Apple's "dirty little secret" re: Flash

Discussion in 'iPad' started by samcraig, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Yes - sensationalistic thread title - sorry about that. Sincerely.

    There's obviously discussions going on about flash vs html5. And that flash is a resource hog. Debatable depending on who you talk to, of course based it's usage compared to html5.

    But, and it's not REALLY a dirty little secret - but considering that the iPad "only" has 256megs of ram - the decision to not even try for flash becomes a little more obvious.

    I'm not techy enough to know if 256megs is enough or not. I was always under the impression that it never hurt to have more.

    Now I'm not bashing at all - but realistically - given the amount of RAM, Flash would have made the iPad stall as if it had no processing power at all. And Apple, justifiably or not, was NEVER going to let that happen. No matter how much Adobe wanted to try and fix it.

    Put another way, politically - Put the focus on the "enemy." Instead of increasing specs and/or dealing with people's frustrations with your device over the specs, make the argument all about how Adobe is lazy. Flash is dead. Yadda Yadda. It's actually a great "move" - warranted or not.

    Ultimately - it never hurts to use less memory/bandwidth/compression. The more you do in that arena, the more you free up resources to do other things.

    So yes - Flash can be a resource hog. But if you have enough resources, it may go unnoticed. The "problem" is - with the iPad - there's just enough resources to do what Apple wants. No "extra."

    Again - I'm not bashing. I have and love using my iPad. But being in marketing, the brain always looks at how products are marketed and the public relation campaigns associated with them...
  2. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
  3. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Seriously. The answer is not to dump more RAM in when it can play other video, can play the ABC app, YouTube, and Apple HD and Handbraked videos smoothly. But it can't play low-res Flash videos b/c why? It is an unbelievable resource hog. Adobe can't even get it efficient enough to play well on a lot of desktops and laptops with gobs of RAM. If you have a blazing processor, tons of RAM, and a huge amount of bandwidth and every other kind of video plays flawlessly but flash, what does that say about flash?
  4. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    No. Did I write that? I personally have never had a problem with Flash. And while HTML5 can handle video decently - there's a ton that HTML5 can't do like Flash can.

    I've never had a problem with Flash running on any of my PCs. And I think I have only had MAYBE one slowdown or glitch with Flash on both my macbook pro and imac. Makes me wonder what the heck other people are doing/sites they are visiting that gives them such issues.

    I never said flash was the best or that I love flash. What I have said in the past is that flash is not going away anytime soon. And I firmly believe that.
  5. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I have a MBP with 2GB of RAM and Flash still sucks!

    I use Click2Flash (Flash blocker) on all my Macs both at home and at work.

    It allows for stuff on Youtube to be downloaded as H264 (if available) instead of the Flash version and H264 works so much better than the Flash version which takes ages to load and often stalls halfway through.
  6. Dorkington macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2010
    If Apple allowed Adobe the same level of hardware access that they get on other devices, Flash would perform fine for Apple products.

    The problem is, Apple doesn't like to give that level of access to Adobe.

    This has nothing to do with ram.
  7. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Flash eats batteries for lunch. That's why it is not part of Apple's mobile portfolio.

    Other phones with the same amount of ram can display it, so the amount of ram is not the reason.
  8. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I must admit I'm a flash hater. I had flashblock on Firefox for a long time. I finally had to relent when the sheer number of web sites offering "flash only" front ends became overwhelming.

    On my iPad, I've hit too many pages already that display that broken plugin logo and ask me to update my flash player.

    I say give us flash with a disclaimer but don't prevent us from reading what inconsiderate web authors hide behind flash.
  9. fishepa macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    I'm watching the Masters feed live on right now, it's using Flash 10 and the fan is on on my Dell Latitude D830. Loud as hell just because Flash is running.
  10. shakenmartini macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2008
    Honestly, if you don't know what you are talking about you should just stop trolling.

    The reason flash sucks is that when adobe bought flash from Macromedia, flash was sorely in need of a ground up rewrite. Instead video with flash took off so adobe spent most of their time cobbling together a good performing video player via flash instead of making the core tech work better.

    RAM is not the issue, flash and flash video ran on my old PCs with 256 M of RAM (although is was a resource hog). The issue is that flash as a code interpreter has not really been performance optimized. Instead of optimizing flash, adobe has instead iced the fact that commuting power is always increasing to avoid a sorely needed flash rewrite

    Seriously, the stuff that flash does is real simple stuff from the technical side and could easily be done with a lot less hardware. MS silverlight is a good example of a good performing rich media interpreter that uses way fewer resouces than flash. This is why MS made silverlight, they think flash sucks too. Heck, the fact that JavaScript runs so fast in browsers is testament to how good interpreted rich media can be when there is competition to make the best browser.
  11. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    The argument that Apple does not use Flash because it's a resource hog is very weak. All PCs (including netbooks) handle it easily and very soon most smart phones will be able to do the same. Perhaps the argument should be rephrased as follows: because Apple cares only about its profits and it always skimps on hardware (in this case RAM) in order to maintain high profit margins, Flash does not fit with Apples business model.
  12. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City

    Thank you. Nice to see some people understand the real reasons behind this vs others just hoping to throw enough hardware at a problem to make it tolerable.
  13. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    You want to add to the discussion and your expertise - whether accurate, more accurate or not accurate at all, fine.

