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Dropping Adobe Flash boosts Apple's MacBook Air battery life by 2 hours

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Apple has stopped bundling Adobe Flash on new Macs, ostensibly so users could obtain the latest, secure version themselves, but vastly increased battery life seems to be another leading reason.

According to testing performed by Chris Foresman of Ars Technica, the new MacBook Air can last for a full six hours after loading a series of webpages in Safari, but its battery performance drops down to four hours once Adobe Flash is installed and the same sites are loaded.

"Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary," Foresman wrote. Without the Flash plugin installed, websites typically display static ads in place of Flash content, erasing the need for constant processing power demanded by the Flash plugin's rendering engine.

With Flash ads consuming as much as 33 percent of the MacBook Air's battery potential, it's no wonder why Apple has demonstrated no interest in getting a version of Flash installed on its iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, all of which have much smaller batteries.

This summer, Adobe launched a public relations attack on Apple for failing to support Flash on its iOS devices, nor allowing Adobe to deliver a version of Flash for the iOS platform, nor approving apps for the iOS that were created in Adobe's Flash Professional application. Apple has backed away from refusing to approve apps created with third party tools, but has shown no interest in getting Flash content to run on its iOS.

When asked for "any updates" on the company's stance on Flash during its quarterly earnings report, chief executive Steve Jobs quipped, "flash memory? We love flash memory," before taking the next question.

Apple's removal of Adobe's Flash plugin from a default install on the new MacBook Air coincided with the company's debut of a more conservative new "wireless productivity test" it said was more in line with actual use, and better standardized for accurate comparisons between models. Being able to test the new machine without its battery being taxed by Flash ads certainly helps the company achieve better results.

The Shrinking Flash Platform

Microsoft stopped bundling Adobe Flash with the release of Windows Vista in 2007, although its motivation was likely due to the company's efforts to push its rival Silverlight plugin. However, Windows implements Flash as an ActiveX control, which means users can click on Flash placeholders within a webpage and the Flash plugin will install itself. New Mac users will have to manually download and install Flash from Adobe in order to make it available.

Apple sells far more iOS devices than Macs, and no iOS devices support runtimes for Flash content. That has had a major effect upon advertisers, publishers, website design, and online video broadcasters, who have collectively made monumental shifts away from Flash. This in turn has made Flash playback far less important on the desktop than it was just a year or two ago, although there is still important content tied to Flash.

Apple has removed Flash content from its own website, although it also has supported Adobe's efforts to add hardware acceleration to the Mac OS X version of Flash, and has approved the Skyfire plugin for iOS' Mobile Safari, which uses a gateway service to translate Flash videos into HTML5 videos that can play on Apple's devices.
post #2 of 95
Using clikctoflash increases my MBP by several hours too from my unscientific usage tests so I am not surprised.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #3 of 95
If you just use it to read with very low bright screen or use it as an iPod only, it will last lot longer duuhhh
post #4 of 95
Wait, I thought Adobe said Flash had no effect on battery life? </trolling>

No surprise here, and actually inspires me further to just uninstall Flash altogether.
post #5 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

...inspires me further to just uninstall Flash altogether.

Do.

http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/13767...ir-models-were
post #6 of 95
This begs the question. When a user installs Flash on their shiny new Air and sees their battery life cut by 33% who will they complain to and blame? Hint; it won't be Adobe. The Apple discussions forums will light up with blathering, outraged users who will blame Apple for their "terrible battery life". You know they will.
post #7 of 95
Adobe's comeback to this should be laughable, if they even bother.
post #8 of 95
I like the fact that Apple are using a more "real world" test for advertising battery life. I continue to be impressed that my iPad gets consistently more than their advertised 10 hours.
post #9 of 95
Since installing click to flash my original version Macbook Air does not crash.
post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Using clikctoflash increases my MBP by several hours too from my unscientific usage tests so I am not surprised.

