Open Access to Content and Applications

Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device.

Ironically, Flash was originally designed for pen computing tablets, about 15 years before that market was ready to take off. Flash exists now only due to its finding an alternate route in its use — first filling a niche on the Web by enabling low-bandwidth vector graphics in the early days and then rapidly adding new capabilities over the past decade. That includes bringing animation, streaming audio, rich interactivity, arbitrary fonts, two-way audio/video communication, local storage, and enabling the video revolution on the Web.

By augmenting the capabilities of HTML, Flash has been incredibly successful in its adoption, with over 85% of the top web sites containing Flash content and Flash running on over 98% of computers on the Web. It is used for the majority of casual games, video, and animation on the Web and familiar brands like Nike, Hulu, BBC, Major League Baseball, and more rely on Flash to deliver the most compelling experiences to over a billion people.

Now we are at an important crux for the future of Flash. A wide variety of devices beyond personal computers are arriving, many of which will be used to browse the Web, making it increasingly challenging to deliver what creators and users of content and applications have come to expect of Flash on personal computers — seamless, consistent and rich experiences. The Flash engineering team has taken this on with a major overhaul of the mainstream Flash Player for a variety of devices.

We are now on the verge of delivering Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones with all but one of the top manufacturers. This includes Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, Nokia, Palm Pre and many others across form factors including not only smartphones but also tablets, netbooks, and internet-connected TVs. Flash in the browser provides a competitive advantage to these devices because it will enable their customers to browse the whole Web. This is being accomplished via the Open Screen Project, where we are working with over 50 partners to make this a reality across a wide array of devices. For example, the recent Nexus One from Google will rock with a great experience in the browser with Flash Player 10.1.

So, what about Flash running on Apple devices? We have shown that Flash technology is starting to work on these devices today by enabling standalone applications for the iPhone to be built on Flash. In fact, some of these apps are already available in the Apple App Store such as FickleBlox and Chroma Circuit. This same solution will work on the iPad as well. We are ready to enable Flash in the browser on these devices if and when Apple chooses to allow that for its users, but to date we have not had the required cooperation from Apple to make this happen.

Longer term, some point to HTML as eventually supplanting the need for Flash, particularly with the more recent developments coming in HTML with version 5. I don’t see this as one replacing the other, certainly not today nor even in the foreseeable future.

Adobe supports HTML and its evolution and we look forward to adding more capabilities to our software around HTML as it evolves. If HTML could reliably do everything Flash does that would certainly save us a lot of effort, but that does not appear to be coming to pass. Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues.

The productivity and expressiveness of Flash remain advantages for the Web community even as HTML advances. The Flash team will drive innovation over the coming years as they have over the past decade to enable experiences that aren’t otherwise possible. With the ability to update the majority of Web clients in less than a year, Flash can make this innovation available to our customers much more quickly than HTML across a variety of browsers.

Our mission at Adobe is to revolutionize how people engage with ideas and information, and we focus daily on how to best empower designers and developers to express themselves most fully and creatively. To have the greatest creative control combined with the most productive tools and broadest ability to deploy their content and applications. We support whatever technologies and formats that best enable our customers to accomplish these goals, and work to drive technology forward where there are gaps that we can fill. The blend of Flash and HTML are best together, enabling anyone to make pragmatic decisions to use these for their strengths to make the best experiences on the Web.

Engaging with ideas and information also means ensuring there is an open ecosystem and freedom to view and interact with the content and applications a user chooses. This model of open access has proven to be more effective in the long term than a walled approach, where a manufacturer tries to determine what users are able to see or approves and disapproves individual content and applications. We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device.

We are continuing to focus on enabling our customers to do their best work, and helping them reach people effectively and reliably around the world across operating systems, browsers, and a variety of devices.

Update: I’ve responded as well in the comments below.

We have closed comments on this post but encourage you to continue the conversation on other Adobe blogs. Check out the links to the right and at the bottom of the page, or visit for a complete list of Adobe blogs.


  1. Phillip Kerman

    Great summary Kevin!

    I agree with all of this, but do have some –relatively minor–critical additions.

    –I think you confuse the matter (which already has plenty of confusion without any help) when you say you can use “flash technology” to deploy to the iPhone. I’m not saying that’s untrue, just makes the whole matter confusing.

    –It’s important to stress the things Flash can do better than other solutions, such as two-way communication. However, I see Adobe’s direction (in that area specifically, but others too) and I wonder if Adobe is trying to make tools, provide services, or provide turnkey solutions that effectively compete with me (a customer of your tools). Take Flash Media Server–the technology for two-way communication. Not only have the developers who use that tool been left out of much (I wouldn’t say “any”) new developments. But it’s hard to get excited about–say the “new” P2P and http streaming stuff when a) it seems really slow to come to fruition… and b) often Adobe keeps some technology for its own turnkey solutions. Connect for example has technology that you all won’t share. I’m not saying Adobe should always give-away-the-store, but you also can alienate your developer customers when you provide services we can’t compete with.

    Having said all that, I want to repeat that I think your comments are one of the rare sane comments on the topic which has spiraled out of control–mainly with hyperbole and misinformed crazies…

  2. Phillip Kerman

    I should modify something I said… saying Adobe “often” keeps technology for itself that’s not fair. In fact, SOMETIMES Adobe keeps the tech… (and that’s enough to concern me)… but I can’t say they “OFTEN” do that.


  3. Simon Wentley

    There seems very little progress around OpenScreen. It was launched years ago and what’s really happened since then?

  4. Daniele Lazzara

    Great post Kevin.
    I think that most of the time Flash is used in a “bad manner”.. so the negative end-user opinion depends of the work of the developers which isn’t always good, and doesn’t regard the flash platform itself.

  5. Idan Gazit

    And yet, flash on non-windows platforms still has major issues.

    “Initiatives” do not equal results. HTML5 is delivering results. SVG is delivering results. CSS3 is delivering results. Flash is, at the moment, delivering crashes on my OSX laptop — in every browser, it is the reason my fans spin up and the reason my free memory disappears like a free taco at a college dorm.

    Worse still, by providing the only “fully compatible” runtime for flash, and keeping the implementation closed, the internet can’t step up to fix the issues. We’re at your mercy, Adobe, and your mercies have proven to produce almost no results for every platform except windows, for years.

    And that, in the end, is why so many web developers choose to develop for the open stack. We don’t like being chained to a vendor that can’t fix broken things in a timeframe of several years.

  6. Igor Costa

    Kevin I agree with most part of your thoughts on the iPad and iPhone history.

    But for sure Some lockdown from Adobe happens, example of that given from Phillip and the RTMPD where was blocked for description and detail on the protocol format.

    Adobe does a amazing job I can do products from their products every such single day in the last 10 years. Is a huge long way, but sometimes the crackdown happens.

    If Adobe wants to revolutionize how their customers(dev/desin) works. It could be reasonable on that open screen project solution. Not only spread words with some miss meaning.

