Flash developer explains iPad & iPhone issues

The feud between Apple and Adobe regarding Flash support for Apple's touchscreen mobile devices is long and ongoing, with the rivalry found all the way at the top, with the CEO of the Cupertino-based company, Steve Jobs, being no big fan of Adobe's software. A lot of people complain that Apple should support the technology, though during the weekend, an engineer who is currently working on Flash has explained the technical issues that are stopping it from becoming a reality.

Morgan Adams, the aforementioned engineer, explained on the AppleInsider forums the blatantly obvious that many have seemed to miss: Flash is heavily reliant on the cursor. Be it mouse-overs, or just simple interactivity, Flash needs a mouse to function correctly a vast majority of the time. Gizmodo added to this, explaining that, sure, Apple could implement Flash support, and some portions of it would work. Video players that simply require activating any play or pause buttons available should work as intended (for the most part), but everything else would simply fail. They continue to argue that users would be even more frustrated seeing content they couldn't interact with, rather than simply having nothing there at all.

Adams believes that the only viable solution is to have all Flash content rewritten to support touch screen devices, which would take a lot of work on the part of multiple parties, so currently it isn't really an option. "So it's not just that Apple has refused to support Flash. It cannot, logically, be done. A finger is not a mouse, and Flash sites are designed to require a mouse pointer (and keyboard) in fundamental ways. Someday that may change, and every Flash site could be redesigned with touch-friendly Flash. But that doesn't make Flash sites work now," Adams stated, and correctly so. Either way you look at it, the possibility of an acceptable port of Flash on touchscreen devices seems less and less likely every day.

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The biggest problem here is FLV content players. That is also what most people complain about lacking on iPhone OS. If apple were to pull their finger out and concentrate on the playing of FLV content, I think that the most people would be the most happiest. Apple wouldn't have to worry about crappy Flash apps etc. but people would still be able to view 90% of the video content which they are sorely missing on the iPhone.

This seems like nonsense to me... If this were the case I would imagine Apple or Adobe would have mentioned this as opposed to making fools of themselves over this bickering and name calling (On the part of Jobs)...

This just seems silly.

You guys are forgetting one important fact... The pr0n industry will dictate Flash's fate. If they keep using Flash to push their content then I don't see Flash going anywhere in the near future. But, if they switch to HTML5 video, then it will be the death of Flash.

Can someone please confirm that the so called engineer is really working for adobe? Since you have posted this news item on the main page, I think you have to do this, neowin editors :-)

Cite "old tech" all you want, the point is Flash (in its current form) is a major element of the internet.

Many websites depend on Flash to drive advertisements and other user-interactivity. Any iTouch, iPhone, iPad that visits a website that depends on Flash advertisements to drive revenue are being shafted, heck there are quite a few online game markets that use flash to provide content. Adobe can improve flash on the Apple platforms but they would access to API's that Apple covets.

Steve Jobs lives in his own 'special' world and believes that by not supporting a currently used technology he is going to drive the market to change to his own whim. Steve's (and Apple's) 'market' arrogance is going to be their ultimate end as their competition (Google, Windows, heck even Linux) will provide support for existing internet technologies in addition to 'future' HTML5/WebGL tech.

Maybe, just maybe Apple will bend when they notice their competition trumping them.

betax said,
Cite "old tech" all you want, the point is Flash (in its current form) is a major element of the internet.

Many websites depend on Flash to drive advertisements and other user-interactivity. Any iTouch, iPhone, iPad that visits a website that depends on Flash advertisements to drive revenue are being shafted, heck there are quite a few online game markets that use flash to provide content. Adobe can improve flash on the Apple platforms but they would access to API's that Apple covets.

Steve Jobs lives in his own 'special' world and believes that by not supporting a currently used technology he is going to drive the market to change to his own whim. Steve's (and Apple's) 'market' arrogance is going to be their ultimate end as their competition (Google, Windows, heck even Linux) will provide support for existing internet technologies in addition to 'future' HTML5/WebGL tech.

