On Jobs’s thoughts on Flash

Yesterday, our favourite black turtleneck-wearing guru published a short essay detailing his Thoughts on Flash, where he details why Adobe’s Flash will never by supported on his iPhones and iPads.

Recommended reading, definitively! It’s just hilarious.

I obviously have to admit that the iPhone, new Macs, etc. have sent Jobs soaring through the stratosphere. Unfortunately, I’m afraid his brain is now lacking oxygen…

Take a look at some of Jobs’s points:

  1. Open: he’s basically saying “Flash is proprietary, that’s baaaad; we use open standards, we’re gooood”. But can you really call a draft a standard? What good is promoting the use of open “standards” on the web, when you explicitly strip developers from their most elemental rights, i.e. the choice of their development language?
  2. Reliability: “We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash.” I don’t know whether to be annoyed by such an unlikely statement, or by the fact that it’s the OS crashing even if it’s Flash’s fault…
  3. Battery life: again, I’m paraphrasing, “if you use Flash, you’ll only get 5 straight hours of video”. Man, he got me there! I’ve always wanted to sit through the extended versions of the three Lord of the Rings movies on my phone!
  4. Touch: “Flash apps are not touch-ready because of the rollover effect.” So are plenty of plain old HTML + CSS pages that use the :hover behaviour!
  5. And finally, some bla, bla about using Flash as a development environment for native iPhone applications: he has got to be kidding. Not allowing the developer to chose is a good thing? So what if native applications developed with CS5 do not support everything the platform does? That my crappy decision as the developer to make, not yours!

I’m having more and more trouble reconciling my love for shiny things with rounded corners that, I admit, work wonderfully, with who I really am: a developer who additionally likes to fiddle with whatever I can get my hands on—both profiles apparently loathed by Jobs.

I guess it’s too late to hope for Apple to come out and say that their site was hacked and that the essay is not real. In the meanwhile, my moral compass keeps strangely pointing away from any Apple Store in the vicinity.

PS: Fake Steve has a nice piece on the subject, too.