    Kevin I know you helped a lot pushing the FP among those times from Macromedia. But I’m not sure for future years on what’s going to be happen to FP with new devices and new technologies that keep up FP less popular.

    We as developer in community need to know excatly what are the plans for FP in the next 5 years. or even more. To not get a gap like Shockwave did in the past that made people to switch to other technologies in a flick of an eye.

  7. joe

    While I am actually on the side of Apple not including Flash due to security/performance reasons (look at the history of the flash player on OSX without being bias), as well as pushing the HTML5 standard forward, I must say that this was a really great post.

    So far the posts from known Adobe employees have either been extremely bias and/or less than truthful in a few occasions (I caught one in particular spreading misinformation/FUD), but quite frankly you stated the facts in a way that wasn’t bias and that reflects the current situation.

    Thank you Kevin, it was greatly appreciated.

  8. iSynic

    Honestly, the back and forth is starting to look unprofessional for both companies. If you can’t sort out your differences, tell us what they are and why you can’t or won’t compromise. Otherwise, we really don’t care or want to hear about it. If Apple has concerns, address them or don’t. But don’t just play this PR tennis match to determine blame.

    It’s pretty obvious why you would want Flash on the platform. Unfortunately for you, it’s equally obvious why Apple doesn’t want Flash on the platform in its current state. And most of their reasons are good enough that I don’t want it on there either until you can prove to us that you can do it right. Unfortunately, I’d say as far as Mac users are concerned you have yet to ‘do it right’ even once.

    With the A4 processor, Apple is moving towards an ultra-efficient model for its portable devices. It’s a true power sipper. But speaking from experience – Flash gobbles processor cycles for breakfast – especially on Mac OS. The port of Flash for Mac OS is slower than its Windows version by several orders of magnitude – making older Macs obsolete even for browsing HD Flash content. Just because Flash can run – doesn’t mean it’s satisfactory. Apple recently released the statistic that the majority of all application crashes in Mac OS X are caused by the Flash plug-in. Ouch.

    How, in good conscience, can Apple open their device for you to port a potentially battery gulping, processor hogging content platform that requires access to core aspects of the OS (compromising security)?

    Let’s see some benchmarks. Let’s see what you can do with it. Release your own Webkit based browser with flash built in. Give us status updates. If Apple is stone-walling you and you’re making legitimate progress – tell us. But as far as I can tell, they’re not. You’re just unwilling to put the proper work into a product before pushing it out the door (a la Mac Flash on OS X).

  9. Chris Stanchak

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been trying to get a handle of Adobe’s mobile initiatives. You did a good job describing the merits of Flash and how you are at an impasse with Apple.

    What about Air?

    What is the mobile strategy here? TicketLeap has Air/Flex based products that we would love to mobilize but the lack of a clear direction has us looking at alternatives.

    Can you clarify?

  10. flashopen

    Great article Kevin.

    ‘The productivity and expressiveness of Flash remain advantages for the Web community even as HTML advances.’

    Completely agree… as a former art-journalist I’ve decided to dedicate my life to Flash (for passion) in 1999. Scripting Flash is just my life. I don’t do advertising … instead I create & develop applications (web-based) for schools …

    Therefore, I don’t see any reason why Flash should be descriminated in the forthcomming devices …and, as well, in its reputation.
    Otherwise, I should seriously consider to look for another job!!

  11. Fra

    First of all, sorry for mistakes i’ll make, i’m Italian and i don’t practice english so much, unfortunately. 🙁

    I read your post and i really like it, i loved the points about the Flash adoption and penetration perspective and the facts about iPhone performance.
    I agree with you about wide Flash possibilities, and i’m ok with Phillip about Flash communication.
    I’d love to share my two cents – of euro – about iPad affair.

    Apple’s CEO told that Flash is buggy, but I think that it is not true: there are some memory issues for sure, developing as3 sometimes something strange happens, but nothing that is so serious to unexpectedly crash a computer, even compared with “his” cocoa…
    In addition, Job’s is the usual definition of Flash as we heard a couple of years ago, when designers made worst works a man can see on the web.
    The power of a medium is also power to make very bad things.

    Here, I feel that Adobe should be more “strict” to move his developers in a way that is more “shared”. I try to explain myself: tutorial in flash on how to use SWFObject (yes that, not the other one), how to learn security, better examples in the documentation (their value is really big), better contextual help, less freedom to create “undescribed” behaviors as one can do with IDE tweens, timeline etc.

    Nowadays, Flash needs competence, even for banners or ads. So designers are out of this game imho – and Catalyst is not the solution (it remembers the dualism PS/ImageReady to me).
    And again… iPhone apps in Flash? No, damn, no… you should have made a simple tool to make iPhone apps (like an editor), OUT from our favorite tool. Not a so-clear sentence of subjection to Apple.
    A sort of Adobe AppCreator or similar, that helps coding in as3 for iPhone with export only as an iPhone App.

    Next Job’s observation was about HTML5. A man that doesn’t embrace Blue Ray, MicroUSB, display standards at all, that made App Store and iPod should not speak about openness.

    But i have to agree with him.

    Adobe needs to open Flash specifications, going out from flash player, giving the opportunity to developers to contribute improving everything (never heard about tweenlite?), to discuss, to create, to move flash to its limits… like people behind libspark, mr.doob, pv3d, etc.
    OpenScreenProject is the big thing in this context.

    If I miss or I mistake something, please forgive me. I’m just a small AS3 developer in front of an iMac with Windows 7 to run FlashDevelop, and despite this, i love Flash Platform more than every other thing in web scene.


  12. Fra

    I have to quote Igor on this:
    “We as developer in community need to know excatly what are the plans for FP in the next 5 years. or even more. To not get a gap like Shockwave did in the past that made people to switch to other technologies in a flick of an eye.”

  13. Scott

    Thank you Adobe for killing Flash since you took it over from Macromedia. Hardly anyone upgraded to Flash CS4 and hardly anyone is going to upgrade to Flash CS5. You’ve bastardized Flash, continued to ruin the IDE in every version you release, you add features no-one needs, you’ve totally driven away designers from Flash and instead made it only useful for developers (and thus taken away creative control and innovation from the end user). I honestly don’t blame Apple not allowing the Flash Player on its device. And the pathetic finger-pointing over this whole issue from Adobe is really childish. Adobe, please, for the sake of Flash, look at YOURSELF and quit looking to point the blame at anyone else.

  14. Ryan Sims

    I’m siding with Apple on this one, because Flash plug-ins on Mac OSX have resulted in unnecessary processor usage and browser crashes. I don’t want this kind of experience carried over to my iPhone, which is amazingly stable.

    I’m all for an open web, but I want one that works reliably on the device that I choose to use. You’ve built this mess for yourself. If you want to fix it, deliver technology that runs in a low footprint on every device. Deliver technology that doesn’t crash.