Maybe, just maybe Apple will bend when they notice their competition trumping them.

I agree, 100% with this post.

It is our freedom to choose, Apple and companies like them are getting away with this kind of dictatorship marketing arguments and they are getting away with it and some people actual encourage this kind of behavior from this kind of company. I, like the few out there believe in Freedom of choice, just like the oil and car American companies this will be realize to late

i am GLAD flash is not on the iPhone/iPod Touch.
if they implement it, i want a Settings option to turn it the crap OFF

i hate goign to a site and seing a crap load of flash adverts, yes i agree for income they are benifitial, but for the love of all that is digital, you dont need to compas a majority of my screen not letting me do anything other then hitting the X or skip link in the advert, and Internet forbit that i actually accidentially mouse over a word while scrolling in the body that shows a popup

¿Have you guys ever heard about WebGL?

http://www.khronos.org/webgl/

A coalition that includes three of the four leading alternative Web browser manufacturers -- Mozilla, Google, and Opera Software -- along with graphics processor leaders AMD (ATI) and Nvidia, announced this morning their intention to produce a royalty-free mechanism for producing hardware-assisted 3D graphics using JavaScript-enabled Web pages, for initial distribution during the first half of next year.

Based on OpenGL ES, the WebGL language could conceivably open up the field of Web applications to classes of software traditionally reserved for local, on-system installation, including computer-aided design and engineering, rich visualization, and of course, gaming. While the <CANVAS> element in HTML 5 is already geared for 3D geometry, what WebGL would enable is the ability for JavaScript developers to utilize the GPU to produce fast, fluid, rendered scenes, effectively extending the already proven OpenGL ES system used by Sony's PlayStation 3, to the realm of Web apps.

Apple is right about stop supporting flash, its obsolete and holding web development due to its adopting in big scale all these years. Is over Adobe. And for Silverlight it's the same.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10416966-264.html

"Of course, there's more to the world than Windows. Khronos Group spokesman Jonathan Hirshon pointed out that smartphones ship with OpenGL ES; the iPhone 3GS supports version 2.0.

Microsoft didn't comment on its plans for WebGL. It isn't a member of the Khronos Group, but of late it's been looking more favorably on Web standards when it comes to Internet Explorer's design.

Adobe Systems' Flash, too, has some 3D support, and it's widely installed. "It would be great if they [Adobe] were to implement WebGL in AIR or Flash," Vukicevic said. That could help spread the technology to Internet Explorer users, he said.

The biggest competitor, though, is doing 3D in a regular operating system. There, programming tools are more mature, hardware support is more consistent, performance is better--and the industry has hardly stopped advancing.

For WebGL to truly meet its potential, browser makers will have to convince programmers to adopt a new way of working. The Web has plenty of advantages in usage and ubiquity, but it has a way to go before it can match many native operating system abilities."

"Flash is heavily reliant on the cursor. Be it mouse-overs, or just simple interactivity, Flash needs a mouse to function correctly a vast majority of the time."
What? No

You could easily implement a cursor with a touch screen.

Adobe are a bunch of lazy *******s. 64bit OSs have been out for years now and there is still no 64-bit browser support. WTF!!!

Because very few people actually care? How many browser manufacturers are really pushing 64bit? Sure many offer 64bit ones but you probably need to follow some obscure link on their download page to find it.

Last I recall MS wasn't exactly pushing 64bit support in silverlight either. Why should it be adobes job alone to convince people to make the jump to 64bit?

Looking at the big picture I am glad the iPhone does not have flash. All those damned web ad's and crap cluttering up the screen and causing pages to load slower.

Only thing that really sucks is those pages that are all flash (most game and movie sites now a days). But hell I hate all flash sites on a desktop/laptop anyhow.

necrosis said,
Looking at the big picture I am glad the iPhone does not have flash. All those damned web ad's and crap cluttering up the screen and causing pages to load slower.

Only thing that really sucks is those pages that are all flash (most game and movie sites now a days). But hell I hate all flash sites on a desktop/laptop anyhow.

