Looks like Steve Jobs was right…
Mobile Flash Fail: Weak Android Player Proves Jobs Right
I?m the last person on earth who wanted to believe Steve Jobs when he told Walt Mossberg at D8 that ?Flash has had its day.? I took it as nothing more than showmanship when Jobs shared his thoughts on Flash and wrote that ?Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn?t support touch based devices.? After spending time playing with Flash Player 10.1 on the new Droid 2, the first Android 2.2 phone to come with the player pre-installed, I?m sad to admit that Steve Jobs was right. Adobe?s offering seems like it?s too little, too late.
How bad is mobile Flash? When I went to ABC.com and tried to play a clip, I waited five minutes while the player said ?loading.? During that time, it was nearly impossible to scroll around the page or tap objects on it. Eventually, I scrolled up to see a message that was previously obstructed and said ?Sorry. An error occurred while attempting to load the video. Please try again later.? It gets worse?
When I visited Fox.com and tried to start an episode of House, the program actually played but, even over Wi-Fi, the playback was slideshow-like. Worse still, the player became unresponsive as it ignored my attempts to tap the pause, volume, and slider buttons. At some point during playback, an overlay message warned me that this video was ?not optimized for mobile.? I encountered the same message when I tried to play a trailer of the Expendables that was embedded on the movie?s mySpace page. Wasn?t Flash 10.1 supposed to erase the boundaries between mobile and the desktop?
Unfortunately, most phone users don?t have the patience for bugs that hardcore geeks like myself do. Sometime this week, either Verizon or I will get an angry call from my mom when she tries watching a Flash video that locks up the screen or plays a Flash game that won?t respond because it expects a mouse clicks rather than finger taps. Both of us will probably advise her to disable the plug-in so we won?t get called again and she won?t see Flash again.
If Adobe can?t make its mobile plug-in work effectively with all Flash content, it needs to at least warn users and give them the option to cancel before it downloads and attempts to play a game or video that isn?t compatible with Flash Player 10.1 for phones. Popping up a cryptic message that says ?this video isn?t optimized for mobile? after it starts buffering is not acceptable.
More importantly, Adobe needs to have a better answer to whether or not Flash is still relevant in a world where other technologies have rapidly started displacing it. Based on my early experience with Flash Player 10.1 for mobile, it could soon join the floppy drive in the tech graveyard, something else Steve Jobs helped kill.
The posturing of Adobe is similar to the request from the RIAA to require FM radios in mobile devices. Both of them are attempts to force the market to support a product that is becoming less relevant.
“Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.” ?Norman Vincent Peale
Flash? What’s that. :wink:
I really don’t miss it on my iOS products. Most of the information gathering I do now is through apps. It’s a much better environment for reading news.