Apple’s take on Adobe Flash{8}

by Ricardo G
Steve Jobs wrote back in April, 2010, regarding why Apple does not support Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. He explained
that instead of using Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and Javascript – all open standards. He added that HTML5 lets
web developers created advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party plug-ins,
just like Flash does. Moreover, HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

It is also mentioned that Flash offers poor reliability, security and performance stating that Symantec highlighted Flash
for having one of the worst security records in 2009. Apple doesn’t want to reduce reliability of their iphones, iPods and
iPads by adding Flash.

Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. Because of this, many Flash-based websites
have to be written to support touch-based devices. And if Flash websites need to be rewritten, wouldn’t it be better to
do so by using modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and Javascript?

Finally, the most important reason why Apple doesn’t support Flash is because Adobe wants developers to adopt Flash to
create apps that run on Apple’s mobile devices. Jobs explains that by experience, Apple knows that if they let a third
party layer of software come between the platform and the developer, ultimately the apps will result in sub-par quality.
Most importantly, if developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage
of platform enhancements when the third party adopt the new features. Apple wants to provide the most advanced platform
to their developers, and want the developers to stand their shoulders of that platform and create the best apps they can.


I agree with the article. I know by experience that Flash is not secure, and their software requires continuous security
upgrades and that can become frustrating. I also agree that developers should focus on creating apps specially for that
platform instead of creating cross-functional apps that may or may not work properly on certain devices because of
compatibility issues. Last but not least, Flash, like the article mentions, was not built to be used in mobile devices.
I – again by experience – can certify that is extremely frustrating when i go into a website and a Flash-based advertisement
pops up and covers the entire browser of my Android device. There is a tiny “x” to close it but most often that not, that
takes me to the advertiser’s website, which forces me to close the browser in its entirety.
This article greatly complements what we previously learned in class about HTML 5 and I’m looking forward to
learning about CSS and Javascript

Jobs, S. (2010, April). Thoughts on Flash. Retrieved from