Poor Performance Of Flash Player 10.1 On Droid 2 Justifies Apple’s Decision To Not Allow Flash On The iPhone

BY Andy

Published 21 Aug 2010

Adobe Flash for Mobile

Adobe had recently launched its new Flash Player 10.1 for mobile that is now being offered on the latest version of the Android OS. The launch has raised considerable interest and has got several iPhone users wondering if this could in any way bring Flash to their iDevices.

However, according to Avram Piltch from the Laptop Magazine, Flash for mobile may still be a long way from offering users an ideal experience.

Laptop Magazine has been evaluating Flash Player 10.1 on the new Droid 2 that comes pre-installed with the multimedia platform. He reports that Flash videos on Sony.com, that were optimized for the mobile web, ran much smoother than the Flash videos on websites like ABC.com that were designed for a PC. He notes:

"The difference between the smooth Flash trailers on Sony.com, the jerky episode of CSI, and the system-stalling Flash video on Fox.com is that the smoother ones were optimized specifically for phone playback. But if content providers have to go back and optimize their videos for mobile platforms, one of the key benefits of mobile Flash–backward compatibility with millions of existing videos–is lost. If you’re modifying your videos anyway, why not go the full monty and use an HTML 5 player instead of Flash?"

Piltch also notes that Flash content on websites like NYTimes.com often faced trouble loading that caused the phone to freeze. Further, as it has often been pointed out in the past, Flash-based games were not ideal for a mobile platform. He writes:

"When I tried going to famous Flash game sites like Newgrounds or Addicting Games, I found that, as Steve Jobs said, “Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers.” Many of the games I loaded were slow to start and slowed the system, making it difficult to scroll around the page or tap on links. But much worse was that, even when these titles loaded, there was no way to control most of the action. Most games required keyboard or mouse actions I simply could not perform on my phone, even with its QWERTY slider. One shooter wanted me to hit the CTRL key to fire; another asked for the left mouse button."

Avram Piltch's observations seem to justify Steve Jobs' reasons for not incorporating Flash on the iPhone. While critics may argue that having an option to install Flash may be better than not having a choice at all.

Apple's ban on Adobe Flash hasn’t stopped Comex, developer of jailbreaking tools like JailbreakMe and Spirit from figuring out a way to hack iOS to get Flash content to work on Apple’s iDevices. Users who have jailbroken their iPhone can easily install Frash – a hack that allows Flash to run on the iPhone.

Based on Laptop Magazine's tests, do you think Apple has set the right precedent in not allowing Flash on the iPhone? Do you really miss it? Tell us your views in the comments.

[via Laptop Mag]