Apple slams Flash

Steve Jobs writes letter attacking Flash

Apple has published an open letter explaining its decision to ban Flash from iPhones, iPods and iPads.

For many years, Apple has not allowed Adobe videos to run on iPhone OS despite sustained criticism from web design experts. It has meant that owners of some of Apple's most popular devices are unable to fully view many interactive sites, videos and games.

Six reasons why Apple dislikes Flash

Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive officer and co-founder, has now given web design professionals a detailed insight into the ongoing ban. In a letter entitled 'Thoughts on Flash', he said that the decision was primarily based on technology issues rather than business concerns:

  • Openness - Apple criticised Adobe for operating a "closed system" and explained that it preferred to use open standards like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript
  • Full web - Adobe's argument that three quarters of web video is in Flash was dismissed with Mr Jobs claiming that almost all of it is also available in the lesser known H.264 format, which is compatible with iPhone OS
  • Reliability, security and performance - Apple claimed that Flash has a poor security record and is "the number one reason Macs crash"
  • Battery life - Mr Jobs stated that Adobe's format is too power-intensive, claiming an iPhone could either play up to ten straight hours of H.264 video or five hours of Flash
  • Touchscreen - Apple suggested that Flash sites are better suited to desktop PCs than smartphones because they frequently incorporate features like rollovers, in extra which content appears when a mouse hovers over a particular point
  • Third party - Apple revealed the most important reason of all was that "we cannot be at the mercy of a third party" by allowing Adobe to form a barrier between the platform and the web design community
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