What, you don't like hearing that you are the 1000th viewer of the day and its not a scam. YOU ARE A WINNER!

While I don't care 1 way or the other -- won't be buying an iPad -- & while I greatly dislike Flash the way it's [over] used, my polite guess is that the cursor argument is trivial at best.

Any touch device HAS to translate touch into coordinates -- otherwise how would it know what you touched? When I move my mouse cursor & click it works based on the cursor's coordinates. Whatever code's needed to feed those coordinates to a Flash-based game, video, or whatever is not going to drastically effect battery life, which was after all the reason Jobs gave.

First Steve Jobs acts like a spoiled **** ("waaaahhh, I don't want Flash to hurt my app sales, and HTML5 will replace Flash anyway" - LOL), and now his faithful "engineer" makes these retarded comments with ridiculous generalisations ("vast majority of Flash content requires a mouse cursor" - WRONG).

What a load of absolute CRAP. This **** is getting OLD.

I can't wait for Adobe to just not support Flash on the iPhone/Pod/Pad even if Apple wanted them to (and they will if every other smartphone OS does). Infact, I hope Adobe supports Apple less and less. Mac sales would plummet if Adobe's creative software was no longer available. Keep pushing those buttons old Stevie boy, and watch your empire crumble AGAIN. Duuhhhhh...

I don't get it. How do you know what the majority of Flash content is? Where is the link to your source as I am sure you haven't personally looked at every piece of Flash online. The small portion of the Internet you frequent isn't the representative of the whole (although it may look like it to you).

Of course the Engineer could easily be making this up or blowing it all out of proportion fo aid in Adobe's side of the argument, but counter-arguments need to have some proof. Especially since Adobe should know better than anyone the usage trends of one of their flagship products.

Frazell Thomas said,
How do you know what the majority of Flash content is? Where is the link to your source as I am sure you haven't personally looked at every piece of Flash online.

Are you serious? Flash developers have been aware of accessibility issues like this for years... I don't need a "source" or statistics to know this is yet another pathetic attempt to harm public opinion of Flash, and once again people are drinking the Apple Kool-Aid without giving it a moment of thought.

Read Mike Chambers recent blog post:
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2010/02/22/flash-player-content-mouse-events-and-touch-input/#more-1966

Apple are boring.

noleafclover said,

Are you serious? Flash developers have been aware of accessibility issues like this for years... I don't need a "source" or statistics to know this is yet another pathetic attempt to harm public opinion of Flash, and once again people are drinking the Apple Kool-Aid without giving it a moment of thought.

Read Mike Chambers recent blog post:
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2010/02/22/flash-player-content-mouse-events-and-touch-input/#more-1966

Apple are boring.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/
Nough said:

Its technically not right, the event of mouse over or click, can be applied by any pointer no matter whether its a mouse or input device as an iphone screen, my question is did this developer thought that he is talking to stupid people or what?!

Umm, so then 10.1 Flash for Android devices is not real then? Apple really needs to get their heads out of their butts on this. Flash works FINE on mobile devices, they are just being douches.

Lexcyn said,
Umm, so then 10.1 Flash for Android devices is not real then? Apple really needs to get their heads out of their butts on this. Flash works FINE on mobile devices, they are just being douches.

Or maybe you can do some research before making retarded assumptions? Flash will be working with CS5 because Adobe decided to stop being douches and make a decent tool that supports an apple product.
*shocker*
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/

SputnikGamer said,

Or maybe you can do some research before making retarded assumptions? Flash will be working with CS5 because Adobe decided to stop being douches and make a decent tool that supports an apple product.
*shocker*
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/


What exactly was I 'assuming' in what I said? Apple IS being a douche about Flash. And Flash DOES exist & work on mobile devices.

I'm going to list this as a minor issue personally. I'm sure most of the flash content people care about would at most need to be able to register direct clicks, not a constant cursor moving about. Hell I'm sure most people want it just to play video's online. The bigger issue to me seems to clearly be that if they support flash then app developers can effectively bypass apples App Store quite easily.

