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Virgin American dumps Adobe Flash for iPhone users

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Virgin America has dropped Flash content from its new website in order to allow users with Apple iPhones to check in for flights using their mobile.

In an interview with the Register UK, Virgin's chief technology officer Ravi Simhambhatla said, "I don't want to cater to one hardware or one software platform one way to another, and Flash eliminates iPhone users. This year is going to be the year of the mobile [for Virgin]."

The Register reported that Virgin's new Flash-free website is responsible for bringing in 70% of the company's $100 million in quarterly revenues. The airline's "crown jewels" website replaces a previous version that used Flash and was less than three years old.

iPhone launches a migration from Flash

The move illustrates the leverage Apple now exerts in being able to drive new web development to use open web standards rather than proprietary binary platforms like Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight, which exist as closed alternatives to the Web's simple HTML and JavaScript.

Apple itself dropped Flash from most of its web properties the iPhone debuted, and just before its launch, the company worked with Google to begin serving YouTube videos without requiring a Flash wrapper. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs insisted that Flash was simply not well suited for mobile devices like the new iPhone.

Google has since floated a beta version of YouTube for desktop users that drops Flash entirely and instead presents videos using the native multimedia delivery support written into HTML5, the latest specification of the Web's standard for semantically marking up content.

Virgin said it is planning to make use of new features in HTML5 as the standard is ratified. Until then, company representatives said today's HTML is "good enough" to do what the company had been using Flash to do on its previous site.

Flash vs the Web

Unlike Flash or Silverlight, which are presentational and therefore deliver a fixed view for users to experience, the Web's native HTML only describes content semantically, so users and their browser can interpret how they want to experience that information.

HTML supports flexible presentation using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a technology that can scale Web content and complexity to accommodate the limitation of mobile devices, accessibility issues for the blind or physically impaired, or simply customize information presentation to fit the desires of Web users.

Morgan Adams, an interactive content developer with a lot of experience with Flash recently explained that most of today's existing Flash-based games, navigation elements, and other content is oriented toward mouse-centric desktop and simply can not work well in a multitouch environment like the iPhone or Apple's upcoming iPad, where there is no mouseover.

Adobe is working to push out new enhancements to Flash to accommodate touch-centric environments in new content, but developers have to weigh whether sticking with Adobe's platform makes sense now that HTML5 delivers much of the functionality of Flash without dependance upon Adobe. Apple's staunchly Flash-free mobile platforms are helping to tilt that decision in favor of open standards.
post #2 of 87
"Begun this Flash war has."

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 87
It's happening . . .
post #4 of 87
...going down.

Where are the astro turfers?
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post #5 of 87
Gf Adobe.
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post #6 of 87
Nice! No more flash, no more flash, no more flash!

Or at least deliver a really good version ..... which isnt gonna happen so above statement holds.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #7 of 87
I'm not a big fan of flash (I have to sign on with a Guest account to watch some websites! can someone help me?), but couldn't Virgin just check what browser the visitor is using? If it's a computer, use Flash. If it's a mobile device, don't use flash?

I'm probably missing something.
post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tods View Post

I love your signature.

You are more than welcome to adopt it as your own. Heck, use the same colours if you want!
post #9 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"Begun this Flash war has."


Hehe, well done!
post #10 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

I'm not a big fan of flash (I have to sign on with a Guest account to watch some websites! can someone help me?), but couldn't Virgin just check what browser the visitor is using? If it's a computer, use Flash. If it's a mobile device, don't use flash?

I'm probably missing something.

It is just costly to maintain multiple versions. Virgin being closely tied to the mobile community it makes sense for them to focus on supporting iPhones. The article makes a lot of good points about Flash not being suitable for mobile and also the blind, however in the latter case, HTML programmers are not any more considerate than Flash developers about making things accesible.

We have been developing special iPhone sites for our clients that are trimmed down and only deliver the essential facts and leave our desktop versions without restrictions. I find that even non Flash sites are often developed in such a way that it makes it difficult to navigate on an iPhone, mostly from the size and closness of the buttons and links. You have to zoom way up to be able to select things. So iPhone is really not an ideal web browser device in any senerio even without Flash.

