Virgin American dumps Adobe Flash for iPhone users

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 86
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    "Begun this Flash war has."



  • Reply 2 of 86
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    It's happening . . .
  • Reply 3 of 86
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    ...going down.



    Where are the astro turfers?
  • Reply 4 of 86
    Gf Adobe.
  • Reply 5 of 86
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 86
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 86
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    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!
  • Reply 8 of 86
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    "Begun this Flash war has."







    Hehe, well done!
  • Reply 9 of 86
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 86
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 86
    rkevwillrkevwill Posts: 224member
    This is going to raise some eyebrows, and I bet Virgin won't be the last to do this either!
  • Reply 12 of 86
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 86
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Another flash site bites the dust.
  • Reply 14 of 86
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 86
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Virgin America has dropped Flash content from its new website





    The first nail in a Flash coffin!













    .
  • Reply 17 of 86
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 86
    cimcim Posts: 197member
    Where are the trolls that claim nobody develops for the iPhone?
  • Reply 19 of 86
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 86
    cimcim Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gearhunter View Post


    The first nail in a Flash coffin!













    .



    First? More like the fifth or sixth.
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