Smigit said,
I'm going to list this as a minor issue personally. I'm sure most of the flash content people care about would at most need to be able to register direct clicks, not a constant cursor moving about. Hell I'm sure most people want it just to play video's online. The bigger issue to me seems to clearly be that if they support flash then app developers can effectively bypass apples App Store quite easily.

But Google support Flash even when Google is trying to push their own app store, also Microsoft and Nokia.

Google, MS and Nokia aren't Apple but. None of them have ever tried to control the experience nearly as much as Apple does. For another example see them pulling content with adult content this week from the store without notice.

satus said,
WT ?? ?? Just add it in. People can use sausage or hotdog as the stylus.
I heard about this the other day. Very funny:

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/South-Korea-Sausages-iPhone-Stylus,news-5815.htm

Edited by Nick H., Feb 22 2010, 12:58pm : Maybe I didn't...

I used flash via remote desktop from an iphone last time I needed this functionality. Seemed to work just fine. Also, can't touch do anything a mouse can do? Obviously, you can't right click but often this is solved by touch and hold.

crazyfish said,
I used flash via remote desktop from an iphone last time I needed this functionality. Seemed to work just fine. Also, can't touch do anything a mouse can do? Obviously, you can't right click but often this is solved by touch and hold.

I guess the issue here is that there's only one mouse cursor, but people normally have at least 4 fingers, which can be used to touch at once This is a major change, not a minor.

Xire said,

I guess the issue here is that there's only one mouse cursor, but people normally have at least 4 fingers, which can be used to touch at once This is a major change, not a minor.

Multi-touch event gestures wouldn't necessarily have to translate into flash events. If a user puts more than two fingers on the screen flash wouldn't get passed any mouse event.

Soldiers33 said,

and youknow more than the developer himself?

How do you know, the developer says the truth?

Edited by Dead'Soul, Feb 22 2010, 11:41am : typo

How many flash apps would need to constantly track the mice cursor? I mean really.

And what happens then if someone decides to browse the web on any other touch screen device that supports flash be it a Windows tablet to any of the other mobile devices Adobe supports. Yes, there will be some transitional issues but I really think this isn't going to break that many apps.

virtorio said,

In this case it certainly appears so.

It still sounds like a cheap excuse to me.
You won't be able to play flash games but hitting the play button would not be an issue.

Nicholas P. said,

It still sounds like a cheap excuse to me.
You won't be able to play flash games but hitting the play button would not be an issue.


I get the sense that he's a Flash developer, as in, someone who develops on the Flash platform, as am I, and as I'm sure are many others here. He's not someone who wrote Flash, and he's obviously no authority on the matter.

There are Flash pieces that are developed to rely on mouse overs, but that's a developer's choice, and it would be very easy to develop Flash applications with mobile devices in mind. In fact, the upcoming version of Flash can compile to native iPhone/iPad app, so that really takes a crap all over this dumb little theory.

AJCrowley Esq said,

so that really takes a crap all over this dumb little theory.

Not really. Just means the new versions contain whats needed to resolve the issue.

I can see this being a *minor* issue but to me this is similar to the differences between computer mice and touchpads. There are well established touchpad gestures that map onto the existing mouse API that laptop users do without thinking about it.

Yes, I can see there are some technical challenges but really this isn't one of them.

DonC said,
I can see this being a *minor* issue but to me this is similar to the differences between computer mice and touchpads. There are well established touchpad gestures that map onto the existing mouse API that laptop users do without thinking about it.

Yes, I can see there are some technical challenges but really this isn't one of them.

It's not the gestures that are the problem, it's the mouse movement. For example when a mouse moves into or out of an element. There are many flash apps which expect these events and with a touch screen, they won't be triggered.

They're not saying that it's not possible to build a stable flash release for these devices, they're just saying that a lot of apps won't function correctly because certain events will never take place.

BeLGaRaTh said,
Maybe MS should step in with Silverlight, so much better than Flash anyway :)

It's so good that MLB.com ran away from it after one year and went to Flash.

