With all the hubbub from Steve Jobs about not allowing Flash on the iPhone and iPad, I can’t help but wonder what is there about Flash that Adobe can’t fix it. It’s not like it’s a beta product or something. Aside from bad implementations by users (and if so, why is that even possible since it’s not exactly assembly language), what is internal to Flash that prevents it from being fixed to make it robust enough for Jobs? And us lowly users for that matter.

Nothing sucks more than being on stage in front of a bunch of techies and having your demo crash on you twice. Actually, the only way that sucks more is if you’re Adobe and it’s Flash that’s crashing on a mobile device, forcing folks to wonder if Steve Jobs was right about the stability of Flash.

This incident happened last week at FlashCamp Seattle, according to a blog post by Jeff Croft, a Seattle developer who also moderated a panel at the event. Flash Platform evangelist Ryan Stewart was demoing Flash Player 10.1 on a Nexus One phone during the opening keynote when things went bad and then got worse.
To be fair, Croft notes that the problem with Hulu may not be the fault of Adobe and may be more with Hulu – but no one knows for sure. Also, he notes that Flash on Android is beta, which means it’s expected to be “crashy and buggy” at this stage.

Still, the natives are getting restless, he says, and are anxious to see a full Flash player that works well on mobile. A demo that crashes does little to help build confidence around a product or to prove that it’s almost ready for prime time.

  1. Zybch says:

    I must be the only one who hasn’t had any issues with flash other than how its implemented sometimes (by advertisers).
    Its a smllish plugin for Firefox at 1.8Mb, and provided you also run FlashBlock so you aren’t bombarded with crap from every 2nd page you view (again, thanks to idiotic webmasters and advertisers, not adobe) its never caused me any issues and I seriously can’t remember it ever crashing on me.
    On mobile devices, I simply can’t comment, but how hard can it be.
    Adobe have said many times that they have tried to work with apple to resolve the problems it has on apple’s flakey OS, but every time apple has apparently showed them the door, determined to keep flash from working well in their walled garden for crybaby trustfund toddlers.

  2. brm says:

    When I used OS X iTunes crashed more than Flash. Seriously.

    straying off topic, but…

    The real story is that Adobe permits people to create content not exclusive to the iPhone, and it allows people to use machines other than macs to create that content.

    If Apple lets a PC user create apps for the iPhone using Adobe products, they’ve lost a MacBook customer.

    I sometimes write Flash/Flex/Air apps at work. There are many necessary “enterprise-level” APIs available for Flex (in particular) that simply don’t exist for HTML 5.

    For big important apps that run on Flash (yes, they do exist) it’s not a simple matter of “just port it, dude.”

  3. TooManyPuppies says:

    Flash on my Nexus One isn’t something I want anyway. I hate it on the desktop too, so far as I uninstalled it from my MacBook and all my other Macs. It’s a horrendous CPU hog, spiking up to 80% of both cores and hovering around 70% usage just to watch a Youtube video.

  4. Steve S says:

    As a Windows user, I never really noticed Flash much except when I had to upgrade it. It just seems to work fine.
    Contrast this to the experience of many Mac users who appear to have lots of problems with Flash.
    It reminds me of the difference in using iTunes on a Mac vs Windows. I know it is not in Apple’s best interest to make iTunes run fast on Windows but come on now. Start iTunes, the computer is unresponsive for 45 seconds. Plug in my iPod Touch, the computer hangs for another 45 seconds. Apple may not have much of an incentive to make iTunes run well on Windows but this performance is embarrassing.

  5. Dallas says:

    The flash issue with Apple is very simple:

    Apple does NOT want Flash as a programming interface that takes away Apple’s control of developers. That’s it.

    There is nothing wrong with flash. The “buggy” issue is a non-issue. It’s an Apple red herring.

    Performance wise, Flash was written to run on a PC so it’s software based and yes, it is a CPU hog. Who cares as today’s CPU run at 3Ghz.

    The new Flash V10.1 is hardware enabled to run on shitty cellphone CPU’s so all the performance issues go away. Flash 10.1 will run on Android and stay tuned for that at next week’s Google IO conference.

  6. GF says:

    It doesn’t matter now that Android is outselling the iPhone.

  7. ECA says:

    Im sorry..
    The problem with Adobe, tends to be those that USE adobe for EVERYTHING.
    Lets say you have 2-3 windows open, and they are all running Java/adobe..
    1. is a movie/video..
    2. IS A Flash game..
    3. you open a SITe that is ALL adobe/flash..

    They all FIGHT for processing and so forth. 1 window bothers and SLOWS the others..
    YOU DONT NEED them to show movies/videos, the browsers have a player..but NO ONE WNATS TO USE IT..
    SITES…I havte sites I cant see that are WRAPPED in FLASH/ADOBE..

  8. jescott418 says:

    I could be way off base. But could Apple just not allow Adobe information about OS X that would help Adobe make Flash work better for OS X? I mena these two companies grew up together so it seems rather odd that Flash has become worse. I worked with both PC and Mac’s and definately Flash works better on the PC.

  9. Father says:

    Apple, from the start of the Mac, has blamed crashes on 3rd party software. They always have said that the Mac OS, since about version 6 or 7, “is the most stable Desktop OS.” All the while claiming Windows 3.11-Vista is “crash prone”.