  15. Druiven

    first Adobe makes great products, than i agree with Mr. Scott ( in a softer way ) that in Flash Adobe has driven away it’s first coders who helped make Flash big, by just given Flash Editor a bad code editor, with an alternative to buy Flash Builder or FDT, which costs quite a lot of money. I do think it is a bad idea of Apple, to take out an important web product.
    Is this the first step to Babylonian OS systems, will we get Html 5 version Apple, android, nokia, microsoft, adobe ?

  16. Charles

    We could not get more excited about using Flash to create apps for the iPhone / iPad. Except for one thing, this will only work for AS3 apps. Now, here is the issue I see:

    We have used Flash for the past 11 years to build online and offline apps. Quite a few of these would be perfectly suited for the Apple devices. But no luck because they are written in AS2.

    If we are to spend months rewriting apps in AS3, we might as well develop native applications. Don’t forget, the silent majority of Flash developers is still using AS2.

    Please let us know if at some point you also plan to include AS2 in CS5’s capabilities to output to iPhone/iPad platforms.

  17. Sandra

    I agree with Scott. Flash is slowly getting killed by Adobe since it took over from Macromedia. Adobe needs to stop trying to make FLASH into Photoshop. CS4 is awful to work with for professional animators. MX was more user friendly and I too hate to see what CS5 has in store. I’m starting to like ToonBoom the more I see it.

    By my understanding, the Open Screen Project only allows innovators if they have a Nokia platform to work with.

    I am attempting an innovation that I have yet to see anywhere let alone hear of it. I would love the license of FP, but my device has nothing to do with Nokia.

    Does innovation require a membership card? Seems so.

  18. Benny

    Maybe Kevin should *openly* (pun intended) challenge Steve.

    Adobe will vow to put every effort in bringing Flash 10.1 to the iPad.
    Apple will vow that they will assist Adobe in anyway needed to make that happen.

    They will agree on an (killer) application that is used to judge the fitness of the optimized Flash Player for the iPad. They will agree also how long it has to play before draining the batteries ofcourse without causing a crash. And in what timeframe the challenge has to be met.

    The other members of the OpenScreen project will judge if everything goes fair and if the challenge is met or not.

    They will agree on what the stakes will be (any suggestions?), for example:

    If Adobe fails then Adobe will throw a party for the Apple support team (that will be assisting the Adobe team) and will publicly announce that the FlashPlayer is not worthy enough to run on such a magical device like the iPad.

    If Adobe delivers then Apple allows Flash 10.1 on the iPad and throws a party for the Flash Player team.

    On judgment day both camps can watch the outcome on-line!

    Now wouldn’t that end all discussion and be fun at the same time?


  19. Anthony Papillion

    This backlash against Flash is interesting. I think, as is evidenced by how quickly people are jumping on the Silverlight and HTML 5 bandwagon, we’ve largely tolerated Flash because there just wasn’t anything better out there. Adobe’s become lazy and hasn’t delivered the results and innovation users demand. It shouldn’t surprise you when users have no loyalty and jump ship when the next pretty girl comes around.

    Adobe is going to have to throw more than marketing at this problem if Flash is going to survive long term. Make no mistake: Apple can and will kill Flash if it can. So will Microsoft, and so will any of the hundreds of companies supporting HTML 5, SVG, etc. Flash is under serious attack and Adobe needs to do more than defend it if it’s to survive; they need to FIX it. FIX the problems, FIX the crashes, FIX the size and resource issues. FIX it. Don’t tell us how great it is, SHOW US.

  20. Ettore

    Flash is the #1 cause of crashes on Mac OS X systems. That’s a fact. Apple is not leaving Flash out of its mobile devices because they think Flash is not useful or because they hate Adobe, but simply because it lowers the usability and quality of their systems. There is no other reason: there’s no gain in not supporting a widely used platform per se.

    Adobe just has to step up their game. Fix Flash for OS X already.

  21. Rob McKeown

    Its funny reading the comments on these posts all over the web. For some reason, they often turn into people complaining about the Flash IDE or how “banner ads” are ruining the web, or how “openness” is so much better. For a user experience perspective those arguments are irrelevant. The IDE doesn’t matter to the iphone user. Banner ads can be created with HTML5 too. And “openness” doesn’t matter to users either. So lets these arguments out the window.

    Lets focus on what the alleged issues really are. Performance and Security. Start with performance – yes Flash player will drain my battery and use more memory on my iphone than an HTML page would. Ok. Fine… I’m ok with that. I would rather have a better experience that drains my battery faster or uses more memory than not be able to see half the content on the internet. I have had my iphone for just over a year, and honestly I like everything about it except for browsing the internet. Roll stability into this and sure, Flash may crash more. I can live with that too.I have had my iphone crash several times… once today in fact… and it is frustrating. Far less frustrating than not being able to see a lot of really great content on the internet.

    Security – I’m a software developer too. Security on any OS is not a holy grail. It is achievable. Whether this is Adobe’s or Apple’s fault doesn’t matter to me as a consumer. I have no doubt that Adobe can fix this. Perhaps some cooperation the Apple is all that is needed.

  22. Oyvind Solstad

    All this is nice and interesting, but how about actually fixing Flash? Of the last 25 chrashes in Safari/Firefox, 24 are because of Flash. It’s crap. I love beautiful made Flash animotion, we use Flash for everything where I work, and Flash has made video on the web awesome and userfriendly.

    But it EATS memory and it chrashes my Mac apps more often than any other thing I use.

  23. Dob

    Kevin, do with AS3 and FlashPlatform what Google did with Java and GWT, after all, Java and AS3 are so similar..

  24. alan statham

    Dude, Mr. CTO! Go get a macbook pro and run flash on it, and see what happens to the battery and the cpu. If you think that’s Apple’s problem then just prove that it is, and the world would be a better place. Otherwise Flash deserves to be eliminated and other options should be considered.

  25. Oscar

    I totally agree with you Kevin. I’ve been a Flash/Flex developer for 8+ years and I have to say, the improvements are huge.

    Only reason why Apple doesn’t want Flash on IPhones, Ipod Touches and iPads is because Apple can’t control flash application through the App store.

  26. Zincutrin

    As sad as it is, I have to agree 100% with Anthony Papillion.

    We are a small company focused in games, among other platforms, for the web. We have a huge investment (proporcional to our company size) in flash/flex.

    I hate to say it, but flash is going down. Adobe is lazy. Adobe is bending under its own weight.

    I follow their JIRA database every two or three days. I have eagerly waited and followed the Flash Builder and Flex 4 development.

    But they don’t deliver. It seems as they are relaxed, as they think that they 98% installed base is going to allow them to keep their monopoly till the end of their lifes.

  27. Rob


    Thanks for discussing this, but you aren’t addressing the main issue: performance. I am a Flash developer and I have a vested interest in its success. Flash player is a CPU hog, especially on Macs. While this is not entirely Adobe’s fault, you are losing the PR battle along with the hearts and minds of users.

    Steve Jobs himself claims that poor performance is the reason the iPad and iPhone do not support Flash:

    “Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash.”

    Adobe needs to go on an all out technological and PR offensive to deal with this issue, or Flash will find itself quickly marginalized.

