Google now warns iPhone users when search results contain Adobe Flash

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2014
Search giant Google added another board to Flash's coffin on Tuesday with the announcement that it would warn users searching from mobile devices -- like Apple's iPhone or Android handsets -- when the contents of a search result were "mostly Flash."




Rather than returning the website's description, Google will now tell mobile users that the site uses Flash and may not work on their device, before offering them the option to continue anyway. The announcement was first noticed by iClarified.

Google says that content which cannot be displayed on a mobile device -- like Flash -- is a "common annoyance" for mobile users. The company goes on to suggest that developers should eschew proprietary formats like Flash in favor of more widely-implemented standards such as HTML5.

"Fortunately, making websites that work on all modern devices is not that hard: websites can use HTML5 since it is universally supported, sometimes exclusively, by all devices," Google's announcement reads.

Apple's decision not to support Flash on its then-nascent iOS devices was a major point of contention even before late Apple CEO Steve Jobs penned his famous "thoughts on Flash" letter, with many panning the decision as short-sighted. The choice has since proven prophetic, however, with Flash's popularity waning thanks in no small part to developers' need to accomodate the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,428member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The choice has since proven prophetic, however, with Flash's popularity waning thanks in no small part to developers' need to accomodate the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad.

    This should read: "the massive popularity of smartphones and tablets including the iPhone and iPad" since the number of Android based devices is substantial.

     

    Flash cannot die fast enough.

  • Reply 2 of 48
    thedbathedba Posts: 479member

    Prophetic to say the least. 

    Steve, along with Apple got blasted for not supporting Flash and they also caught quite a bit of slack for making their iPad 4:3 aspect ratio. 

    Today we are seeing Flash's march into irrelevance and Microsoft changing the Surface's aspect ratio from 16:9 to something like 3:2. Others are also following.

     

    I wonder if Apple engineers are somewhere sharing a good laugh, since they had it right, from the start. 

  • Reply 3 of 48
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    mpantone wrote: »
    This should read: "the massive popularity of smartphones and tablets including the iPhone and iPad" since the number of Android based devices is substantial.

    Flash cannot die fast enough.

    No. The death of Adobe Flash should be attributed almost singularly to Apple. Google Android proponents derided the lack of Adobe Flash support on Apple iPhones for years before finally accepting reality. Another indication of Google Android proponents disconnect with reality; support for the supposedly open Google Android and support for proprietary Adobe Flash.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,428member

    Adobe abandoned Flash on all mobile platforms in November 2011.

     

    It's possible that some of the Google Android proponents are living in a dreamworld, denying that Flash support was dropped almost three years ago.

     

    That said, Joe Consumer using an Android device today doesn't know anything about this brouhaha. They just know that Flash doesn't work on their device.

  • Reply 5 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    'Put another nail in someone's coffin', I am familiar with but not "added another board to someone's coffin" I must remember that, it's new one on me. As it's Flash I hope they keep adding both. :)
  • Reply 6 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Search giant Google added another board to Flash's coffin on Tuesday with the announcement that it would warn users searching from mobile devices -- like Apple's iPhone or Android handsets -- when the contents of a search result were "mostly Flash."

     


    Where does it say "Mostly Flash".

     

    I wonder what amount of Flash will trigger this response and does Google know whether or not the developer already has an alternate page to show iOS users when they land on the site.

     

    People who use Flash to design the navigation and interface of a website are clueless. Maybe some really old sites still have that but anything new should never use Flash for anything other than complex technical presentations that would be too difficult or impossible in HTML5, or if the server detects older IE for video playback.

  • Reply 7 of 48
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,699member

    But...but... the Android fanboys all said that Flash is SO superior on their Android devices.  Where are they now?!  I guess they are just back to waiting for mommy to bring them down their next meal in the basement.



    Good riddance Flash.  You should have been flushed down the toilet ages ago.  Steve Jobs ejecting it from iOS just goes to show how well he saw where the future was going, and Flash was not part of it.  I find it funny about all those articles written back in the day skewering Jobs and the iOS platform for not supporting Flash, and how great Android was for having it.  As the phrase "rinse & repeat" goes, those same people are conveniently quiet, pretending the crap coming out of their mouth, along with their hugely stupid opinions, never actually happened.