You know, I used clicktoflash and it did good. The only think I didn't like is when a site loaded one of those rollover ads that take up the entire screen and I was stuck with a big outline of what should've been there. Maybe I wasn't using it right.
post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

You know, I used clicktoflash and it did good. The only think I didn't like is when a site loaded one of those rollover ads that take up the entire screen and I was stuck with a big outline of what should've been there. Maybe I wasn't using it right.

It would be cool if it could show just the initial image. Just installed, will see how it goes. Adobe probably should have kept their mouth shut, it went from bad to worse.

And, still have not seen any indication that Flash ever ran in the iPhone in the first place, so probably easier to just say that Apple hates us than do the work.
post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Adobe's comeback to this should be laughable, if they even bother.

Probably something about "not experiencing the whole internet" or crap like that.
post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Using clikctoflash increases my MBP by several hours too from my unscientific usage tests so I am not surprised.

I have to agree. Until I installed ClickToFlash I didn't realise how much un-necessary junk was being downloaded and run.

I can live without an animated title banner, but hey - if I can't - I just click and there it is.

Flash needs to be a simple tool, like Java - launched by the user when needed, not automatically running.

Think of your browser using cash rather than battery life. Then it makes sense.
post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

You know, I used clicktoflash and it did good. The only think I didn't like is when a site loaded one of those rollover ads that take up the entire screen and I was stuck with a big outline of what should've been there. Maybe I wasn't using it right.

You're not using it right. If you're forced into this situation, go to the 'Safari' menu, right next to the apple logo on the top right, and choose 'Click To Flash' > 'Load Flash For This Page' or all pages, if you like. Now the blackmailing flash component is loaded and you can dismiss it.

Don't blame Click To Flash - just don't visit that website again, and email them to let them know why you won't be clicking on their ads.
post #15 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Using clikctoflash increases my MBP by several hours too from my unscientific usage tests so I am not surprised.

Yeah, you can't live without it. Those ads would be unbearable to watch. But for all the Flash bashing AI does you'd think they would make some effort to get away from Flash themselves, but no, every news story has a flash video and almost all the ads are Flash as well. If Flash is so despicable, why does AI insist on displaying it throughout their whole site?

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post #16 of 95
this is such a skewed article (like all apple fanboy articles about flash).

if you gimp a website of some/many of its features, of course it will load faster and use less memory/processor.

a VALID comparison would be to replace all flash ads, content, tracking, etc with universally-acceptable replacements. the power of flash is that the same thing can run on all platforms. t

i'd like arstechnica or this site to replicate all the functionality of flash, have it work on all browsers, and then do a study. the comparison of "sites with flash turned on" vs "sites with flash turned off" is essentially a study in "what would the internet be without advertising and instead all free and fast just for me to consume without paying" and that's just sticking your head in the sand

until flash-bashing articles show a apples to apples comparison of flash games, ads, tracking, video, etc - that work for everyone including ie6 or whatever, the apple bias against flash is strictly fanboyism
post #17 of 95
If only Apple would patent this innovation , other manufacturers and the Andruids at Google would adopt it sooner, too.
post #18 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshaka2 View Post

the power of flash is that the same thing can run on all platforms.

This is also the power of the web itself. We don't need Flash. More systems have web browsers than Flash installed.
post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

It would be cool if it could show just the initial image. Just installed, will see how it goes.

That part is up to the coders.

Code:



<div id="foo" style="width:640px; height:480px; background:url(poster.jpg); background-repeat:no-repeat;">

<script>

Flash loading code here...

</script>
</div>


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post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshaka2 View Post

i'd like arstechnica or this site to replicate all the functionality of flash, have it work on all browsers, and then do a study. the comparison of "sites with flash turned on" vs "sites with flash turned off" is essentially a study in "what would the internet be without advertising and instead all free and fast just for me to consume without paying" ...

Valid point but it can easily be tested just by using the Youtube HTML5 version and watch until the battery is dead. Then repeat with the Flash version of the video. I'm sure there would be a big difference because Flash isn't that efficient. But playing video isn't all that Flash can do. It does a lot of other stuff. HTML, not so much.