From my perspective totally giving up Flash it is like giving up steak because your neighbor is a vegetarian.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #11 of 87
Having just recently upgraded from 10.3.9 to 10.6.2 seeing the headline to this article reminded me to go and try out the HTML5 beta at YouTube. On my Mini (2.53) the CPUs ran at c.12% and 15% respectively, and when reverting back to the Flash version the same clip ran at c.24% and 26% respectively. So there was a big CPU saving, but there were three differences in Flash's favour. On the HTML5 version the clip did not start until it had all loaded, which would be a nuisance on a big clip. Although there was an expanded size screen available it could not go full-screen, nor did it have the click links on the screen at the end. I don't know if HTML5 will be able to add those capabilities as it develops (would it be possible to go full-screen i.e work outside the browser?) but it does seem to be a case of pros and cons as it stands.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #12 of 87
This is going to raise some eyebrows, and I bet Virgin won't be the last to do this either!
post #13 of 87
I love Flash ads! With Click-to-Flash I can disable all the ads.

If they give up Flash I will have to view them again.

But on a more serious note... While I am a big fan of moving away from proprietary technology, I think this aritcle should have mentioned one major issue I have heard regarding HTML5 - the inability to protect copywrited content. That is not a trivial issue.
post #14 of 87
Another flash site bites the dust.
"you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free."
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"you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free."
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post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

From my perspective totally giving up Flash it is like giving up steak because your neighbor is a vegetarian.

It's more like giving up steak because your customers are becoming vegetarian, I guess.
post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I love Flash ads! With Click-to-Flash I can disable all the ads.

If they give up Flash I will have to view them again.

But on a more serious note... While I am a big fan of moving away from proprietary technology, I think this aritcle should have mentioned one major issue I have heard regarding HTML5 - the inability to protect copywrited content. That is not a trivial issue.

I'm pretty sure that's on the list.
post #17 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Virgin America has dropped Flash content from its new website


The first nail in a Flash coffin!






.
post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

I'm not a big fan of flash (I have to sign on with a Guest account to watch some websites! can someone help me?), but couldn't Virgin just check what browser the visitor is using? If it's a computer, use Flash. If it's a mobile device, don't use flash?

I'm probably missing something.

Ultimately, that is what will essentially have to happen, though primarily when it comes to video and animations. Flash has plenty of pros, but none of them are on mobile with a tiny screens and low performance.

On a PC it has more benefits but it still uses an excessive amount of resources and takes longer to render than open standards. It also causes problems when doing web searches, page searches and forget about using Full Page Zoom on a page with Flash controls.

Because of older browsers and, of course, IE there will need to a fall back to Flash where modern browsers can't reach. They could also request that you update your browser and supply appropriate links the same way Adobe tells you to update Flash when the required plug-in is out of date. I'm sure both of these will happen.

Google is already offering a beta of the HTML5 video tag for YouTube. Eventually That will be standard for browsers that support HTML5 and H.264. On another front, for a completely different reason, they are dropping any support for IE6 across all their sites. This trend will also likely take off causing many consumers and companies finally moving to a newer version which means devs won't have to worry about it any longer.
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post #19 of 87
Where are the trolls that claim nobody develops for the iPhone?
post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"Begun this Flash war has."

image: http://static.zemalf.com/wp/blog/wp-...gging-Tips.jpg

It's on like a JavaScript version of Donkey Kong!
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post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhunter View Post

The first nail in a Flash coffin!






.

First? More like the fifth or sixth.
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Where are the trolls that claim nobody develops for the iPhone?

The trolls are currently occupied on the "Apple sues HTC" threads.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

First? More like the fifth or sixth.

Cheers dude, thanks for that most welcome update, I obviously missed those and long may they contnue to rain down on this Flash coffin (informal definition - an old and unsafe aircraft or vessel)





.
post #24 of 87
(Italian music playing in the background)...

You maka Steve so Happee!

Did he make you an offer, you couldn't refuse?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Although there was an expanded size screen available it could not go full-screen, nor did it have the click links on the screen at the end. I don't know if HTML5 will be able to add those capabilities as it develops (would it be possible to go full-screen i.e work outside the browser?) but it does seem to be a case of pros and cons as it stands.

Fullscreen is possible with ClickToFlash on YouTube via QuickTime.

Remove YouTube from your whitelist and deselect the "Load H.264 videos from YouTube" option in the ClickToFlash settings. Now load a page on YouTube and look for the little tool symbol (similar to the "Action" menu icon in a Finder window's toolbar). Clicking on this opens a menu with options to play a video fullscreen in QuickTime or download the actual H.264 encoded MP4 file straight to your drive.

Hope that's a good enough stop-gap measure while we wait for a slightly more straightforward way integrated straight into the browser.
post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

On the HTML5 version the clip did not start until it had all loaded, which would be a nuisance on a big clip. Although there was an expanded size screen available it could not go full-screen, nor did it have the click links on the screen at the end. I don't know if HTML5 will be able to add those capabilities as it develops (would it be possible to go full-screen i.e work outside the browser?)

