Tag Archives: flash

Firefox Mobile: Flash isn’t ready yet

One thing Firefox mobile doesn’t have is support for Flash, even though Android has a big partnership with Adobe to make Flash work on mobile. I spoke with some folks from Mozilla yesterday about this topic. Eventually, Firefox mobile will support Flash, but it is just not there yet in terms of responsiveness. The focus right now is on HTML5 and CSS. It is amazing some of the 3D effects, animations, video, and other in-browser graphics you can now get with HTML5. Check out some of the demos here after you download Firefox to your phone.

And to think, there are still people in the world who think that Apple is just being spiteful not allowing Flash on the iPhone.

Maybe when Jobs said that he was open to the idea of Flash on the iPhone originally, but Adobe just hadn’t shown him any running version of Flash that was up to the task yet, he was being completely sincere. After all, here we are more than FOUR YEARS after the original iPhone, and there still isn’t a version of Flash that isn’t a piece of crap yet.

Four years, people. That’s a century in tech time.

Clearly, Adobe had its head so far up its own ass that it missed the mobile revolution entirely. Flash was clearly never developed with lower-power mobile devices in mind. So they keep trying to shoehorn it down to make it passible. But there’s a point where you’re better off starting clean with a system designed for your needs from the ground up.

But that’s never been Adobe’s way.

And so Firefox mobilea joins the club of “Flash support coming soon.”

Wallaby: Adobe’s way of admitting defeat without admitting defeat

Adobe says that the main goal with Wallaby is to produce output that has the best combination of performance and quality on iOS. This objective betrays Wallaby’s immediate purpose: allowing advertisers to create rich ads that display correctly on the iPhone and iPad. The lack of Flash on iOS impacts both banner advertising on the Web, and ads embedded into applications using Apple’s HTML5-powered iAd. Wallaby allows designers to migrate their designs and hence reduce the costs of supporting these non-Flash platforms.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a tacit admission of defeat by Adobe. Basically, they are acknowledging that if they don’t offer a non-Flash alternative to making web-based ads, someone else will take this authoring market away from them.

The issue is that Adobe is still trying to fulfill this ridiculous promise of “write once, run everywhere.” Business-minded technology execs have been chasing that unicorn for ages now, and it’s never panned out.

And the sad part is, we’re closer than ever to being able to write web content that can truly be written once and run anywhere. It just can’t be done with Flash.

If you want to make ads that run on iOS devices AND on desktop web browsers, don’t write them in Flash and then translate them poorly over to HTML5. Just write them in HTML5 in the first place.

Seriously, any “developer” who complains that he or she wants to keep using Flash to author his or her content is not worth a paycheck. It’s not like Adobe doesn’t completely change the entire Flash scripting language and user interface every year or two, anyway; instead of learning the next version of Flash, just learn how to code Javascript and CSS 3 instead.

A career in technology requires a constant updating of one’s knowledge base. You can’t simply learn to program one language and expect the world to stop moving forward.

Meanwhile, Adobe, get some good authoring tools into Dreamweaver for NATIVE HTML5 creation. If you’re not putting the emphasis of your development time for CS6 on this, you don’t deserve to survive the decade.

Oh, and Ads? The increased desire of content producers to bombard us with ads, coupled with the decreased tolerance of most users for viewing ads is going to lead to a major bubble burst in the near future. But that’s a topic for another day.

Motorola’s Xoom Flash support coming “a few weeks” after release. Hmmm.

Honeycomb is the first version of Android designed for tablets and is eagerly anticipated. Motorola’s Xoom tablet will launch on Thursday as the first to run the software, but initial versions won’t come with Flash support. Verizon, which is putting the device on sale, previously said Flash would be available in “spring 2011.”

The vague time reference had people fearing Flash wouldn’t be available until the end of the season, but a posting on Adobe’s blog points to a slightly earlier release.

