01/28/10

What was once just a faint, pondering thought that usually ended with “naaahhhhhh” has grown into much more of an actual possibility.

Will Apple kill Adobe Flash?

Sound crazy? It may have a couple of years ago. But now with the iPhone & iPod Touch with their gazillion users (sorry, too lazy to look up actual numbers, but I think that’s close) and with the recent introduction of the Apple iPad…what trend do you notice? Right…no flash support on any of those devices. Hmmmm. Conspiracy? Reality? Let’s go deeper.


Does Apple use Flash on their website? No. They use a mix of javascript/quicktime/h.264 and are leading the way to html5 support in web browsers with their latest version of Safari.

So…millions of people worldwide with devices that do not support flash but DO support fancy javascript and slick video using the “right” code.

Who’s move is it? Who will budge? Apple? Adobe?

Neither.

So what happens? Websites have been modifying their code to strip out flash and replace it with javascript and h.264 videos to be able to reach more users. And why not? Why wouldn’t websites want to dip into the extra millions of users carrying Apple mobile devices? Quite simply, Apple is controlling the market and the ultimate fate of Adobe Flash. Website developers are finding ways to tweak the snot out of javascript and do many of the things that has made flash so…well…flashy the past however many years. All of this coming from a company that motivated masses to “think different“.

Over the course of the next year, you will find that websites will be giving users less reasons to be upset that Apple mobile products do not support Flash. Website owners will have to. When you add on the impact of the currently weak economy, businesses are clamoring for every customer they can get their hands on. Why in the world would they willingly block their products/services to millions of potential customers? The smart ones won’t. They’ll adapt, push forward, and scoop up all of the customers that their competition remains invisible to. In short…the “visible” have the higher chance of survival.

Look, I like Flash. I love Adobe. Apple is cute too. They’re both pretty. I really wish they could get along. But they don’t.

Adobe is pulling the “I’m pretty too!” card with their latest “turn your Flash apps into iPhone apps” capability, but that’s not much more than desperate conformity at this point. It’s nice and all, but Adobe is playing into Apple’s hand.

With the strength of Apple’s App Store and the implications of providing Flash support on their mobile devices, Apple simply isn’t going to let it happen. They’re winning the fight. People are buying their products. Major websites such as YouTube and Vimeo are switching from Flash to HTML5/h.264 support. The tide is turning. Apple is riding the wave while Flash is getting lost in the ripcurl…ready for the wipeout. Whether we like it or not, Apple is the Big Kahuna now.

Interested in Flash alternatives?

There are plenty of technologies available that can allow you to do many of the things that Flash has been famous for over the years. Definitely get a firm grasp on HTML5, javascript libraries, and encoding video using h.264. Here are some resources to get you pointed in the right direction:

Javascript

HTML5

h.264

What others are saying:

What about you? Are you a website owner that uses Flash? Are you planning on replacing it with something else? Do you think all of this is hogwash? I’d love to hear your opinions!

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About Shane

Shane Eubanks
Internet Marketing Specialist
North Georgia

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