    But the second you name call - I lose interest in what you have to say. Which is a shame since you bring up valid points.

    My post is not trolling at all. If I wanted to troll I would have been FAR more incendiary instead of raising a hypothesis.
  14. CyberBob859 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2007
    I think Apple doesn't like Flash for one simple reason.

    Flash is used in a lot of ads. Apple wants to get into online ads with their rumored "iAd" campaign for the iPad. Apple wants to control how the ads are made and get revenue from it. Hence no Flash.

    Has nothing to do with performance. Has everything to do with cutting out a potential competitor and developing a potentially huge revenue stream.

    That's my take.
  15. wilycoder macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    8 terabytes of RAM and a 100-core processor wont solve the Flash problem of handling MouseOver events in a touch interface.
  16. bchreng macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    I've suspected that may be the case. I'm not sure whether it has to do with the way OSX was programmed or the low system specs or both. My Intel C2D Macbook with the Nvidia 9400m chip goes crazy when I view the higher res Youtube videos. My Win7 notebook with i5 and Intel graphics plays through them just fine without kicking the fan in to high gear.
  17. chriskzoo macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2005
    Watching it on my iPad using the Masters iPhone app - pic actually looks quite nice blown up 2X and running without a hitch.
  18. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    Then of course, if you need a special app for each event in the world it might get tiresome. And who wins? Apple. It gets its fee. Users gain nothing.
  19. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    Please explain how you inferred from Sam's post that flash "sucks"? I just GOTTA hear this! Go for it!
  20. bluehaze013 macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    Flash runs fine on my android phone with 256 RAM and a supposedly slower processor than the ipad has so it's nothing to do with performance on the ipad. I think the real reason he's pushing HTML5 was announced today at Apples presser for OS 4.0


    "The average user spends over 30 minutes every day using apps on their phone. If we said we wanted to put an ad up every 3 minutes, that's 10 ads per device per day. That would be 1billion ad opportunities per day."

    "This is a pretty serious opportunity, and it's an incredible demographic. But we want to do more than that. We want to change the quality of the ads too."

    "We've taken some brands that we love and made some ads for them... we made some fun ads, these are not endorsements."

    "Here's some news... there's an ad for Toy Story 3 down there... it's a great movie Disney is putting out. I've seen it, it's a really good movie!" Ha! Big laughs. "So all this is done in HTML5 by the way." Ouch! More laughs for Steve.
  21. shakenmartini macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2008
    That is part of it, and the other part is that Apple and Apple users hate the fact that flash on the mac is utterly pitiful and has always been this way.

    Adobe screwed themselves out of the iPhone/iPad market because they failed for so many years to fix performance issues and as a result Apple isn't even going to give them a chance to screw things up.

    This and plug-in technology for browsers is stupid. The web should only exist on open standards. Thus browser makers can compete on how quickly and accurately they render pages and content.

    Example, javascript. Browsers can render some really sweet tricks with javascript entirely because there are 3-4 companies all competing to make their browsers render javascript both extremely quickly and accurately.

    Flash would be an outstanding platform if Adobe would open up the rendering engine. Then everyone and their grandma would be recoding the plug in to work better on their browser, platform and device. Adobe could still reap tons of money off of flash authoring tools. However, Adobe chooses to keep closed and is fixing it with chewing bum and bailing wire and the platform suffers miserably from this.
  22. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Flash is crap, its an unstable resource hog. I'm very happy that Apple doesn't support it.

    Nothing would make me happier then to see it die off. It will take some time, but flash will follow the way of Java. (browser plugin wise) It will die off eventually and I will do some shots of Jäger to celebrate its demise.
  23. bchreng macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Geez dude, you seem pretty bitter. I'm not a developer, but Flash seems pretty stable for me when I follow the NBA game online, chat and play games on Facebook and watch shows on Hulu. :confused:
  24. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I am a developer and I have no respect for how poorly Flash is implemented. Without getting into details, I am forced to deal with flash on a daily basis and I cringe at how poorly its maintained by Adobe.
  25. bluehaze013 macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    Then I take it you've seen Flash 10.1 which offloads processing to the GPU freeing up the CPU for other tasks?

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