“Consumers are clearly asking for Flash support on tablet devices and the good news is that they won’t have to wait long. We are aware of over 50 tablets that will ship in 2011 supporting a full web experience (including Flash support) and Xoom users will be among the first to enjoy this benefit,” wrote Matt Rozen, on Adobe’s Flash Platform Blog.

I have to agree with John Gruber on this one. The most likely reason why Motorola is shipping this thing without Flash installed is that they want the reviews to reflect “pre-Flash” battery life. Just hold off on shipping Flash by a few weeks, and the reviewers will most likely mention that Flash is “coming” but fail to report on the effect Flash will have on the battery, which is bound to be pretty big. Makes perfect sense to me.

And it ranks right up there with charging for a month of 3G data if you want to use WiFi. Some pretty desperate and slimy sales tactics on Motorola’s part.

When is somebody just going to build a legitimate device to compete with the iPad, instead of having to skirt around these tech spec lists and the fine print on price?

Way to exclude people with disabilities, Toshiba

Such a shame. Add this to the list of interesting places on the internet you can’t see on your device. Of course, if you had a Toshiba Tablet, you would enjoy the entire internet. Yep, Flash sites too,” the message reads.

It’s all well and good that Toshiba has decided to poke a little fun at the iPad with this web site. But I have to wonder how the millions of people with disabilities feel about the fact that publishing this site in Flash blocks all of THEIR access to this information as well.

And then there are the people who simply don’t like Flash and would prefer to view information in other forms. Since when did it become cool to dictate to people how they get their information? That sounds like a walled garden approach to me. Doesn’t that usually freak out the “open” people?

So keep on insulting and excluding people while trying to get in a cheap shot, there, Toshiba. That’s a great way to build an audience. See, I thought the web was about making information available to EVERYONE, but maybe you see it differently.

Article: Mobile Flash Fail: Weak Android Player Proves Jobs Right

How bad is mobile Flash? When I went to ABC.com and tried to play a clip, I waited five minutes while the player said “loading.” During that time, it was nearly impossible to scroll around the page or tap objects on it. Eventually, I scrolled up to see a message that was previously obstructed and said  ”Sorry. An error occurred while attempting to load the video. Please try again later.” It gets worse…

I’m going to let this one speak for itself. If you’re still holding out hope that Flash is going to survive in the long term, or that it will ever be a successful part of any mobile platform, go ahead and read the article linked above.

Flash not on RIM’s newest Blackberry – I’m shocked

Ahead of the event, some observers speculated that RIM would announce a new smartphone that includes support for Flash. In an April interview with Fox News, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said RIM would bring Flash support to its devices in the second half of this year.

At the event Tuesday, RIM executives declined to provide a specific date for when BlackBerry devices would include Flash support. A spokesman however said that work was under way with Adobe to optimize the multimedia platform for RIM’s devices.

The companies are trying to optimize Flash 10.1 for BlackBerry hardware so devices provide good battery life, performance and efficiency on wireless data transfers, said Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations at RIM.

“What’s really important… is to get it right. Flash and Flash video have very specific hardware, CPU and memory requirements,” Lessard said

Yes. Flash and Flash video DO have specific hardware, CPU, and Memory requirements. And they’re all too high for any current mobile device to handle. Which is why Flash is dead as a platform.

So let’s remind ourselves again: Flash STILL doesn’t exist on any mobile platform. There’s a beta for Android that doesn’t work well, and that’s it. No shipping product anywhere, on any mobile device, more than three years after the original iPhone.

So, then, why was Apple supposed to allow Flash on the iPhone again?

Palm: ‘we don’t know what the hold-up is’ on mobile Flash | Electronista

Adobe hasn’t given any signs that it’s close to porting Flash to webOS, Palm said in an AT&T online app development seminar on Thursday. When asked about the multiple delays, a representative said that Palm didn’t ‘know what the hold-up is’ with getting it ready. Adobe itself hasn’t commented on the state of the webOS version or of other platforms.