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post #21 of 95
Check out the AnandTech review. I don't expect credit for the tip.

Over in the battery-life segment of the AnandTech through review for the new MacBook Airs the 13" got 11.2 hours on the light web-browsing test with iTunes music running. But then, on the Flash test they got 5 hours.

That's 6.2 hours of a difference, not 2. Great reporting, btw.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

If only Apple would patent this innovation , other manufacturers and the Andruids at Google would adopt it sooner, too.

Its fun to see Apple trying any and all tactics to take away power from Google and its top mobile platform in the US and soon the world. If you cant beet them sue them isn't that right Jobs.

Android Rules.
post #23 of 95
Many people here seem to think Flash is the ONLY thing that uses battery life on the web. Of course static HTML pages use less power/CPU to run than animated objects and video.

Now try that same test on pages that use HTML 5 Canvas and JavaScript animations (and you'll get exactly the same results!)


Does it mean animation and video are bad because they use battery power? (NO!)
post #24 of 95
You all act like this is an Apple thing; the same happens on any laptop. Big deal, old news.
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshaka2 View Post

the comparison of "sites with flash turned on" vs "sites with flash turned off" is essentially a study in "what would the internet be without advertising and instead all free and fast just for me to consume without paying" and that's just sticking your head in the sand


Exactly. I can't believe people would be so brain-dead to jump all over this like it's a Flash thing.

I've love to see a proper comparison, but this isn't it.
post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Using clikctoflash increases my MBP by several hours too from my unscientific usage tests so I am not surprised.

I love clicktoflash. That should be standard on every browser, every OS.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Adobe's comeback to this should be laughable, if they even bother.

I don't even know why Adobe bought the damn thing. I thought they were planning to put it out of its misery.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #28 of 95
I bet if I removed the operating system, battery life would be extended indefinitely. Is it really a matter of removing popular features so people can can compute on a trans-Atlantic flight?
post #29 of 95
The test was nonsense. Animations and video use power. If a website doesn't display them without flash, you'll save energy. Talk about an unfair test. If Apple had any GUTS, it would publish the percentage of users that install Flash on the MacBook Air. This would show how "unnecessary" flash is. The point that should be made to Apple fanboys is that whether flash stinks or not, FREEDOM of CHOICE should be given to iOS users. I don't want anybody telling me what I do or don't need on my phone.
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by HabaƱero View Post

Many people here seem to think Flash is the ONLY thing that uses battery life on the web. Of course static HTML pages use less power/CPU to run than animated objects and video.

Now try that same test on pages that use HTML 5 Canvas and JavaScript animations (and you'll get exactly the same results!)

This is not true. Easy example to convince yourself: HTML5 Youtube vs Regular Youtube in the same browser. Check activity monitor.
post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Yohe View Post

This is not true. Easy example to convince yourself: HTML5 Youtube vs Regular Youtube in the same browser. Check activity monitor.

i think you missread the question Matthew as HTML5 Youtube isn't done with Canvas and JavaScript so it isn't a comparison of the same level of functionality at all.
post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by some internet dude View Post

Its fun to see Apple trying any and all tactics to take away power from Google and its top mobile platform in the US and soon the world. If you cant beet them sue them isn't that right Jobs.

Apple is just leading the way and using the legal system as designed to protect its innovations and investments.
Google's motto is "if we can't innovate, steal".

Quote:
Android Rules.

That doesn't sound very open!
post #33 of 95
https://extensions.apple.com/#productivity

Safari AdBlock and ClickToFlash. Works in OS X and Windows. No ads, no Flash. The newest version of ClickToFlash can again check Youtube videos for H.264 versions of the video.

Only way to browse if you ask me.
post #34 of 95
Apart from the lack of reality and logic presented by this article, it pales in comparrison to the usual anti-Flash rants on this site.

But what I really don't get is this:
When advertisers start creating all their adverts in HTML5 and you can no longer avoid them with a clicktoflash tool as they suck your battery life stone cold dead. Will you wake up lamenting the day Flash was overtaken by HTML5 for advertising presentation?