Here's a well done video player done completely in HTML5 - works in your iPhone or iPod touch nicely. It has all your normal Flash type controls and believe it goes full-screen (on my phone, so can't test that now). Give it a look. And this is just the very beginning HTML5 will get better, more versatile, and fancy in time.

http://jilion.com/sublime/video

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

While I am a big fan of moving away from proprietary technology, I think this aritcle should have mentioned one major issue I have heard regarding HTML5 - the inability to protect copywrited content. That is not a trivial issue.

A tech savvy person can now download Flash files from Firefox and others and copy them or bring into a video editor and make edits or change it from a Flash video file to mov or wmv etc. I do it from time to time. So, nothing is 100%. I welcome HTML5, will be a few years till it's a standard, but good to see progress.
post #27 of 87
What's 'Flash?'
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake4223 View Post

It's more like giving up steak because your customers are becoming vegetarian, I guess.

Either way steak is so tasty. I'm really not opposed to a salad once and awhile for lunch when i want to eat light.

MAny of my customers who own iPhones still prefer Flash on their own web sites. I'm providing an alternative to Flash on thier sites specifically for iPhone.

For some reason around here I think it is mostly the vocal minority who are dissing Flash. In the real world people are not as concerned about the alledged negatives and rather enjoy the elegance and finesse that Flash enables.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #29 of 87
And so the Flash exodus begins.

In all reality, it's only a temporary inconvenience for the Flash fanboys. Eventually, HTML5 will be mainstream which will make the issue a moot point, or (doubt it) Adobe will address the deficiencies in a way that gets Apple's approval.

In the end, regardless of what eventually happens the solution will be a leaner, more elegant way of doing mobile content. So I'm on board with this.

I do hate Flash though and do not miss it in even the least on my iPhone.
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Either way steak is so tasty. I'm really not opposed to a salad once and awhile for lunch when i want to eat light.

MAny of my customers who own iPhones still prefer Flash on their own web sites. I'm providing an alternative to Flash on thier sites specifically for iPhone.

For some reason around here I think it is mostly the vocal minority who are dissing Flash. In the real world people are not as concerned about the alledged negatives and rather enjoy the elegance and finesse that Flash enables.

Can not agree with your last sentence majority of people that use Flash do not know the "elegance and finesse that Flash enables" there use it because that what's there.

This discussion is being undertaken by minority group of people compared to the number of users that use Flash or HTML5 and the latter does not know better. As usually once the dust has settled, the improvement will be better for everyone, but the average user will not notice the difference except for those that may notice improvement in "speed" of their computer.

Before I start shouting that this is beginning of Flash end, I want to see more companies moving to the HTML5 standard.
post #31 of 87
You can also play flv wrapped videos directly in Quicktime if you have the right codecs.

I have Perian and VLC installed, I've found Quicktime plays some flv files better than VLC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

A tech savvy person can now download Flash files from Firefox and others and copy them or bring into a video editor and make edits or change it from a Flash video file to mov or wmv etc. I do it from time to time. So, nothing is 100%. I welcome HTML5, will be a few years till it's a standard, but good to see progress.
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post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post

Fullscreen is possible with ClickToFlash on YouTube via QuickTime.

Remove YouTube from your whitelist and deselect the "Load H.264 videos from YouTube" option in the ClickToFlash settings. Now load a page on YouTube and look for the little tool symbol (similar to the "Action" menu icon in a Finder window's toolbar). Clicking on this opens a menu with options to play a video fullscreen in QuickTime or download the actual H.264 encoded MP4 file straight to your drive.

Hope that's a good enough stop-gap measure while we wait for a slightly more straightforward way integrated straight into the browser.

Okay, thanks. Actually this is a hypothetical for me as I use Firefox as my default browser because I like the add-ons (including FlashBlock natch!) and youtubemp will download the .flv as an MP4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Here's a well done video player done completely in HTML5 - works in your iPhone or iPod touch nicely. It has all your normal Flash type controls and believe it goes full-screen (on my phone, so can't test that now). Give it a look. And this is just the very beginning HTML5 will get better, more versatile, and fancy in time.

http://jilion.com/sublime/video

A tech savvy person can now download Flash files from Firefox and others and copy them or bring into a video editor and make edits or change it from a Flash video file to mov or wmv etc. I do it from time to time. So, nothing is 100%. I welcome HTML5, will be a few years till it's a standard, but good to see progress.

