Flash Blather

Flash and the iPhone/iPad

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It has been a while since the last time I posted, and for those of you who hang on every word I say, I sincerely apologize for my time away from the blog. I’m going to make a concerted effort to post a little more regularly.

Okay. Down to business.

The issue of Apple’s decision to snub Flash on the iPhone and iPad has generated a lot of heated debate from Apple fanboys, Flash developers, and other people who love the Internet. The fanboys continue to think that Steve Jobs can do no wrong, the Flash developers want to continue making a living, and other people just want the best browsing experience possible. In the midst of this polarizing debate, there are surprisingly few people arguing for a balanced alternative. In the comments of a recent post that is definitely worth reading, Lee Brimelow argues for a few balanced options.

Many people have argued that a Flash plugin would simply run too slowly on the iPad or iPhone, but other mobile devices don’t seem to be having any issues with it. I know I’m not the first person saying this, but it seems to me that Steve Jobs has ousted Flash simply because it provides content that competes with his precious App Store.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a bit of a Mac fanboy myself. I’m just not on board with this particular decision.

Is Flash in Trouble?

Things are definitely changing. There are a lot of things being done in HTML5, AJAX, and jQuery that used to be possible only in Flash, and I would certainly argue that if you can accomplish something without using plugins, then you should at least try. However, there are still a lot of really amazing websites and web apps being created with Flash that absolutely cannot be accomplished by any other means. Brimelow points to the FWA website as a brilliant example of a gorgeous website that cannot be created using HTML5.

Many people are trying to pit HTML5 and Flash against each other, but they are both fantastic technologies that have their place. True, some people are creating some terribly simple things in Flash that would be better off created using something like jQuery, but that certainly doesn’t mean that Flash doesn’t have its place.

From what I can see, Flash is most certainly NOT on the way out. It would certainly behoove the Flash developer to learn some of these other technologies, but as long as we keep creating rich, eye-catching Flash content, there will continue to be a market for it.