The absence of updates on the status of Flash for webOS casts some doubt on Adobe’s plans. Officially, devices from all platforms should have mobile Flash 10.1 in the second half of the year, but so far the strongest sign of development has been a beta for Android 2.2 that, due to its nature, can only run on the Nexus One. Adobe is slated to speak at Verizon’s Droid X introduction and may have a finished version of Flash 10.1 ready for the event, but it’s unlikely other platforms will get attention.

via electronista.com

And people still wonder why Apple doesn’t trust its future in Adobe’s hands. Here we witness Adobe clearly giving WebOS the shaft in favor of Android. What would stop them from doing the same to Apple?

This is the Sort of thing I’m talking about with Android today

Developers jump ship?

There’s another reason the iPhone is losing its edge. Developers may be switching to Android.

The iPhone’s appeal is in large part tied to the hundreds of thousands of applications available in the App Store. But Apple’s controlling nature has frustrated developers. Its esoteric App Store rules mean that applications can be rejected for all manner of reasons, creating a strong disincentive to develop on the platform.

Apple has earned enemies, too, in its battle against Adobe Flash. By essentially banning Flash from the iPhone, Apple has provided fuel to critics who say the iPhone is a “closed” platform: You can play in Apple’s sandbox, but only if you abide by their rules. The rules, it seems, become stricter every day.

No wonder, then, that Google’s I/O conference this week hinged around one word: “open.” Developers audibly cheered, writes Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell, as Google execs presented their latest creation, Android Froyo.

To the delight of developers in attendance, Froyo supports Flash. Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering, received enthusiastic applause as he quipped: “It turns out that on the Internet, people use Flash.”

Amid the applause, there was laughter, too. A rebellion against Apple’s encumbered system.

Name me one iPhone developer, one, that was previously making iPhone apps but is now making Android apps exclusively. There isn’t one. Because Android developers can’t make a living making Android apps.

The occasional grumbling you do hear about this or that app not being approved never leads to anyone “jumping ship” to Android. More often than not, it leads to Apple approving the app after all.

You can talk about disincentives all you want. The fact of the matter is, there’s only one incentive: money. And all the money is with Apple, while none is with Android. That isn’t going to change with Flash or Froyo.

Flash developers who are angry that they can’t make iPhone apps aren’t iPhone developers. They never were. In order to be an iPhone app developer, you have to actually write apps for the iPhone. Non-iPhone developers becoming non-iPhone developers isn’t a story. No ships. No jumping.

And anyone who puts “Flash” and “Open” in the same story without laughing is not a credible source of information.

You have to be delusional to think Apple is in trouble at this point.

FanDroids Galore

Goodbye, Apple. I’m ditching my iPhone. Seriously, I’m gone.

So Google made some announcements yesterday, and the Fandroids are jumping for joy. Oh, boy. Where to begin.

For starters, you can read Daniel (Fake Steve Jobs) Lyons’ rant about how he’s switching to Android now, because Apple got “lazy”. Whatever. Never thought the Fake Jobs thing was funny. Always knew this turd was an-anti Apple dillweed, anyway. (Most Apple fanboys fail to realize that, for some reason.)

Let’s recap why literally dozens of nerds are prophesying Apple’s demise:

Google announced a TV product that crashed so hard, they had to ask the audience to shut off their phones to try and get the network going so it would work.

Android 2.2 (Froyo) was announced. Big feature: it’s faster than the iPhone at Javascript. (I just know my mother is going to be in line for a Droid once she hears that.)

Flash on Android is still beta, but it was demoed for the first time without completely crashing. Reports from beta testers are that it heats up your phone enough to cook an egg on it, and it sucks your battery life to nothing in minutes. Well done, Adobe. Keep proving Apple right on that one.

Android will now support tethering. Hmmm. Think Apple has had that covered for a year now, though not in the US, thanks to AT&T. But I guess the rest of the known world doesn’t matter.