Thanks for your reply as well. I've actually seen the vid before - very impressive image quality I must say, although with it filling the browser, and the browser full-screen i.e full-screen video apart from the toolbar, it is quite CPU heavy. Still, as you say, early days. I agree absolutely with your last comment - irrespective of Flash's crappy performance on a Mac, the principle of open standards on the web is a fundamental one. No one single entity, in this case Adobe, should have any sort of lock on what is now a basic utility.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

A tech savvy person can now download Flash files from Firefox and others and copy them or bring into a video editor and make edits or change it from a Flash video file to mov or wmv etc.

First a correction, you can't with DRM-protected Flash movies, and that's really the point.

But, that point aside, Apple Insider's recent flash-obsession is starting to really look pathetic. This isn't apple news, or rumors, or really anything. It's just a chance to score points with the anti-flash crowd, and a pretty week one at that.

Seriously? The extent of interactivity on Virgin America homepage was a couple of images that slid left and right, and somehow this is some huge blow to Flash? Really? I think we're grasping at straws here people. What's worse, the article is just plain wrong. As far as I can tell, Flash has been removed from the homepage... not the entire site. Visit the route maps link here: http://www.virginamerica.com/va/trav...emap_right_bar ... Flash. Even do it on a iPhone... nice little link prompting you to download the flash plugin.

What I find most peculiar is why we care? If you really hate flash that much, uninstall the plugin and leave the rest of us alone. And, note that I said uninstall the plugin, and not "clicktoflash"... if you really don't care about the lack of it on your phone, then man-up and do the same for your desktop.
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

On the HTML5 version the clip did not start until it had all loaded, which would be a nuisance on a big clip.

Just switched over the HTML5 on YouTube (using Safari), and the clips I watched started playing before they were completely loaded. Seemed snappier than the Flash version, too!
post #35 of 87
I think Virgin is making the a good decision for two reasons. First, they really don't require any of the more complex features of Flash and second by the very nature of their business, they obviously have a need to cater to the mobile crowd in as light-wieght a way as possible. I suspect we will see a lot of similar circumstances moving towards using the HTML5 video tag.

All that being said most of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unlike Flash or Silverlight, which are presentational and therefore deliver a fixed view for users to experience, the Web's native HTML only describes content semantically, so users and their browser can interpret how they want to experience that information.

HTML supports flexible presentation using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a technology that can scale Web content and complexity to accommodate the limitation of mobile devices, accessibility issues for the blind or physically impaired, or simply customize information presentation to fit the desires of Web users.

Morgan Adams, an interactive content developer with a lot of experience with Flash recently explained that most of today's existing Flash-based games, navigation elements, and other content is oriented toward mouse-centric desktop and simply can not work well in a multitouch environment like the iPhone or Apple's upcoming iPad, where there is no mouseover.

Adobe is working to push out new enhancements to Flash to accommodate touch-centric environments in new content, but developers have to weigh whether sticking with Adobe's platform makes sense now that HTML5 delivers much of the functionality of Flash without dependance upon Adobe.

Is total sensationalist crap written by someone who CLEARLY doesn't do web development.

Let's be honest here, it doesn't really matter if the haters or fanboys of this board agree or not with what developers do. Because those of us who are developers are not going to ask you for your opinion when we develop websites.

To give you a frame of reference, I currently work as a new media designer and developer and have been for the past 10 years. I use all of the following languages on a regular basis: PHP, JS, FLEX, AS3, HTML & XML. I also love Apple products and own more of them than any reasonable person should.

But this site is simply lying to you. regularly, in part I believe to drive traffic and in part because he is a moron who drinks his own kool-aid. To debunk some specific comments I would like to point out that:


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unlike Flash or Silverlight, which are presentational and therefore deliver a fixed view for users to experience, the Web's native HTML only describes content semantically, so users and their browser can interpret how they want to experience that information.]

Wrong in a few ways. First Sliverlight and Flash both are hardly presentational languages. In fact, HTML and CSS are presentational languages. Both Silverlight and Flash can access and write to databases, and return information dynamically. HTML only presents the layout and CSS styles it. Also how in the world are users interpreting how they want to see a webpage just because its in HTML?

If you wanted to have an informed conversation about dynamic and interactive vs "presentational only" sites made without Flash or Silverlight than you would talk about languages like .net, php and JS. You're inability to actually compare relevant technologies only illustrates your lack of understanding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

HTML supports flexible presentation using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a technology that can scale Web content and complexity to accommodate the limitation of mobile devices

How does CSS scale web complexity? Do you even know what that means? You don't need CSS at all to scale your site to a mobile device if that's what your actually referring to. it's easily done with a meta tag, and thats just plain 'ol HTML 4. BTW FLEX supports CSS as well, not just HTML.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a technology that can...........customize information presentation to fit the desires of Web users.