  28. Edison

    Flash is owned and controlled by Adobe — so just because it’s become somewhat ubiquitous on the web, it still isn’t an open standard.

    Open standards are what’s required for the web going forward. Perhaps Adobe will open source the code to Flash and let the rest of us have a look.

  29. /dev/null

    Why would anyone want to use proprietary Adobe Flash technology moving forward if native embedded HTML5 interpretation will soon grow to provide an equalling compelling web experiences for users?

  30. Any User

    You Adobe guys obviously prefer the Windows users over Mac/Linux. Not only when it comes to Flash but also when I compare the Creative-Suite on both platforms.

    So what Steve Jobs decided to do is what you get for delivering shitty software to the *nix users. I owe him a beer for this!

    Now go prove me wrong by making a Flash player that won’t crash my browser and drain my Macbooks battery in no time, maybe Mr Jobs will also notice and overthink his decision.

  31. Aman

    The issue I have with flash is that I have to kill my browser if one of the tab has flash open and the tab is not even active. I see my CPU utilization at 40% to 50% and I am not even using the browser at the moment. I am too lazy to look for the tab that has flash running and just kill that tab, instead it is easier for me to kill the browser. Now why do I have to do that? Why can’t flash be idle and consume less cpu and battery when it is not being used.
    The other issue has to do with the design of the websites. On majority of the flash sites I feel hijacked, I don’t know how to get out of this flash intro. Lately these talking flash adds been bugging me. If I am in a meeting or in a conference I don’t want my laptop talking to me or anyone.

  32. Daniel B.

    After being a Mac die-hard for the last 25 years, I find myself moving away from the Mac for a lot of the OTHER reasons Kevin mentioned.

    Apple has always been about catering to the renegades; an operating system for the rest of us. Enabling the promise of technology without the mumbo-jumbo. Mac users have always taken a backseat to Windows, seeing any number of new applications developed exclusively, or at least initially, for Windows.

    Now, the iPhone is born and Apple is controlling a frightening number of aspects about the device; the applications it can run (including apps that simply try to do better what the built-in apps do), the software it can sync with, the media types it will play, the connectors it can use, the inability to add storage or change batteries… In short, they are creating a “closed” system. (Just TRY to pry open an iPhone.)

    The iPhone not running Flash was one of many reasons I recently dumped my iPhone for a Blackberry and the iPad sounds like a solution looking for a problem. Apple is creating an environment so closed off and tightly-controlled that it becomes unusable or, at the very least, very unappetizing.

    Apple is quickly resembling the evil side of the 1984 ad that once made them famous.

  33. shane michael colella

    “Adobe is going to have to throw more than marketing at this problem if Flash is going to survive long term. Make no mistake: Apple can and will kill Flash if it can. So will Microsoft, and so will any of the hundreds of companies supporting HTML 5, SVG, etc. Flash is under serious attack and Adobe needs to do more than defend it if it’s to survive; they need to FIX it. FIX the problems, FIX the crashes, FIX the size and resource issues. FIX it. Don’t tell us how great it is, SHOW US.”

    Anthony Papillion pretty much sums it up, especially after working with the drupal community in the last year…
    I’ve been a flasher for many years, i love it to the death, but to have all of it’s problems addressed by anyone that wants to help….please adobe, let’s all make this better.

    and i really don’t feel limited either way, as i can easily rock HTML5 and flash too, whichever works for the job i’m doing.

  34. Flash Gordon

    >> If HTML could reliably do everything Flash does […]
    >> coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format

    Clearly, your main point is casting doubts about the capability of HTML5 to handle video. Here’s one point I strongly feel about – I would much prefer working in HTML (and JavaScript if need be) to get dynamic behavior and things like skinning and controlling a video player. Sorry, I don’t want to mess around with proprietary Flash tools and *.fla projects. I don’t want to have to decompile the *.swf files of others to figure out how to do things, remember – one of the things that made the WWW take off is how easy it is to “view source”.

    So yeah, even if the road to HTML5 video has a few bumps on the way – it is not going to matter to people like me who will happily work around any issues that come up using JavaScript. Please tell Mr. John Dowdell to stop pushing FUD about HTML5 in blogs and comments elsewhere. Even in the remote chance that cross-browser implementations differ wildly, look at the mature state of JavaScript libraries today (JQuery, YUI etc) which neatly abstract away these quirks from the developers who write rich applications.

    There are answers to questions like streaming and the H.264 problem, look at this just as an example:

    “TinyOgg takes in a link to a Flash video and spits out a link to an Ogg”

    Of course that probably violates some Flash legalese somewhere, which is another thing I really don’t like about what I have seen of Adobe in general.

    >> Flash can make this innovation available to our customers
    >> much more quickly than HTML across a variety of browsers.

    There is general consensus that Flash has serious issues not just on Mac OS X (search for “stop crashing my browser” on the net), lack of a 64-bit version etc. Given that track record, how are we to take you seriously? Are you really sure you can make all that innovation available across a variety of browsers *including* mobile devices?

  35. Simon Romanski

    While I can’t speak for other developers I will say that Adobe’s products have enabled me to focus primarily on problems knowing that their tools will allow me to create a solution. Adobe puts a lot of power in people’s hands and they are good ambassadors to the web and it’s future.

    I think Apple is getting greedy and not looking out for the webs best interest.

    I just hope that Adobe remains good friends with Google.

  36. Matt S

    Adobe should go back to it’s core business model and make tools for artists to create content for any platform and stop focusing on the Flash platform. It’s like Adobe had cornered the market on paint and paintbrushes 1000 years ago but decided to invest all it’s energy on stone slates to paint on… keep making great paint and paintbrushes and you can easily transition from stone to wood to canvas.

    The company has become so watered down since the Macromedia deal and I feel like the leadership has lost it’s way trying to defend this $3bil mistake. Buying Omniture for another $1.8bil to play on Google’s analytics turf is another crazy example of bad leadership. If you focus on the core creative applications and give users the state of the art tools we need to create content for any platform you will see an exponential growth in upgrades. If you keep delivering weak feature updates eventually we will find other tools to create the content for the next flavor of the month platform. If you play your cards right, you will have the most sophisticated toolsets to create content for any platform (ie. platforms nobody has even dreamed of yet!).

    And when you finally do get your act together and focus on your core business, give users the ability to buy your software a la carte. These bundles are ridiculous. We get forced in our line of work to buy the Master Collection to get the few apps we need and never touch over half. Also give the development teams independence again so they are not forced into suite upgrade cycles. It takes more than 18 months to produce a quality upgrade. Sales managers might scream that they need to get product out the door, but nothing will move if you don’t have the features to back up the upgrade price.

    If you do not agree with me, then you obviously have no clue about Adobe’s corporate DNA. As a 16 year passionate user, I definitely understand it. Trust me.

  37. Marcus

    I’m not a tech-head at all so this might sound boneheaded. But, why don’t you all let Flash be open? You make it sound like it would be a relief for Adobe if HTML5/h.264 could actually supplant Flash. Well why not relieve yourself of the burden? Let flash be an open source project like HTML is (I think).

