Flash on the iPad – No Thanks

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Today I’ve had yet another reminder of why I have no interest in seeing Flash on my iPad, or iPhone, or any mobile device really.  I use a MacBook Pro as my primary computer. An MBP with 4GB of RAM, dual processors, around 50% of free disk space, and an all-round strong spec. 

This morning it spent a while slowing to a crawl and becoming just barely responsive.  I spent a few minutes looking into what was up with it.  The answer was no surprise at all – a Flash player plugin in my browser had crashed and had very kindly shagged overall system performance along the way.  And this is how it goes just about every single time my Mac has any performance problems.  I honestly cannot even remember the last time anything other than Flash caused my Mac any problems.

So the idea of running Flash on my iPad – which has 256MB of RAM rather than 4GB, and a single processor has absolutely zero appeal to me.  If Apple ever decided to offer Flash support as an option for the iPad or any of their iDevices (right after pigs fly past their windows at their head offices in Cupertino), I’d vote No in a New York second.

I know many will disagree on this subject – and honestly if you have one or more web sites, or web based games, that are essentials for you and that won’t run right without Flash, then I can absolutely understand that you do want to see Flash support in iOS devices.  Fair enough.

I just don’t have any sites, or games, that I find myself missing or longing for on the iPad.  Even when I do hit an occasional spot where a site can’t do what it’s meant to without Flash, I can generally live without it just fine. 

So … Flash support on iOS is a definite No Thanks for me. 

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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13 thoughts on “Flash on the iPad – No Thanks”

  1. i agree, i don't miss flash at all, it brings my top of the line MBP to a standstill… i don't need or miss it one bit. Good luck Adobe.

  2. What a fanboy. Half the web doesn’t work without it on my iPad. My pc never has flash problems. Apple cult fail.

  3. After having installed Flash on my iPad, it was almost impossible to find a website that uses flash that I wanted to use -> every video site I tried already uses HTML5, games often require keyboard controls that don't make sense on the iPad (i.e. the games that are built for the iPad are 100x nicer to play due to better controls anyway), in fact the only thing that I noticed was that there were many more adverts on web pages than before.

    If you want to have a go, look for Frash by Comex – guarantee you won't find it useful though.

    1. Yup – I'm aware of the jailbreak Frash app. It's never interested me to give it a go, as I've honestly never missed Flash in years of using iOS devices.

  4. Yah, this is a total Apple Cult fail. I can't believe how brainwashed Apple has it's loyal zombies. I bought an iPad because it seems like a great device, and through Jailbreaking (Cydia!!)/tethering to my Android, it has become pretty awesome. But the fact that at least two or three times a day i run into a big fat blank where some functional flash should be is quite the lame joke. I work in the real estate industry and there are hundreds of realtor and agency sites that use flash for things as simple as navigation right up to their whole site. I bet you a lot of people are pissed because of this little tiff between Apple and Adobe. Just so all of you idiots know – Steve Jobs is a control freak that is not above lying to the general public in order to satisfy his ego and save Apple from ridicule. He has lied to you all in stating that Flash is not being supported because of performance issues. The real reason is that he wanted Flash licensing for much less than it's worth, and instead of being a big boy and negotiating with Adobe, he started lying in the media and created a rift. There is an active group of underground programmers creating the flash code necessary to run it on the iPad. An alpha version is already available. It is probably a matter of a few months before it's viable release. Flash has it's place on the web. It doesn't crash your system. Although it's true that some Flash developers create crappy code that causes crashes, the browsers like Firefox have sandbox environments that will shutdown and restart the flash plugin so that it doesn't effect anything else. You have to be a moron to think it will ruin your computer. Stop believing the bullshit. Your article should have been titled – "Extremely versatile and universally compatible (besides iPad/iPhone) programming language that has a vast programmer community continuously improving it on iPad??? No thanks because I'm a totally brainwashed moron."

  5. By the way, How did you determine that it was flash that crashed your computer? You are obviously not computer savvy enough to figure out that it is impossible, so I would be curious to hear what line of deduction you used. And also, my laptop is over 3 years old and it runs every instance of Flash I've ever come across perfectly including perfectly streaming video in fullscreen using megavideo's flash player and never causes the booster fans to come on or ..sadfmlasdhfklja…..actually I don't know why but it gets me extremely pissed to hear all the people echoing Steve Jobs' lies when it's so obvious to anyone with a brain that they are lies. Actual, really blatant, lies. I guess the U.S.A.'s populace really is getting to be easy to brainwash. I feel sorry for the world. Go Glen Beck and Sarah Palin!!! Puke!

    1. "How did you determine that it was flash that crashed your computer?' Despite my utter lack of tech savvy I was able to A) Use Activity Monitor to see that huge chunks of CPU utilization were chewed up by the Flash player plugin and B) Read and see the clear "Hello I am Flash Player and I Just Failed" messages within my browsers – complete with sad face etc.

      Are you tech savvy enough to realize that despite your marvelously inventive name changes on your two comments above, your IP address shows up in our moderation page, so it's quite easy to see you're the same person?

    1. The performance on my MacBook is generally excellent, I never said otherwise. I merely said that just about every time it does suffer and slow down to a crawl, the culprit is inevitably Flash.

      1. Get a pc and enjoy the interweb in its entirety. Don't worry we won't point and laugh as you retire your mbp to being a door stop.

  6. Sorry to add on off topic comment. How can I enter a new question to learn from your collective wisdom. I give many lectures and need to cut and paste small segments out of books from iBooks into my lecture notes, but my son a code writter tells me it is impossible. I do not want to steal content but just use it and acknowledge it in my lecture notes. Is this easy to do? Thanks so much for allowing me to ask this question. Jim.

    1. Hi Jim – You should be able to copy and paste out of an iBooks book just as you can from any text field on the iPad. To do so just tap and hold on a text area in whatever book you have open in iBooks. When the small commands bar pops up, you can use the selection points to select which block of text you want to copy, then hit the Copy button on the commands bar. Then just open up whichever is your preferred notes app, tap and hold anywhere on a note page, and choose the Paste command.

  7. lol at the PC fanboy. Flash is becoming irrelevant and they don't like it. how many major news sites are integrating non-flash based movie players and controls – a whole hell of alot of them.

    when Adobe gets serious again and develops and optimizes the Flash player for OSX (and iOS and Linux for that matter) then people will listen. until then, Adobe can parse their statements and continue to goad the stupid into believing that it's an open system – what a joke.

    enjoy buying a new PC every year and a half because of all the random reinstalls you are forced to do – talk about door stops.

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