Apple Worked With Adobe on Bringing Flash to iOS, But the Performance Was ‘Abysmal’

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 28 Apr 2021

Steve Jobs publicly expressed his hate for Adobe Flash. In fact, the iPhone can be largely credited for the death of Flash. However, at one point in time, Apple worked with Adobe to bring Flash support to the iPhone.

As revealed by former Apple executive Scott Forstall who led the development of the iPhone, iPad, and iOS until 2012, Apple helped Adobe bring Flash to the iPhone. However, the performance was abysmal, due to which they had to give up on it.

We did not ship Flash. We tried to make Flash work. We helped Adobe. We definitely were interested. Again, this is one where I thought if we could help make it work, this could be great. Flash has been such a problem because the way that it hooks into systems, it’s been a virus nightmare on Windows, even on the Mac. And when we got it running on iOS, the performance was just abysmal and embarrassing and it could never get to something which would be consumer value add.

Forstall revealed this tidbit as a part of his recorded deposition for the upcoming Apple v. Epic Games trial.

On his part, Steve Jobs had posted an open letter on Apple’s website criticizing Flash for its poor performance, security, the hit it brings to the battery life, lack of touch control, poor developmental tools, and more. He even said that “New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.” And ultimately, this is what has happened. Flash support was dropped from all browsers and operating systems earlier this year, with HTML5 now being the default choice for developers.

[Via 9to5Mac]