    Maybe we’d get a better Mac client of Flash then. Honestly using Flash on my Mac is not pleasant, it gets the fans whirring up, etc.

    I’ve never written on an Adobe blog before, and I probably never will again, so while I’m here, I’ll say: I miss GoLive 4. I used to make web-sites back in the late 90s and loved GoLive. I downloaded a trial of dreamweaver, and it overwhelmed me. I loved the drag and drop simplicity of GoLive.

  38. John

    Apple save the web world, buy Adobe and cut immediately flash

    Steve save us web designer… dreamweaver/photoshop are the future not flash

  39. Dan

    I suspect Apple would be much more inclined to allow flash on their mobile devices if there were a demonstrated version of Flash on OS X that didn’t regularly leak memory and spin out of control. Kevin: please make it obvious that Apple has to do this by finally building an OS X flash player that’s a first-class citizen!

    My company would love to start using Flash again, but we can’t consider it cross-platform with the current state of the player on OS X and Linux. Yeah, most of our users are on Windows, but we now build cross-platform…


  40. Druiven

    When you have a house, you want to invite people. When people do not behave in your house, you have a conversation with them, instead of blocking them. For that, they should write a Mirror app. for the iPad, and Apple should look in that too. All software makers should look in the mirror, every day, and not in a narcistic way, and ho, software people are so in love with themselves, prop. they found out that’s the sel-best reality.
    This all conversation is what is now, to many platforms. So a new reality in software land, not only a white bread, but also a brown, and a yellow one, with seeds, without, etc. to many to choose from.
    When i open Quick Time watch Apple Special Events HD it is 80% cpu.
    People want to code, and they want to write “Hello World’, in 3 lines of code and not 50 and they want a nice platform to show it.

  41. bpresles

    “For example, the recent Nexus One from Google will rock with a great experience in the browser with Flash Player 10.1.

    And you call that rocking? You should really not satisfied by such a result. It may looks OK for you, but you are just showing simple flash content on this video and it’s already not that smooth, I can’t imagine how slow it is with more complex flash content…

    Also have you looked at the battery indicator? It lost about 5% in just 3 minutes time of the video.

    If this is what you show up to Apple, I can perfectly understand why they don’t accept to support it. I wouldn’t myself, if I were a smartphone OS maker, with what you’re showing us on the Nexus One.

    It’s sad to see how deep humanity has fallen in term of bad result acceptance. In the computer world today we accept slow software, on very very fast machines while current software technologies should fly… That’s a shame, really.

  42. Derek Bolander

    I find it very hypocritical of Adobe and other developers to clamor for a presence on iPhone/iPod touch/iPad and yet have no problem opting out when it doesn’t work for their personal interests. Where did Adobe Premiere go for a few years on the Mac. Where’s FrameMaker? How about Authorware?

    Oh I see. It’s only when a developer stands to benefit is a relation maintained. If a platform is a niche then we can opt out as convenient.

    Apple never wants to rely again on a technology that they cannot guarantee or control for their users. Look how long Adobe took to deliver a Flash plug-in for the Linux world and it’s sh*tty nonetheless. Maybe all platforms like iPhone OS should have an exclusive screening process to get a little attention from companies like Adobe. The sheer hubris is startling. Adobe: Taste the future of HTML5: You’re about to be RealPlayer’d.

  43. Steve

    @Windows users: You simply have no idea how bad Flash can be on the Mac. No idea. You’re quite fortunate in that respect.

    But beyond that? Move along, people, nothing to see here. I could sum the conversation up thusly:

    Steve Jobs: Your app is crashing too much. Fix it. We’ll put Flash on millions of phones if you do.

    Adobe (okay, Kevin): We synergize with the 30,000 foot view of our core competencies which we pull the trigger on to empower the diversity of the ecosystem blah blah blah (more CorporateDroneSpeak).

    Steve Jobs: Okay, we’ve asked a zillion times for you to write code that doesn’t crash. Go to your room and don’t come out until you fix Flash.

    Kevin: We work daily to communicate with our partners and help them understand we want designers to fill the world with images of revolutionary unicorns and rainbows (and even MoreCorporateDroneSpeak).

    If Adobe’s CTO can’t be straight up and admit their non-Windows implementations have grave crashing and memory problems, then they just don’t get it. And they won’t until their market share takes a hit.

    Steve Jobs was wrong. You aren’t lazy. But you are very, very complacent.

  44. Mike Berendsen

    Adobe should take this as a challenge, and use the Apple block as an ultimatum to deliver a better product. There should be radical changes to ensure longevity of Flash.

    Where does all this animosity towards the Flash Player originate from? You look at any polarized argument and there’s going to be truth on both sides, so just take it constructively, and take people seriously when they say you’re not delivering on the kind of product that they expect.

  45. markus

    As a Linux desktop user I hate Adobe for making my life as hard as possible.
    The linux flash plugin is unstable, eats cpu and memory and makes my browsers crash.
    Stop wining and fix your software adobe.

    Make a better product and we will be happy to use it on every platform (not just Windows)

  46. John

    Dear Adobe,

    Please make a stable version of Flash player that doesn’t require both my iMacs 2.8ghz cores to play a few flash videos (I don’t like listening to the fans running at max). Once you have done this I will happily side with you on having flash on the iPhone/iPad.

    Flash player is the only thing on my mac that actually requires the fans to kick in for cooling. This issue SERIOUSLY needs addressing.

    Kind regards

  47. Eric

    I wish Apple as much success with a no-Flash iPad as they are having with their no-Netflix Apple TV.

  48. jack

    Sorry, I used to be a Flash defender as I thought it was innovative. But Flash really is the worst product available for the web because it involves a huge buy in fee and has tons of negative features that are a detriment for the future of the web.

    I also dislike how often you upgrade your software because you’re not sensitive enough to our cost vs. features demands.

    I am fully behind HTML5 and I really hope Flash goes away very quickly. You may think that HTML5 will makes things worse, but the people changing the internet with standards will be the ones creating solutions to replace all the functionality of Flash.

    Also, spare us the “mission statements”. You care about making money over everything else (innovation, users) because it shows in CS3 and CS4. CS4 should have been CS3 but you were greedy and care about the bottom line.

  49. Nick Morgan

    As many people have mentioned here, there are many people here that love your product and that are very dismayed by your lack of performance over the years. I appreciate the well written post; but there are some things you don’t address.

    You guys get on Apple about being a closed ecosystem and are upset cause they don’t want to include your closed ecosystem into theirs? As a Mac and Windows 7 user, your product causes more memory leaks and crashes than anything… anything else on my machine. I had to try three browsers just to play a video on Hulu the other day on Windows 7 and then 10 min later get the black screen of death. You have to honestly ask yourself, would you include someone’s product into your ecosystem that would affect your reputation if this was your experience with that product? And their policy is no runtime environments on their mobile platform, why would they only allow yours?

