobe.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Adobe got no less than 7 million requests for Flash downloads from users of iPhone’s and iPod touch in December of last year. That’s up from 3 million requests in June of the same year. That’s no small number, yet Apple seems to completely ignore this figure along with Adobe and Flash.
We don’t know anyone that likes Flash, as it’s usually quite slow, something of a resource hog and half of the time it makes your browser crash. Yet it has become something of a ubiquitous part of the Internet as soon as you want to watch some video content or play various online games. There’s of course a YouTube video player for Apple’s handheld devices, but it doesn’t allow you to check how things are progressing in your farm or restaurant on Facebook.
For all we care, Flash can go away and we’re never going to miss it if it is replaced by something better and this is hopefully what HTML5 is promising. However, until then we’re stuck with Flash and so are Apple’s customers. Of course the iPad will suffer from the same faith as Apple’s other mobile devices, yet Adobe is working on Flash 10.1 support for a wide range of other mobile platforms such as Android and Palm’s WebOS.
According to the same article, Strategy Analytics believes that 53 percent of all Smartphone in 2012 will have full Flash support. That seems like an awfully long time away and if HTML5 becomes anything close to half a success it’s most likely going to replace Flash fairly quickly, as Google is one of the backers and it happens to own a little known website called YouTube.
With the exception of Internet Explorer, HTML5 is or will be supported by all major Internet browsers. However, one issue here is that HTML5 supports two different codecs and not all web browsers support both of them. So much for standards. However, it’s important to note that this is for desktop browsers and not the kind of feature light browsers normally found on mobile devices.
Do we really need Flash support on our handheld devices? Well, maybe not, but the hardware has reached a stage where it’s at least a viable option. It will be interesting to see what happens once Adobe launches support for a competing handheld platform, although we doubt that this will cause a huge jump in the sale of these devices based on that sole feature. The iPad is a different beast, as it’s not a handheld device in the same way and whether Apple likes it or not, it should’ve had full Flash support.S|A
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