We've covered Apple's forthcoming iPad
with a pretty good level of detail, but one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is Flash. Or, the lack thereof, we should say. Steve Jobs was adamant on stage during his iPad introduction that the browsing experience was best in class, but when we think about browsing, we think Flash. Adobe's Flash helps to push content from Hulu, a number of TV networks and it powers a multitude of sites on the web today.
Apple's iPhone has never supported Flash, and existing owners are none too happy about it. The only reason Apple gets a pass is that Mobile Safari is so stellar otherwise. In almost every non-Flash scenario, Mobile Safari beats out any other mobile web browser. But the iPad won't get that same pass. The iPad is tailor made to watch multimedia, particularly video. Does Apple really expect to excite people when all the iPad can do is watch YouTube HD clips? Doubtful.
Adobe has taken the necessary step of putting out a blog post scolding Apple
for their refusal to adopt to one of the web's most critical technologies, and frankly, we couldn't agree more with their stance. Even in Jobs' demo of surfing the New York Times webpage, onlookers spotted a "No Flash Plug-in Installed" error logo. Embarrassing. It's really amazing that Apple refuses to bring Flash support to the iPad, particularly since that A4 CPU has so much power that is going unused.
Here's the exact statement from Adobe, and yes, it's a doozy.
It looks like 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. 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.
If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab -- not to mention the millions of other sites on the web -- I'll be out of luck.
Adobe and more than 50 of our partners in the Open Screen Project
are working to enable developers and content publishers to deliver to
any device, so that consumers have open access to their favorite
interactive media, content, and applications across platform,
regardless of the device that people choose to use.