Bemani Dog said,

It's so good that MLB.com ran away from it after one year and went to Flash.

They're lazy. It's working fine webcasting the Olympics.

BeLGaRaTh said,
Maybe MS should step in with Silverlight, so much better than Flash anyway :)

Right now is an excellent time for Silverlight to steal the spotlight from Flash. With all this negative publicity surrounding Flash, it is a good time for MS to say "hello? Here is an alternative..."

Shadrack said,

Right now is an excellent time for Silverlight to steal the spotlight from Flash. With all this negative publicity surrounding Flash, it is a good time for MS to say "hello? Here is an alternative..."

+1

GreyWolf said,

They're lazy. It's working fine webcasting the Olympics.

hehe Owned. Yeah flash does suck doesn't.

noleafclover said,
Flash has touch APIs, Apple are just clutching at straws.

Except it isn't Apple making these statements, its a Flash developer.

Yakuzing said,
I wonder why Flash did not start developing for touch devices ^^

i've always wondered why nobody made a mouse-emulation mode for flash... like drag your finger = mouse cursor, tap = click , press 2 fingers = drag... tapping with your second finger should also register as clicks...

I guess this has been overlooked but overall it's Jobs being a douche about the whole thing. The HTC Desire will support flash and I bet it won't kill the phones battery. Get over it Jobs.

Tom W said,
I guess this has been overlooked but overall it's Jobs being a douche about the whole thing. The HTC Desire will support flash and I bet it won't kill the phones battery. Get over it Jobs.

Tell Adobe to get off their lazy arses and make flash much better with less cpu usage, memory issues, and security issues. When that happens, it will be added. Flash is just a bunch of crap. It's overused and abused. And it's even hell on internet connections that aren't fast. You more likely see the constant loading.

ZekeComa said,

Tell Adobe to get off their lazy arses and make flash much better with less cpu usage, memory issues, and security issues. When that happens, it will be added. Flash is just a bunch of crap. It's overused and abused. And it's even hell on internet connections that aren't fast. You more likely see the constant loading.

Flash 10.1 search for it.

stevember said,

Flash 10.1 search for it.

Flash 10.1? it still sucks; given beta 2 still a try - it needs atleast another 2 years worth of development before I would ever put it near my machines. It is a piece of crap developed by crap developers by a company managed by zealots, idiots and half witts.

rawr_boy81 said,

Flash 10.1? it still sucks; given beta 2 still a try - it needs atleast another 2 years worth of development before I would ever put it near my machines. It is a piece of crap developed by crap developers by a company managed by zealots, idiots and half witts.

Shh, use your indoor voice. Sure flash needs improving, but the only one sounding like a half wit zealot is you.

rawr_boy81 said,
a company managed by zealots, idiots and half witts.

I thought we were talking about Adobe not Apple... :P

I kid I kid, the only reason I believe flash hasn't made it on to the iPhone / iTouch / iPad / iNextBigThing is because the App Store would lose some sales due to people playing fash alternatives and not paying for the App Store version.

I see the point being made by the flash developer though.

Edited by jelli, Feb 22 2010, 12:27pm :

rawr_boy81 said,

Flash 10.1? it still sucks; given beta 2 still a try - it needs atleast another 2 years worth of development before I would ever put it near my machines. It is a piece of crap developed by crap developers by a company managed by zealots, idiots and half witts.

Yea mate, get of that P2 your running, it's ancient. Flash works perfectly fine on my phone which is an Omnia with a 636 (?) mhz processor, no issues whatsoever. Yea sure, it runs a mobile version of flash but big whoop.

Tom W said,
I guess this has been overlooked but overall it's Jobs being a douche about the whole thing. The HTC Desire will support flash and I bet it won't kill the phones battery. Get over it Jobs.
Maybe Jobs would be more willing to work with Adobe, if Adobe, fixed, or at least attempted to fix, Flash for MacOS ? Given the joke that it is, why would jobs want Adobe anywhere near the iPhone/Pad/Pod ? It would be like MS finding the most buggy software for windows, then bundling it with the OS..