    My experience is contrary to the claim, but I haven’t used anything later than Mac OS 9 and Win XP.

    While applications on Windows crash, from Windows 2000 on, apps don’t usually bring down the OS. While, on the Mac, through OS 9, an application crash often crashed the whole computer.

    The situation is suppose to be better under the, BSD based, Mac OS 10, but I don’t believe Apple on this point. And when Apple claims that the problems with thier system are due SOLELY to 3rd parties, I look at them with a jaundiced eye.

    On the iphone, just browsing the web can crash the Safari browser.

  10. Donal says:

    1. Flash works on Linux, BSD is also a *nix based OS so there is no problem with the underlying layer

    2. There is no longer a Big/Little endian issue now that Mac’s are Intel based

    3. The video cards are essentially the same for Mac/PC

    4. That leaves the top layer of the OS. Controlled by Apple. Who has the most to gain by selling Development Kits etc. Once flash apps work on a Mac you open up the possibility of bypassing all of the Mac controls.

    So the problem is: How does Apple get a piece of the pie?

    Follow the money.

  11. Buzz says:

    Wow. Flash Problem Deniers!

    Here are some clues:
    1. Obama was born in Hawaii. No, really!
    2. Tea Baggers are largely bitching at the wrong things.
    3. Flash really does have some problems.

    What’s next on the protest lines, signs that say “I got no problim with Flash, you morans!”

    Steve. Stop laughing and just buy Adobe; then fix it.

  12. gquaglia says:

    Why can’t Adobe make Flash work better? The same reason why Windows still seems to have problems. Arrogance, apathy, a feeling that your product works “good enough”. And by the way, Flash isn’t the only crap product Adobe makes. Acrobat reader is just as bad.

  13. jescott418 says:

    I guess my question to Steve would be, why on earth if Apple is so great, would they just abandon Flash rather then fix it and make their customers happy? It seems to me Flash is at least workable on any OS and many smart phones have it. So when I read things like that the common issue comes back to Apple and its OS and not anything else.
    Apple is the only one who seems to have a real problem with Flash.

  14. TruthBeTold says:

    #11….typical left wing moonbat. You have nothing to add that makes any sense so you resort start calling names.

    Jobs is like the “soup nazi” in the famous Seinfeld episode. If you do not follow his plan exactly, “No soup for you!”. And NO, you DO NOT NEED more than ONE mouse button!

  15. jobs says:

    There is a os x beta version of flash that Adobe says works as good or better then the windows version. I’ve been using it and it is running great and using only 20 to 30% cpu for single youtube video. But still this is not acceptable on a mobil device. A iPad can play hours of youtube videos and not even get warm.

    Do yourself a favor and watch the video of the flash demo on Android.

  16. qb says:

    I’ve been just itching to play Farmville on my Nexus One. That would be so totally awesome, right?

  17. Cursor_ says:

    I can honestly say I agree with Jobs on this (second time only) and that flash has run its course and is now like Real Player.

    Now what I don’t agree with is the continued cost of H.264. So unless Steve Jobby Jobs has an alternative, I would rather stick with flash for now.

    Not ideal, but sufficient.


  18. ECA says:

    Flash/adobe is being used to much.
    For things it shouldnt be used for.
    Sites that are ALL FLASH, are a pain to go to.
    Its hard to block anything thats ADVERT/spam.
    You have to let Anything that is on the site, ONTO your system. you cant stop it, if you wish to see the site.
    AND SWF, SUCKS. watching movies under SWF really are a PAIN. its not needed. it SHOULDNT be needed.

  19. Angel H. Wong says:

    See this little “gem” below, it’s a big example of a resource hogging flash app.


  20. mci says:

    Anyone who thinks that Apple cares much about how many “developer kits” (at all of 99 dollars a year) they sell, or how many Macs they sell to developers, is so utterly fail they should refrain from comment. Apple doesn’t care about selling developers anything. There aren’t that many of them.

    Jobs has outlined why he doesn’t want Flash on his devices: as a cross-platform tool, they undermine his own platform. He doesn’t want people writing cross-platform apps for a variety of reasons. Primarily it’s about his hardware becoming a commodity. If all the same apps are available everywhere, then Apple becomes no more interesting a company than Dell or Gateway.

  21. TheMAXX says:

    Flash does suck and Apple does not want flash applications competing with its app store. Both statements are correct. My amiga 500 could animate better than flash on a modern computer. Flash is meant for compatibility not for speed. Why is flash so slow on MAC compared to same hardware on Windows? I don’t know but it is still slow on windows.

  22. Donal says:

    #20: In other words, like I said… Follow the money

  23. Glenn E. says:

    Well any implementation of a Flash player, just eats up CPU cycles like nothing else does. Now why is that? It’s got to be something to do with the format. And changing the player, won’t fix that. It’s the proprietary nature of the format that Adobe stuck the world with. To fix it, would mean doing what Apple often does with Quicktime. Make improvements that cause older players to have incompatibilities with newer files. Wait a minute. Hasn’t Adobe done that too? And still it’s a CPU hog.


Bad Behavior has blocked 4719 access attempts in the last 7 days.