    The video problem will get resolved. Patents are a real issue for standards. At the moment the problem is that H.264 includes patented technologies and the reason Ogg Theora isn’t just used is because some people aren’t sure that they can keep up without infringing on patents held by the H.264 crowd. Hence, why Google doesn’t use Theora. Now today the patent holders of H.264 have extended the royalty free period to 2016 which is a long time in codec years.

    You guys wanted AS3 to become the new ECMA Script 4 standard and got thoroughly shut down.

    One of HTML 5’s goals is to replace the functionality that people use Flash, Silverlight and JavaFx for. I whole heartedly agree with this decision. I want to be able to sit down with my text editor of choice and develop a rich user experience that is standards based that everyone can enjoy. We aren’t there yet but things are moving swiftly since Google and Apple are pushing the standards as hard as they can.

    SVG, Web fonts, Web OpenGL, CSS 3, HTML 5 are all coming and coming fast. Best thing about it is that these technologies will run on a thin client and yours well…

    You guys got complacent and you of all people should remember how that works out. Remember Quark? They got complacent and you guys took their sector over. The only problem is that this time the developers are creating innovative and open alternatives to your Flash product. We aren’t a company and our resources are practically unlimited; yours aren’t.

  50. Jack the Ripper

    Frankly speaking, I do not understand the reason why you posted that article.
    Flash is getting worse each new release. More complexity, more ressources needed….
    At the beginning, Flash techno was a great alternative to Real format.
    Actually, Adobe prefers to care about the bottom line rather about customers expectations.
    Please, make or remake Flash a perfect product.

  51. nothingGrinder

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. HTML does not fall back to flash. Flash falls back to HTML. I’ve been preaching this for years.

    Any enhancements made to HTML, Javascript, PHP, or any other web technology only make Flash better. The advancement of these technologies help us create a similar user experience across all platforms. This came to light when SWFObject ( was released in 2004.

    Recently, Youtube has implemented an HTML5 beta. The videos lose all interactivity in HTML5, drastically taking away from the user experience. Everyone wants a standardized web, well Flash is already standardized. Cross browser, cross platform.

    I’ve written more about Flash and the future of web video

  52. Abhinav

    There are a couple of simple straightforward reasons why Apple is not allowing Flash on iPhone/iPad or wherever iTunes App store exists:

    – Apps developed on Flash could be delivered directly though web without going through Apple’s store and give them a 30% cut

    – If the apps were developed in Flash they could easily be put on Android and other platforms and would not give the edge that iPhone currently has in terms of number of apps on iPhone vs the Android Platform which is currently 100 : 1 .. if Flash could be used to develop that ratio would be significantly decreased.

    I am surprized all these people buy into Steve Jobs bashing and dont see the real reason behind not allowing any platform on iPhone, which is not just Flash but also Silverlight and Java.. .

  53. Khaled

    Where’s Arabic support in the Flash player? Flash is more useless at the moment as far as Arabic content is concerned.

  54. Clive Portman

    Slightly off-topic, but the main font used for this post isn’t great to read. I’m using FF 3.5.7.

  55. Jeremiah Staes

    Does Flash enable some useful things and is a defacto fallback standard? Sure.

    Is it a complete resource hog on OSX and Linux, as well as virtually invisible to search? Yes. I use all three operating systems and it’s obvious Adobe does not put the resources to those communities. It’s a subpar product on those platforms.

    But what should scare Adobe? For years, anything interactive, clients used to want Flash. Now, almost every job we get we’re told point-blank to avoid Flash if at all possible because it slows down their site load, and doesn’t work well on mobile platforms. Even non-tech people are just wanting to avoid Flash because of the bad rap.

    I get that it’s a business, and you’re not going to devote resources to things you don’t feel will make you money. But I think there’s a reasonable expectation to make a solid product.

  56. Hale On Earth

    The majority of customers don’t care (or even know) which technology does what, who developed this or that, what tools were used to make it, whether the technology is open or closed, what technology is running it, etc. Customers just want their devices to work. Considering that Adobe Flash Player provides such a hideous experience on a full fledged Mac running OS X, imagine the horror to be wrought on smaller devices. The real catch is that most users, the same users that could care less about and are usually unaware of what piece of technology is responsible for what, interpret these drawbacks as iPad flaws, which places the sole responsibility with Apple, despite Adobe being the guilty party. So even though it’s Adobe’s Flash Player that is chugging a user’s battery mercilessly and crashing Safari every other use, Apple and their device will be what is perceived as the incompetent factors. The potential for damages suffered in mindshare far outweigh the petty interests in supporting a handful of users propensity for Flash games or blinking Hollywood promotional sites. “Flash optional” isn’t worth the risk either, not to mention it adds yet another pesky configuration option in a world already bombarding people with too many options. The iPad is an appliance that will meet the majority of customers expectations in so much as “take it out of the box and it just works.” All of our obnoxious tech toys should continually be traveling towards ZeroConf. Less is more, especially in this age.

  57. Murray

    Flash can do some neat things, and if it ran well perhaps I’d support Adobe on this. However, it’s well documented that on non-Windows platforms, Flash is a dog.

    When you’re causing my machine (with 4 cores @3Ghz and 8GB of memory) to convulse trying to render the “shoot the monkey” add (which frankly reminds me how little Flash content I actually want to see to begin with), how can you honestly be lobbying that I should want your code on a mobile device that has far less processing, memory and most vitally battery life?

    You opened the door for this. Fix your code, then maybe I can support you again. If you have any designs on keeping Flash relevant, I’d get it fixed quick though. I’ve been browsing on my iPhone for 2.5 years without Flash, and I can’t say that I can remember the last time I missed it, or even ran into some content I wanted to see but couldn’t.

  58. Jason the Saj

    I used Flash on an iMac for nearly 2 yrs. I often had dozens of apps open, sometimes with as many as 20+ browser tabs. Seldom did I have problems with Flash. Never quite understood those who do.

    On Windows I’ve had very little problem with Flash. What I have experienced is a nightmare with AJAX sights. Firefox + Facebook = crash. This on two different machines with two different OSs (XP & W7). I’ve had numerous AJAX sites crash my browser. I’ve also tried to use alternative browsers (like Chrome). And found that some AJAX sites don’t work with the browser.


    What I want to know is why doesn’t Adobe just release Flash Player on ROCK for those who have jailbroken their iPhones. I think if they did this it’d build a cult following and prove it’s not performance – it’s POLITICS.

  59. KGorham

    Many of these responses just blindly repeat comments from Steve Jobs, without actually applying any thought!

    A large part of the reason Flash is supposedly “responsible for the majority” of Safari crashes, is because Flash is SO WIDELY ADOPTED. It’s basic math! If 80+ % of sites run Flash and only 20% run other technologies, then ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, FLASH WOULD REPRESENT NEARLY 80% OF ANY STATISTIC. Crashes, included.

    Apple knows that the average person doesn’t think in these terms. So they highlight misleading figures, just like they did when they claimed to be larger than Nokia.