As long as those desires don't involve complex interactivity or dynamic manipulation of data, which in fact millions of users do actually want. Don't get me wrong I love CSS but its clear you have absolutely no idea what it does.

To simplify it for you, all CSS does in a nut-shell is address how things will look. Fonts, Colors, Layout...that sort of thing. However that is only a small piece of the presentation of information. What makes tools like Silverlight and Flex so powerful is that they can address the visual needs of web development AND the dynamic data driven needs of web development.

If you really want to know....

Perhaps the most exciting thing about HTML5 and CSS3 for those of us who actually do web development instead of fantasize about it, is the addition of block level tags like <nav> or <footer> or the ability to create drop shadows, embed fonts and use rounded corners without JS. Hell even the canvas could be pretty sweet sometime around IE 10. The <video> tag however, is probably the least interesting part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Morgan Adams, an interactive content developer with a lot of experience with Flash recently explained that most of today's existing Flash-based games, navigation elements, and other content is oriented toward mouse-centric desktop and simply can not work well in a multitouch environment like the iPhone or Apple's upcoming iPad, where there is no mouseover.

Actually, any site that uses MouseOver will have those events neglected. Its common all over the web particularly in navigation as you mentioned. However, that is in no way solely a problem related to Flash. in fact the majority of these problems are done in Javascript where MouseOver states are extremely common and JS games built with this way will also fail to work. What you fail to mention and probably fail to realize is that there is nothing stopping anyone from creating content that will work just fine. And if your complaint is that old web sites don't work so well....welcome to the 20th century, thats been a problem for years.

AS for Flash and touch....
Three years ago I developed a series of touch-screen kiosks for a tradeshow all in AS3. It's not only possible to develop for touch, its easy. The fact that there are web based games that were developed before touch screens were viable on mobile devices is not an inherent problem with Flash its just a development issue related to platforms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adobe is working to push out new enhancements to Flash to accommodate touch-centric environments in new content, but developers have to weigh whether sticking with Adobe's platform makes sense now that HTML5 delivers much of the functionality of Flash without dependance upon Adobe.

Unfortunately, for all the reasons I listed above, HTML5 doesn't actually deliver most of the functionality of Flash. Thats just a misconception at best and a fabrication at worst. Developers however, already know this. So you can rest assured we wont be abandoning Flash for HTML5 anytime soon. Now if Microsoft would stop cock-blocking JS Harmony (google it) then we could have a serious conversation about the future of Flash.

I know a lot of you will call me an Apple hater or an Adobe fan boy but really I'm not. You're just being fed a bunch of crap by this site that really isn't based in reality. I actually love Apple, which is why I still come to this site....and when the iPad has a USB port a front facing camera and yes..Flash. Than ill probably buy one
post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I'm pretty sure that's on the list.

What the heck kind of answer is that? I'm pretty sure it's on the list...

If the inability to protect content from being copied hasn't been addressed then what the hell are you adding your signature to every post for.

You're signature gives the impression that you believe in sites like Bit Torrent.

1. It was an ignorant answer with no thought or research on your side.
2. HTML5 is not open source and you still have to license it to legally use it.

Flash will live for many years to come as will your obvious addiction to Kool-Aid.
post #37 of 87
How is this possible? I thought all 'real' web content was flash-based, or is that just for 13 year olds and porn addicts?
post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Can not agree with your last sentence majority of people that use Flash do not know the "elegance and finesse that Flash enables" there use it because that what's there.

This discussion is being undertaken by minority group of people compared to the number of users that use Flash or HTML5 and the latter does not know better. As usually once the dust has settled, the improvement will be better for everyone, but the average user will not notice the difference except for those that may notice improvement in "speed" of their computer.

Before I start shouting that this is beginning of Flash end, I want to see more companies moving to the HTML5 standard.

Crazy! You are from India and you are okay with my unabashed beef eating but take issue with me extolling the elegance of Flash. What sacrilege! Holy Cow.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #39 of 87
*AMEN* ;-)
post #40 of 87
A new aspect of the anti-Flash stance by Apple is TiVo's just-released Series 4 DVRs that heavily utilize Flash in the UI. Apple's stance can now be seen as helping to bolster AppleTV against TiVo.
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