Apple's iPad promo materials misleading on Adobe Flash support

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on Wednesday, his live demonstrations with the device clearly showed the Safari browser was not capable of playing Adobe Flash. However, promotional images on Apple's Web site show that same content loading just fine.



One in a series of rotating images on Apple's main page shows a story from The New York Times, entitled "The 31 Places to Go in 2010." In the image, a picture of a beach in Montenegro is shown. The picture is part of 17 images displayed at the top of the story in Flash.



When accessing that same page on an iPhone, the images do not load. Instead, it says "In order to view this feature, you must download the latest version of flash player here," with a corresponding link.



It's likely the iPad photos are simply renderings of the device, rather than actual screenshots taken of the Web sites. For example, the URL bar for the Times Web site simply shows "http://travel.nytimes.com"; rather than the address for the actual story displayed.



Apple has famously shunned Flash, with the Web plugin having no support in the iPhone Safari browser. The company has even encouraged developers to "stick with standards" and use CSS, JavaScript and Ajax instead of Adobe Flash. In short, it's unlikely that Flash support will exist in the iPad when it ships in two months.



This week, Adobe spoke out in criticism of Apple when Jobs' live presentation showed Flash did not work on the new multitouch iPad. Writing on the company's official Flash blog, Adrian Ludwig said "Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers."



"Unlike many other ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not be able to access ePub content with Apple's DRM technology on devices made by other manufacturers," Ludwig wrote. "And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web."



He went on to note a number of popular Web sites that iPad users will not be able to access without Adobe Flash, including Hulu, ESPN, Farmville, and Disney, of which Jobs is the company's largest shareholder.



And yet Apple's Web site shows Flash content loading on the iPad, even when Jobs' live demonstration did not.



A Flash-based slideshow on The New York Times Web site, as seen on a Mac.



The iPad promotional image shows the Flash slideshow loaded in the browser.



The same slideshow will not load on the iPhone Safari browser.



In yet another example, the promotional iPad video featured on Apple's Web site shows the Times video player loading on the iPad's Safari browser. But that very same feature of the Web site did not load when Jobs did his live onstage demonstration.



The New York Times front page Flash video player on a Mac.



Apple's promotional video shows the Flash video section load just fine.



The video section did not load in Steve Jobs' live demonstration.



The video section does not load on an iPhone.



While Adobe has pushed for years to have Flash on the iPhone since it launched, Apple has not budged. The company's rejection of Flash and move towards alternatives such as HTML5 suggest the Web plugin will not likely appear on the iPad.



For more on why Apple isn't likely to support Flash in the iPhone OS, read AppleInsider's three-part Flash Wars series.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 174
    dypdyp Posts: 33member
    Showed NY Times videos playing on the iPhone.



    I inquired about Flash support on the iPhone to a friend at Adobe mobile team last summer. His response paraphrased was "Jobs already has it and it is up to him to decide what to do with it."
  • Reply 2 of 174
    technotechno Posts: 661member
    I wonder if Flash on the iPad would make it feel snappier.
  • Reply 3 of 174
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    I smell a class action law suit coming.... although not exactly sure how it would be written.
  • Reply 4 of 174
    My argument with it not loading while he was showing off the iPad was the page wasn't fully loaded as you can tell by the bar in Safari it wasn't 80% done and we all know that Flash is the last thing to load in Safari. It seemed like the Wifi connection he was on was slow as well which surprised me as I would have thought he would have had a dedicated Wifi Network to work from so there wouldn't be a delay. So Flash may be incorporated but because of the page not loading fully everyone jumped on the "on no flash" bandwagon.
  • Reply 5 of 174
    How does Adobe know that Apple's ePUB will be DRM? I don't remember seeing this in the keynote. Isn't that just conjecture on Adobe's part?
  • Reply 6 of 174
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    Steve Jobs is far too meticulous in preparing his presentations to have "accidentally" opened a website with Flash that the iPad can't display. I have to believe that he knew full well what he was doing, and it was intentional.



    It was a message to web developers, and it said: "We've sold millions and millions of iPhones without Flash and made so much money we can't even count it all. We intend to do the same with this new device. And if you want your websites to work properly on our shiny new toy, you need to stop using Flash."
  • Reply 7 of 174
    NYTimes video will play through an app, not Safari, just like video does through other apps on the iPhone now.
  • Reply 8 of 174
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    I'm glad that the iPad does not support flash

    Nobody cares about flash.

    My grandmother doesn't even know what flash IS.

    Flash would run down the battery.