  60. A Watt

    “We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device.”

    An open environment full of closed, proprietary, standards? Makes total sense.

  61. i8thecat

    Flash sucks… Plain and simple… It is the bain of computer security (for all OS platforms and devices) and has been for quite some time. If Adobe IS actually serious a bout people wanting to use their products, they need to start dumping all their resources into plugging all the holes and performance tuning the products… Flash, Reader, CSx, etc. I’m looking forward to a web without Flash.

  62. Kevin Lynch

    Thanks for the comments here — I am reading them all, as well as continuing to follow discussion elsewhere on the web. I will try to respond, and also ask for other team members at Adobe to weigh in as well.

    For those wondering, the main computer I use is a MacBook Pro, and I’ve been using the Mac (and developing software for it) since it came out in 1984. I have used pretty much all the browsers on the Mac but lately have been running Chrome beta along with the most current Flash Player.

    We still support Flash back to Mac PowerPC computers, and new releases of Flash support older configurations than I believe even Apple supports. We deliver several different builds of Flash Player for varieties of Mac systems.

    Regarding crashing, I can tell you that we don’t ship Flash with any known crash bugs, and if there was such a widespread problem historically Flash could not have achieved its wide use today. We work directly with the major browser teams — including Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft IE, and Google Chrome — and review any emerging issues so we can resolve them together. Before we release a new version of Flash Player we run more than 100,000 test cases and have built an automated system that has scanned over 1 million SWFs that we use for testing from across the web. Our QA lab has a very large variety of machines to represent the machines in real use on the web.

    Addressing crash issues is a top priority in the engineering team, and currently there are open reports we are researching in Flash Player 10. From the comments across the web there may either be an upswing in incidents or there is a general piling on happening — we are looking into this actively and will work to resolve any real issues. If you are experiencing issues please report them directly to the Flash engineering team via the public bug database and the team will investigate and resolve each.

    As I’ve been using the Chrome beta it appears to be throwing errors in hosting Flash content a few times a week now and if you are using this browser on the Mac you are likely also seeing this problem — Chrome is in *beta*. There are issues in the hosting code that is used to run Flash (and other plug-ins), and we are working directly with the Chrome team to help address these.

    Now regarding performance, given identical hardware, Flash Player on Windows has historically been faster than the Mac, and it is for the most part the same code running in Flash for each operating system. We have and continue to invest significant effort to make Mac OS optimizations to close this gap, and Apple has been helpful in working with us on this. Vector graphics rendering in Flash Player 10 now runs almost exactly the same in terms of CPU usage across Mac and Windows, which is due to this work. In Flash Player 10.1 we are moving to CoreAnimation, which will further reduce CPU usage and we believe will get us to the point where Mac will be faster than Windows for graphics rendering.

    Video rendering is an area we are focusing more attention on — for example, today a 480p video on a 1.8 Ghz Mac Mini in Safari uses about 34% of CPU on Mac versus 16% on Windows (running in BootCamp on same hardware). With Flash Player 10.1, we are optimizing video rendering further on the Mac and expect to reduce CPU usage by half, bringing Mac and Windows closer to parity for video.

    Also, there are variations depending on the browser as well as the OS — for example, on Windows, IE8 is able to run Flash about 20% faster than Firefox. On the Mac, Safari has the performance lead currently in terms of running Flash. Our experience overall has been that people will create content to make more use of processing power as it has increased over time (similar to how you never seem to have enough hard disk space even as disk size increases). I have asked the Flash engineering team to publish performance metrics across operating systems and browsers so the details can be better understood, and these should be available shortly.

    The teams here at Adobe and I will be only as successful in our work to the extent we hear what you are saying and work to address issues or advance technology to help you accomplish what you want to do. We are actively listening and look forward to demonstrating this in our ongoing work here.

  63. ozzysong

    Well, one thing taking into account is that HTML5 video is an open standard and no one have to buy thirds apps to use it.

    That fact alone and the community that will generate around must give HTML5 the edge on the argument.

    Besides from that, the only mayor incompatibilities are on Internet Explorer and destroy it is the next step.

  64. Flash User

    Are you kidding me?

    We have been reporting performance problems and crashes on all platforms since Flash Player 10 shipped (look at the Flash Player JIRA, or your own unmanned support forums).

    And this is the best response you can give us?

    No fixes, no answers, just “crashes and performance are important to us, but not so important that we’ll do anything about them”?

    I’m sorry, but Silverlight can’t finish you off fast enough.

  65. MikeC

    Based on Adobe’s history of integration and system utilization with the Apple’s Safari browser, I would vote against Flash on the iPhone/iTouch/iPad. Adobe simply has not demonstrated the ability to play well on non-Microsoft platforms. Fix Flash on the Mac as a sign that you can develop for Safari.

    Also, Flash player has a history of security issues. According to, there have been 49 vulnerabilities for Flash Player 9.x and 24 vulnerabilities for Flash Player 10.x. Not a great history and something I’d rather not expose my mobile device too.

    I’d vote with my pocket book for Flash if Adobe can make some serious strides in these 2 areas. Until then, no Flash for my device.

  66. Chris

    I’ve been using Macs as my primary development platform daily since System 7 and I can not relate to Job’s “FUD” about Flash Player under OS X. I’ve had no problems with Flash on my G5 DP 2.5 for the 4 years I used it — until it died, this MacBook Pro 17″ which I’ve been using for about two years now, nor my DP 1.25Ghz G4 from 2002, which my wife is currently using.

    For those that are stating Flash is unusable under OS X, I have to wonder what sites are you visiting and more so, what’s wrong with your Mac?

    I also own PCs just for reference, so when people complain about Flash performance on modern Macs, I sometimes scratch my head, because I know my work runs just as efficiently on both platforms.

    I agreed with Jobs earlier comments about Flash Player “Lite” not sharing the same features as the desktop player, but now with 10.1 — which also offers way better performance, he can no longer use that as an excuse.

    Now I’m more inclined to think that if Flash weren’t such a force when it comes to web-video, Jobs would not have a problem including it on their closed devices, which of course use Quicktime. Jobs is no more a supporter for HTML 5 for video playback than Microsoft is for Linux.

    And since Jobs is so quick to spread FUD about Adobe’s player under OS X, why doesn’t he do something about the garbage that’s flooded the App Store? This way I can be assured that when I download something to my Touch that it won’t crash. Unlike the poorly developed web work that has no gate keeper, the App Store does, so Apple has no excuse when it comes to this matter.

  67. Cliff Rowley

    I just have a few points to make. I don’t want to cross purposes and dilute the message so I shall spread this across a couple of posts.

    Firstly, irrespective of what’s been said, or who is right or wrong, it’s pretty rare for a large company like Adobe to wear heart on sleeve and open themselves up to a potential (and in this case, predictable) onslaught of defamatory responses. Even rarer for the individuals responsible to offer themselves willingly.