  • Reply 8 of 48
    timmymantimmyman Posts: 31member
    mstone wrote: »
    Where does it say "Mostly Flash".

    I wonder what amount of Flash will trigger this response and does Google know whether or not the developer already has an alternate page to show iOS users when they land on the site.

    People who use Flash to design the navigation and interface of a website are clueless. Maybe some really old sites still have that but anything new should never use Flash for anything other than complex technical presentations that would be too difficult or impossible in HTML5, or if the server detects older IE for video playback.

    The "mostly flash" quote was from Google's blog post. It wasn't saying that was what the search page will say.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,428member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Where does it say "Mostly Flash".

     

    I wonder what amount of Flash will trigger this response and does Google know whether or not the developer already has an alternate page to show iOS users when they land on the site.

     

    People who use Flash to design the navigation and interface of a website are clueless. Maybe some really old sites still have that but anything new should never use Flash for anything other than complex technical presentations that would be too difficult or impossible in HTML5, or if the server detects older IE for video playback.


    It doesn't say "mostly Flash" on the search page. It says "mostly Flash" in the Google blog entry explaining the change:

     

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/07/promoting-modern-websites-for-modern.html

     

    My guess is that Google's web crawler and search database processing algorithms can tell whether or not an alternate non-Flash content type is available for any given page, just as the hosting site figures out to serve up that content when it encounters a client browser that does not have Flash capability.

     

    Note that the search result page doesn't prevent the searcher from going to the page, it's just a warning that the page may not function on the device in question. What is the threshold? Who knows? It's not like Google would explain in detail how their proprietary search algorithm works, and it's not relevant anyhow for the end user.

  • Reply 10 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

    But...but... the Android fanboys all said that Flash is SO superior on their Android devices.  Where are they now?! 


    Perhaps they have wisely switched to iPhones.

     

    Quote:

    Good riddance Flash.  You should have been flushed down the toilet ages ago.  Steve Jobs ejecting it from iOS just goes to show how well he saw where the future was going, and Flash was not part of it. 


    I don't see it that way at all. I think what is happening is that Flash is now being reduced to a role where it belongs and should have always been. The reason Flash became so ubiquitous is because Apple, Microsoft and Google were stupidly battling for control of Internet video with incompatible formats, which is still going on to some extent, so in a way, Steve Jobs was partly responsible for the ascendance of Flash.

     

    Flash is very useful for technical representations in training and other complex presentations, and regardless of how far HTML5 has come, it still has plenty of limitations, the biggest being the extreme difficulty of writing such complex code, not to mention the fact that some things are completely impossible in HTML5. Flash is not practical for mobile or touch, but it can be for desktop, however it should only be used in situations where there is no other alternative to achieve a given result.

  • Reply 11 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Search giant Google added another board to Flash's coffin on Tuesday with the announcement that it would warn users searching from mobile devices

     


     

    Here’s an idea: REMOVE websites that use Flash from the search results entirely. When these companies start going bankrupt because half the population isn’t visiting them, they’ll learn how to move to the 21st century.

     

    ...when the contents of a search result were “mostly Flash.” 


     

    CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

  • Reply 12 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post



    It doesn't say "mostly Flash" on the search page. It says "mostly Flash" in the Google blog entry explaining the change:

     

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/07/promoting-modern-websites-for-modern.html

     

    My guess is that Google's web crawler and search database processing algorithms can tell whether or not an alternate non-Flash content type is available for any given page, just as the hosting site figures out to serve up that content when it encounters a client browser that does not have Flash capability.

     

    Note that the search result page doesn't prevent the searcher from going to the page, it's just a warning that the page may not function on the device in question. What is the threshold? Who knows? It's not like Google would explain in detail how their proprietary search algorithm works, and it's not relevant anyhow for the end user.


    Google is pretty smart so I suspect you are correct about them knowing there is an alternate page, however that in itself, is a major change for Google because previously the bot would never execute any Javascript for concern of being attacked or trapped in a loop.

     

    But until we learn more I would still be interested to know the threshold as it could be relevant to both the end user and also to the developer who would probably like to know if they need to make changes to existing pages. It is especially important to commercial entities if the short description in the results gets removed when the page could be mostly useable on iOS regardless of the Flash content.