    The iPad is BETTER because it does not include flash.
  • Reply 9 of 174
    I agree with Wiggin. As soon as I saw it I thought it was intentional. Not that Steve would say it out loud, but he was kind of saying "F you Adobe".

    Strange. I'm okay with that.
  • Reply 10 of 174
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    I have mixed feelings about it, there are good uses for Flash that don't seem to be well-replaced with open web standards, but most flash objects seem to be ads that don't absolutely need to be flash. It seems like Visual Basic, something that's easy and quick to learn, easy to make something useful with, but most of the time, the product is terrible.
  • Reply 11 of 174
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    I'm glad that the iPad does not support flash

    Nobody cares about flash.

    My grandmother doesn't even know what flash IS.

    Flash would run down the battery.

    The iPad is BETTER because it does not include flash.



    based on your scathing replies in other threads, I'm guessing this is sarcasm?
  • Reply 12 of 174
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by O4BlackWRX View Post


    My argument with it not loading while he was showing off the iPad was the page wasn't fully loaded as you can tell by the bar in Safari it wasn't 80% done and we all know that Flash is the last thing to load in Safari. It seemed like the Wifi connection he was on was slow as well which surprised me as I would have thought he would have had a dedicated Wifi Network to work from so there wouldn't be a delay. So Flash may be incorporated but because of the page not loading fully everyone jumped on the "on no flash" bandwagon.



    This isn't true for two reasons; first of all Safari clearly showed it was in need for a plug-in, but didn't have one ready. Second of all, there was nothing wrong with the internet connection. Jobs also did a demo on downloading an iBook, and that was amazingly fast.



    Also, Steve stayed on the NYT page long enough for it to load.
  • Reply 13 of 174
    Unsupported Flash is the closest thing we'll get to adblocking on one of these devices. So it's fine by me.
  • Reply 14 of 174
    The page on their demo is dated January 8th. It's quite possible that on that day, it was the page for the URL shown. The rest of the page looks correct for http://travel.nytimes.com - an on that day, on that page, that may have simply been a photo/link to the real story. In other words, it may not be the flash version in the promotional image.



    I see no proof that Flash is running in any of the Apple material.
  • Reply 15 of 174
    takeotakeo Posts: 415member
    Someone needs to take Flash out to the back 40 and put a bullet in it's head. I applaud Apple for not supporting it. And no, that's not sarcasm.
  • Reply 16 of 174
    roos24roos24 Posts: 170member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ..."And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web."...



    ...which come from the 30 million or so porn sites. This could well be one of the reasons of Apples policy and if so, I fully support it.
  • Reply 17 of 174
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,736member
    HTML5.



    Youtube's already transitioning to it. So is Vimeo.
  • Reply 18 of 174
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    The flash plug in for the Mac is a nightmare.



    Fact.



    It crashes, it's slow, it maxes out the processor, it causes machines to over heat.



    Fact.



    The flash plug in is a proprietary piece of software developed by a third party, not by Apple.



    Fact.



    So - and I'm going out on a limb here - maybe if Adobe FIXED the plug in, made it work better, it would be welcomed.



    Conjecture.



    But Adobe aren't even trying, at least not in public. I don't want my iPad to crash everytime i hit another spank the monkey advert. I've got click2flash installed on Safari, safari no longer crashes. Youtube works just fine, and the video quality is massively superior to the flash version.



    So ADOBE - fix flash. What Flash can do is great, the potential is fantastic. That it's an unstable piece of crap on all but top end wintel machines is Adobe's issue, not Apple's.



    Also - who is to say that this thing can't run flash, and SJ simply blocked it to make a little statement? I don't believe Apple's marketing people are stupid enough to open themselves us to a false claim quite this big. Let's wait eight weeks and see.
  • Reply 19 of 174
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I have mixed feelings about it, there are good uses for Flash that don't seem to be well-replaced with open web standards, but most flash objects seem to be ads that don't absolutely need to be flash. It seems like Visual Basic, something that's easy and quick to learn, easy to make something useful with, but most of the time, the product is terrible.



    It sure seems like a 'run once' type of thing would be appropriate, that way you dont have running flash constantly on the webpage/device while you're not watching it. To completely omit it seems worse than adding some limited type of implementation.
  • Reply 20 of 174
    NYT, like many other content providers, will have an app that will allow seamless video/media similar to (but with better performance than) you expect from flash.Barring that, content providers can provide their video in Apple's native (better performance than flash) video codecs. Not sure what everyone is complaining about, since even flash on my Core 2 Duo mac gets pretty awful performance compared to just about any other multimedia platform.
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