So try thinking before you bag Flash.
post #35 of 95
Aslo iPhoners crash site because they want Flash on there iPhones, but shhhhh dont tell Jobs.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...on=All+Stories
post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthropic View Post

Apart from the lack of reality and logic presented by this article, it pales in comparrison to the usual anti-Flash rants on this site.

But what I really don't get is this:
When advertisers start creating all their adverts in HTML5 and you can no longer avoid them with a clicktoflash tool as they suck your battery life stone cold dead. Will you wake up lamenting the day Flash was overtaken by HTML5 for advertising presentation?

So try thinking before you bag Flash.

Yes that has been commented on several times on the site in previous threads. Apple's iAds are all Javascript html5 css. As they have indicated in various keynotes and presentations, Apple's philosophy is that the ad should not be animated until the user clicks on it. With the iAd logo displayed in the corner, the user is to expect a cinematic experience upon choosing to view the ad. Other advertisers probably don't share Steve's vision.

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post #37 of 95
Well how about this.

Back in the OS 9 days I deleted IE and used Netscape Navigator and iCab for the more IE specific pages if I felt like it, after deleting IE crashes reduced dramatically maybe to one or two per week. That was on 40 - 60 hours of computing per week per week, I was building an ecommerce business. One day I was doing something in the file system (probably trying to find the sources of crashes) and I found some Microsoft libraries, I immediately trashed them. From that day forward crashes reduced to a single source which I quickly identified and avoided, coincidentally or not it was accessing the web whilst using Photoshop.

So here's a question, there's no doubt MS has messed up competitors with bad software but now MS does not appear on standard issue Macs. MS had the opportunity back then to make Macs look bad, they had an agreement that Apple would bundle IE as part of the deal where MS paid Apple hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. So now MS isn't on the Mac could they be using Adobe as a surrogate?

.
post #38 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

It would be cool if it could show just the initial image.

It will if the flash content contains the preview image, most doesn't it seems. Authoring issues.
.
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post #39 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I don't even know why Adobe bought the damn thing. I thought they were planning to put it out of its misery.

Sort of like the housing bubble. They saw the huge adoption of Flash and bought it at the peak. Now it is on the decline. But not unlike the housing bubble it may be a good thing to return to reality. All of the loan shark mortgage specialists and the Flash advertisers have a lot in common. Doesn't mean that mortgages or Flash have anything inherently wrong with them just that they can be easily abused.

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post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

The test was nonsense. Animations and video use power. If a website doesn't display them without flash, you'll save energy. Talk about an unfair test. If Apple had any GUTS, it would publish the percentage of users that install Flash on the MacBook Air. This would show how "unnecessary" flash is. The point that should be made to Apple fanboys is that whether flash stinks or not, FREEDOM of CHOICE should be given to iOS users. I don't want anybody telling me what I do or don't need on my phone.

LOL. The facts are nonsense? You've got to be kidding.

You think this has something to do with Apple fanboys or fanboyism? Grow up, dude. I hate Flash, not because Steve Jobs is my all-powerful dark master of magic unicorns and shit, but because FOR YEARS FLASH HAS RUINED MY WEB BROWSING EXPERIENCE ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS AND HARDWARE. I was hating Flash and wanting to kill it back when I was browsing with Firefox on the PC. I pleaded with Mozilla version after version to fix that, and they were like, "it's the Flash plugin that's spinning up your CPU to 100% and locking up your PC laptop and causing you to have to bring up Windows task manager and kill Firefox, sorry." It wasn't even because the sites I visited used Flash themselves; it was all of the stupid ads. Macromedia earned my scorn through YEARS OF SUCK. OMFG I can't believe you defend this pile of crap. What, do you like Flash ads or something? Did you punch the monkey and save thousands refinancing your home?

No dude, the point that should be made to Apple hateboys IS WHETHER FLASH STINKS OR NOT. And I contend that Flash does whiff malodorous. Now run home to Slashdot where "freedom of choice" is more important than quality of the user experience.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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