Android will now allow you to purchase music over the air directly onto your phone. Hmm, thought I’ve been doing that for a few years now on the iPhone. It will also let you stream music from one of your computers to your phone. Ahh, got me there. Apple doesn’t do that directly through iTunes. But there are several apps for that.

Apps? What are apps? Android people don’t like to talk about that.

As far as I can tell, that’s the crux of yesterday’s big announcement day. Android 2.2 will be faster at Javascript, and some Flash sites will work eventually, though you’ll probably kill your battery in the process.

And because of this, Lyons claims that “Apple is now chasing Google.” And Google is “blowing past Apple in terms of the technology it’s delivering.”

He also states flatly, as if it were a fact, that “Android OS is already outselling iPhone OS in the United States.” Fact: Android, in its best quarter ever, outsold an historically slow quarter for the iPhone OS—once. That’s a far cry from “is outselling”. It’s also of little significance, since Apple’s iPhone sales are still growing in the US, which means Android isn’t taking customers away from Apple. When Android grows at Apple’s expense, then it will matter.

And worldwide, iPhone is simply killing Android.

This would be funny if it weren’t the general mood of the press today. Lyons is far from alone in thinking that Google actually announced something of substance yesterday. And several people are literally suggesting that Apple needs to catch up or be left behind.

What?

The Google TV thing is maybe something to get excited about. I don’t know, because I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that the demo FAILED so epically. Seriously, you’re a billion-dollar corporation; you might want to test out your demo at the facility the morning before the announcement, guys.

But Froyo? Let’s get serious. Here’s a list of why Froyo won’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things:

1. It’s called Froyo. Say what you want about Apple using names like Leopard, Tiger, Panther. At least people know what a Leopard is. And using names instead of numbers is actually really good marketing, granted that people are familiar with the names. And yes, I understand that Froyo is an internal code name, but when you use it in your slides during your presentation to the world, that makes it very public. Which means Google thought it was good marketing to make that name public.

A name like Froyo tells you all you need to know about who will be excited about it: Dungeons and Dragons nerds. And no one else.

Let me explain something about hard core nerds. They write all the important code in the world. They are responsible for all the great technology we enjoy. I love them dearly, and I’m grateful every day that they are out there, in basements, coding away. But they couldn’t get a girl to buy a Droid if their lives depended on it. Froyo, as a name, has zero chick appeal. That alone will prevent Google from ever overtaking Apple at anything important.

I’m being a little facetious, of course, but my point is that Google sucks at marketing. It really does. And bad marketing hurts sales.

2. The big feature is faster Javascript performance in the browser? Ok. I’ll admit, speed is important. But it’s only important as a comparison point if your competition is perceived as slow. “They are slow and clunky. We are fast.”

The problem is, you never hear anyone saying: “Man, my iPhone is really slow.” You’re even less likely to hear that said about the iPad. Apple is about two weeks away from announcing an iPhone that runs on the same faster processor as the iPad. With the small screen of the iPhone and the fast processor of the iPad, the new iPhone should scream. And likely that new iPhone will ship before Froyo does. Which leads me to my next point.

3. Froyo isn’t out yet. By the time it gets released, Google’s few days of press coverage will be long gone, and the world will be gaga for Apple’s new iPhone again. Apple wins the media war—always. Not because the press is full of Apple fanboys, either. Quite the contrary. They win because they are better at it than anyone. And because their demos don’t tend to blow up. And their keynote presenter is actually good at public speaking. And because they don’t name things Froyo.

4. Remember the Pre? All this doomsday stuff about Apple sounds familiar to those of us who have been paying attention for a reason. This time last year, Apple was supposedly doomed because of Palm’s WebOS. We all know how that turned out.

