I have lately witnessed astonished the back and forth Apple and Adobe have been having about Flash. This whole fight started some six months ago when Steve Jobs stated that Flash is “No Longer Necessary” Here is a long letter from Steve Jobs where he exposes the ideas behind this decision.
I have been developing Flash for a good number of years, and even though I don’t have the same volume of Flash work anymore, this is affecting me, not for the number of requests for Flash design/develop I will be receiving but for the content I have created already. On this regard I am very curious about the new demo that Adobe is making available in order to convert .fla into html 5 sort of content.
Another thing I have came across these days is about Flash affecting battery life of laptops (MacBookAir more specifically).
What really got me to write this post was something that happened the other day. I have been having this “bug” where my cursor disappears from my Safari browser, it never happened to me with other browsers (but people in forums says that it also happens in Chrome). After a few days suffering this highly annoying issue I took some time to look it up and guess who is the guilty of the bug? Well, Apple claims that is some issue with the flash player, and some Actionscrip will trigger this behavior. From Adobe they claim that the bug is on Mac OS 10.6.4. Well, reinstalling the Flash plugin fixed the issue (so far).
How long is this fight going to be on and on? Why did Apple started this?
There are ways see what is going on:
- The reasons Steve gave on the April manifesto are all to it. If this is the case, is fine, but these short of decisions have to be taken slowly, preparing the market for it, wait until this demo is out in order to give people a chance to maneuver and provide their clients with real quality support. I personally think this is actually what happened and is all right, Steve Jobs is free to hate Flash and has the power to change the tendency of its use on the Internet. I just think he is damaging people that have created this content in the first place. This might not even be the best idea for Apple interests, and can backfire at some point. I am very curious on how this whole thing turns out.
- The second approach that you can see in some online forums these days is about Apple having a something on the works. They are generating this conflict with Adobe for some reason. This is an interesting concept specially since some people are saying that Apple wants to get in direct competition with Adobe in more fields of the software industry. First thing that comes to mind is Photoshop, the only piece of software that has no competition on the market. This might bring something very positive to everyone (see how much better Lightroom got when Aperture started to gain positions). Competition is going to benefit users, it doesn't matter if you use a Mac or not, you will profit of the improvements of Photoshop for your platform anyway. Also there has been some mysterious meetings between Adobe and Microsoft (this can’t be good).
One of the last additions to this story is that Apple will no longer pre-install the Flash plugin on Macs.
Well, I really hope this fight is taking us somewhere better to where we are right now. Technologies evolve, the needs of users evolve and we are sometimes a little reticent to drastic changes even when they are for the better. Are they for the better?