Ryoken said,
Maybe Jobs would be more willing to work with Adobe, if Adobe, fixed, or at least attempted to fix, Flash for MacOS ? Given the joke that it is, why would jobs want Adobe anywhere near the iPhone/Pad/Pod ? It would be like MS finding the most buggy software for windows, then bundling it with the OS..

They already do, it's called Internet Exploiter. I mean Internet Explorer.

Edited by ZekeComa, Feb 22 2010, 3:47pm :

ZekeComa said,

They already do, it's called Internet Exploiter. I mean Internet Explorer.
Ha Ha Ha .. Oh wait I haven't had an IE Related crash ( excluding from Java/Flash/etc ) since version 6..

Ryoken said,
Ha Ha Ha .. Oh wait I haven't had an IE Related crash ( excluding from Java/Flash/etc ) since version 6..

Just painful load start up and page rendering times... Must have a lot of time on your hand if you are still using IE.

Ryoken said,
Ha Ha Ha .. Oh wait I haven't had an IE Related crash ( excluding from Java/Flash/etc ) since version 6..

If you visit random sites (more than likely by just googling). You will run in to driveby installers and what not. Because Microsoft allowed too much access to ActiveX. If Microsoft would just remove ActiveX and gave a decent plugin manager and actually worked with W3C instead of trying to make there own standards to lock in users. IE wouldn't be that bad to use.

ZekeComa said,

If you visit random sites (more than likely by just googling). You will run in to driveby installers and what not. Because Microsoft allowed too much access to ActiveX. If Microsoft would just remove ActiveX and gave a decent plugin manager and actually worked with W3C instead of trying to make there own standards to lock in users. IE wouldn't be that bad to use.


Yawn. Boring troll is boring...

jelli said,

I thought we were talking about Adobe not Apple... :P

I kid I kid, the only reason I believe flash hasn't made it on to the iPhone / iTouch / iPad / iNextBigThing is because the App Store would lose some sales due to people playing fash alternatives and not paying for the App Store version.

I see the point being made by the flash developer though.

That point is not valid since the newer versions of Flash can export into formats that can be submitted to the store.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/

SputnikGamer said,

That point is not valid since the newer versions of Flash can export into formats that can be submitted to the store.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/

And apple still get their money.

And here was I thinking all flash was used for is ads.

I use flashblock in firefox, and haven't really noticed a loss of usability on the internet. If anything my experience is enhanced with the faster loading websites.

dvb2000 said,
And here was I thinking all flash was used for is ads.

I use flashblock in firefox, and haven't really noticed a loss of usability on the internet. If anything my experience is enhanced with the faster loading websites.


fail... lol... i hope that was sarcasm..lol

It is our freedom to choose, Apple and companies like them are getting away with this kind of dictatorship marketing arguments and some people actual encourage this kind of behavior from this kind of company. I, like the few out there believe in Freedom of choice, just like the oil and car American companies this will be realize to late

Edited by Lw011, Feb 22 2010, 6:26pm :

Lw011 said,
It is our freedom to choose, Apple and companies like them are getting away with this kind of dictatorship marketing arguments and some people actual encourage this kind of behavior from this kind of company. I, like the few out there believe in Freedom of choice, just like the oil and car American companies this will be realize to late

You just ignored the fact that Apple also have the freedom to choose to put what they want on their product.

Jebadiah said,

You just ignored the fact that Apple also have the freedom to choose to put what they want on their product.

Quiet you! You might hurt his feelings showing him his hyprocrisy and lack of understanding!

@lw011... your choice, don't buy an iPad... was that so hard?

Jebadiah said,
You just ignored the fact that Apple also have the freedom to choose to put what they want on their product.

Can they put some uranium inside?

P.S. They can even market it hard with the "The battery is so good, it will outlive yourself!" line.

RealFduch said,

Can they put some uranium inside?

P.S. They can even market it hard with the "The battery is so good, it will outlive yourself!" line.

So based on your comparison, if Flash is not included on an IPod, you will die?