5. Who will get Froyo when it finally does arrive? Most Android users aren’t able to upgrade their software. Why? Because the carriers won’t allow it. Say what you want about Apple being tied to AT&T. I hate it as much as the next guy. But at least Apple was smart enough to negotiate free updates to users at Apple’s discretion. When Froyo is released, Nexus One users who paid full price for a non-contract phone will get Froyo right away. Verizon users will wait months, most likely, before they will be allowed to download it. The bulk of the rest of the Android community, including many people who bought their devices within the last year, will be left with crappy old versions of Android, and thus never get any of the excitement of Froyo. Which means they won’t be proselytizing Froyo to their friends and families, either. More likely, they will be pissed at Google for not giving them all the joy that Froyo offers. Good way to breed loyal customers, Google.

6. The Flash war is already over. Google wants that bullet point on its marketing materials, but it’s not going to matter to the masses. My mother won’t care about the fact that some Flash sites that don’t use the latest in Flash code will eventually work sometime in the future on Android. She doesn’t know what Flash is.

When an iPhone user gets to a site on an iPhone that doesn’t work because it was written in Flash, she’ll blame the site, not the phone. When the battery on an Android phone dies in a few hours because of Flash, he’ll blame the phone, not Flash. That’s the way it works. Users don’t know enough to care, and they blame whoever is perceived to be at fault. That makes it your responsibility, as the one that will be perceived to be at fault, to fix it, even if it’s not directly your fault.

7. “Walled gardens” produce better products. Google’s garden has pretty big walls, too. And at the end of the day, users don’t care about gardening or masonry. They like to smell the pretty flowers

So Lyons and a dozen other nerds can drop the iPhone if they want. It’s not going to matter to Apple. Lyons would call it arrogance that Apple thinks they can afford to lose him. I call it naive to think that Google is going to win more than a few sales with a Javascript speed shootout.

The fact that Google’s ENTIRE presentation yesterday was made up of jabs at Apple should not be taken as a good sign, either. If you’re doing well, you barely need to mention your competition. Show me some real innovation, Google. I’m not seeing anything remotely revolutionary here. All I’m seeing is you running scared and losing focus.

Do I need to remind people that Google has had three MAJOR FAILS in the last nine months alone? Wave is DOA. Buzz is going nowhere fast, despite the fact that Facebook has no regard for user privacy. And the Nexus One experiment failed miserably.

Apple has had nothing but record quarters during a recession, has launched three amazingly successful products (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) on a unified platform, overtook Walmart at music sales and stayed there, made inroads into eBooks, created the App Store ecosystem, and increased Mac sales tremendously in the process. And its retail division is still growing, too.

In the face of all this success from Apple, praising Apple is considered being an “Apple fanboy.”

In the face of all this failure from Google, criticizing Google is considered being an “Apple fanboy.”

Gotta love that double standard.

Google is a one-trick pony that succeeded at one thing once (search/ advertising) and has failed at pretty much everything else it’s tried lately. So while Google TV might be a great product that I’ll certainly watch with interest, I can’t say that it’s a safe bet, by any stretch of the imagination. And Froyo? Beyond helping Google further crush Microsoft’s mobile plans, I can’t see how it’s going to matter at all.

Great Analysis by Gruber

I hope for Adobe’s sake that he’s being disingenuous about these issues; otherwise the co-chairman of their board is completely ignorant of how their flagship products are perceived by many Mac users.

This article is a very interesting read. Gruber reacts to an interview of Adobe’s Chuck Gescheke by John Paczkowski.

My take is that Gescheke is toeing the company line here. He can’t possibly believe a lot of what he’s saying about Flash being open, cross-platform development having no downsides, etc. He’s too smart to actually believe any of that.

I love how Gruber nails it at the end of the article. Gescheke tells his interviewer that Adobe hasn’t opened Flash up to a standards body to maintain because they don’t want to do “design by committee.” Which is exactly Apple’s stance with iPhone OS. The only difference is that Apple has never claimed that iPhone OS is open.