     

    I just tested it and it is apparently not in effect yet for my area. A lot of our associate companies still use Flash in their websites, so I tested a search for a page I knew was all Flash and Google did not prompt that message in the results. We have alternate content for all but a very few instances of Flash in our various websites, so personally, I'm not concerned about our stuff. The only places we still rely on Flash is inside our Continuing Education sites where it is used strictly for complex animations.

  • Reply 13 of 48
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,744member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    Another indication of Google Android proponents disconnect with reality; support for the supposedly open Google Android and support for proprietary Adobe Flash.

     

    I don't see that the way you do. If I happen to prefer an "open" product for a certain application (operating system, graphics subsystem, whatever), I can still prefer another product that isn't "open" for other applications without being a hypocrite. Maybe there's no decent open alternative. Maybe deliverables are overwhelmingly based on a certain proprietary technology. Maybe the interface is just better suited to my preferred way of doing things.

     

    One's preferences may differ depending on the application. Besides, real-world factors make it a hassle to be a total evangelist!

     

    For the record, I choose iOS because I don't wanna manage security myself and prefer to have my garden walled. I can see why others may feel differently, though, particularly when it comes to Flash. For better or worse, there's still a ton of stuff out there that's inaccessible without it.

  • Reply 14 of 48
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 657member
    I wish Hulu would stop using f'ing flash.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    If I could speak to Steve now I'd only ask him one question:

    "Have you got this weeks lottery numbers?"

    He is, was and always will be way ahead of his time. RIP Steve. X
  • Reply 16 of 48
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    So what to do?

    Can I scrap this monster (Flash) off my computer, and still get ALL videos off the net? Not just YouTube- all.

    I do have Safari extension Click To Flash installed. Does such allow me to jump Flash from computer.

    I am able to download any YouTube video directly so I can then transfer it to iTunes or save a copy on another HD; but cannot save vids from other sites though I can usually find their efforts on YouTube.

    YouTube is the one diamond that I appreciate from Google. (Even this warning from Google seems a step in the right direction and maybe a second diamond.) 

    I just do not want to lose any capabilities to download and store videos; but I would like to get rid of Flash, once and for all.

    Cheers and thanks for any recommendations. 

  • Reply 17 of 48
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    I don't see that the way you do. If I happen to prefer an "open" product for a certain application (operating system, graphics subsystem, whatever), I can still prefer another product that isn't "open" for other applications without being a hypocrite. Maybe there's no decent open alternative. Maybe deliverables are overwhelmingly based on a certain proprietary technology. Maybe the interface is just better suited to my preferred way of doing things.

    One's preferences may differ depending on the application. Besides, real-world factors make it a hassle to be a total evangelist!

    For the record, I choose iOS because I don't wanna manage security myself and prefer to have my garden walled. I can see why others may feel differently, though, particularly when it comes to Flash. For better or worse, there's still a ton of stuff out there that's inaccessible without it.

    You don't know how I "see" that.

    The issue I have is with sycophants who mindlessly chant their religious mantra of "open source" but ignore or even refute the fact that a significant portion of (the basis for) Apple OS X is open source.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    No. The death of Adobe Flash should be attributed almost singularly to Apple. Google Android proponents derided the lack of Adobe Flash support on Apple iPhones for years before finally accepting reality. Another indication of Google Android proponents disconnect with reality; support for the supposedly open Google Android and support for proprietary Adobe Flash.

    Yes, they did deride Apple because it presented a mild competitive advantage for Android. It took a while, but eventually most have come around to Steve's point of view on Flash. And that's the difference between those who accept convention and those who think different and are disciplined and courageous enough to see their vision through.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

    Can I scrap this monster (Flash) off my computer, and still get ALL videos off the net? Not just YouTube- all.

     

    Of course not ALL. Many–perhaps even most–but not all.

     

    You know, thinking about Flash still existing on the Internet so many years after the iPhone has exploded in popularity, use share, and how Flash’s iniquity has been shown to all platforms (and with HTML5 doing nigh everything it does), I have to wonder if the reason Flash is still used in such scope is porn.



    You know, the same industry that led VHS and Blu-ray to victory.

  • Reply 20 of 48
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,280member
    Flash is only good for this:

    http://www.fat-pie.com/

    And this:

    http://homestarrunner.com/
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