    I think people should take that into account, and rather than chime in with regurgitated nonsense gleaned from Twitter and other social “news” sources, take the time to digest the entire situation (and not just the part of it that directly affects ones self), and formulate a constructive response that might actually add value to the argument.

    It’s disheartening to read comments such as the one above, unequivocally denying the existence of issues that have been experienced by both users and developers for years, and discussed time and time again. It’s equally disheartening to read many of the comments that came before it, adding zero value to the discussion simply by repeating the comments that came before those.

    Surely this “inexhaustible resource” of ours we’re so eager to wave in Adobe’s face is capable of more than this? Doesn’t the very fact that we seem to be incapable of holding a public discussion without regressing to playground behaviour flies in the face of this “if you can’t do it, we will” attitude?

    So how about we take Adobe’s offer of open dialogue and do something productive with it?

  68. Justin Clements

    It’s about time Adobe listened to Apple – and all the Mac users out their about their Flash plugin.

    I’ve just installed a Flash blocker on Safari as I’m sick of my MacBook doing an impression of a hair dryer every time a bit of flash pops up. I’m sick of seeing my battery life destroyed because of some ad running in the background.

    So I’ve disabled flash, and haven’t missed it.

  69. SNDP

    Well, you gave a lot of reasons why Adobe is good for the web and also why you are not lazy. But according to me, Adobe is a very lazy company. The reason is they still do not have a Flash Player or a shockwave player for 64 bit operating systems. I have been using 64 bit Windows 7 OS since it came out in October 2009. I watch a lot of online TV and visit websites like youtube. Without the 64 bit support, either the Flash player or the Shockwave player crashes every few hours. Then I have to shutdown and restart the computer for those websites to work again. I had to shutdown and restart my computer for more than four times each day which is just frustrating.

    64 bit architecture has been around for a few years now and you still do not have a flash player which supports it. If you look at your own forums, there are thousands of messages about this problem. And still you do not care about fixing this problem. Or is it that you are just lazy?

    This is why as soon as youtube started supporting HTML5, I switched to it. The experience with HTML5 has been great and if more websites offer their content in HTML5, I would definitely take advantage of it. If you cannot innovate and embrace new technologies, it will be you who will force people to switch to HTML5.

  70. Cliff Rowley

    There’s been an awful lof of feces flinging from both camps, which has really only served to blow the real issues so far out of proportion that now every man and his dog has found a reason and an outlet to publicly declare their love or hate for Flash, Adobe or Apple. I’m a Flash/Flex developer by trade and I do this on my lovely MacBook Pro, entirely independent and not employed by or an evangelist for either Apple or Adobe, so I’m quite literally right down the middle here.

    Big brother fantasies aside, the cited reasons that Apple have shunned the Flash Player is threefold: performance, security and Apple’s controversial policy that prevents 3rd party runtimes.

    The performance of the Flash Player on OS X has historically been well short of its Windows counterpart for the majority of users. That’s a fact. I suspect the reason that some lucky users find this hard to believe is probably down to hardware in some cases, potentially system configuration in others (it would seem to me that a graphics engine that heavily relies on graphics hardware may easily be affected by that hardware, even if abstracted). But regardless, if what Kevin says comes to fruition then us non-Windows users really have something to look forward to. By the same token, Adobe’s work with the Flash Player may be enough to tip the balance and get it onto the iDevices. Who knows.

    Security is always going to be an issue on any connected device. Doubly so I would say for a device which not only has direct access to my cloud of data. Triply so for a device that were it compromised could cost me money directly (though not on my data plan, fortunately). Quadruply for a device that also knows exactly where in the world it and I are. This, along with the fact that the Flash Player is so pervasive, means that the margin for error is not only unforgivably tight, but also incredibly distorted. The more popular a piece of software is, naturally the more of a target it is. Also, the closer to the web a piece of software is, the more of a target it is. For a “hacker” (I use the term in its umbrella sense), it’s simply the path of least resistance. This means that more bugs and exploits have been found and fixed in the Flash Player that most of the software on your machine. Think about that for a moment. In a perverted way, the Flash Player is actually more secure than anything else you have installed – but of course it isn’t, because each vulnerability in the Flash Player is that much more severe purely because of what it is, what it does and the sheer number of machines on which it is installed. The upshot is that each time an exploit is discovered, Adobe becomes a target for the anger of users whose computers have been put at risk, and Adobe know that this is a responsibility that comes with the territory. Similarly Apple are responsible for the security of their devices, and it seems to me (as one commented pointed out), they just aren’t willing to take the fall should the culprit be the Flash Player. Personally I think Apple are being a little theatrical about it, though it’s hard not to understand their point purely because the Flash Player would be an open target on their otherwise bubble wrapped experience. Though by those standards I fail to see at which point Apple might deem the Flash Player “secure enough”, being that exploits are unknown until discovered..

    And lastly, Apple’s controversial policy on runtime engines, or rather on 3rd party integration and extension in general. I say controversial purely because it’s very much a matter of opinion. There’s nothing immoral or illegal about it. There’s really no right or wrong either. I own both an Android device and an iPhone, and I can clearly see the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches to “openness” (such a vague term I’m really beginning to take a dislike to). That’s just how it is. Apple chose to protect the user experience of their products and like it or not, it really works. However, regarding the Flash Player embedded in a web page, I do think this is a special case. Love it or hate it, Flash is as much a part of the web as HTML, CSS, and any other standard you care to mention. Just because it’s not an open standard, doesn’t mean it’s not standard. It’s as standard as the commercial codecs you use to watch your videos or listen to your digital music.

    It seems to me that these are the issues that have been outlined, and that Adobe are again making an effort to rectify them. Not only because they want to make money (of course they do, that’s what business do, right?), but because they want to continue to provide tools that deliver rich web experiences. As Kevin speculates, “HTML 5” (again, loose umbrella term) isn’t going to be ready to replace Flash for a while yet. So, um, how about we all get along nicely and keep the wheels on this big ‘ol internet machine greased like we have done for years already (along with untold number of companies we like to shake fists at). There’s really no need to seek and destroy every time something like this comes around.

  71. barneau

    great comment.

    We are a french based company, and we need for our OS a flash reader under ARM.
    We have no news from your staff in order to complete our devlopment.

    Contacts phones calls etc, too long

    please comment

  72. Tim Maly

    As I write this, my laptop’s fan is going full tilt and my CPU use is at close to 100%. Why is it doing this? Because one of the tabs I have open (I’m not sure which one) has a site that’s got Flash running on it.

    When I am done writing this, I will go through my open tabs and try to figure out which one is causing the problem, a process of trial and error that only works because I’m running the Chrome beta. I can’t leave Firefox open with tabs because once Flash spins up the CPU, it keeps it at high use, even if I close the offending tab.

    This is completely insane, it’s been going on for years and you guys knew about it and you did nothing to fix it. In what possible planet do you think it makes sense for an appliance computer like the iPhone or iPad to run a plugin that might result in the non-technical users having to do process management by hand?

  73. Richard

    I cheer on the HTML5 video efforts. But can anybody explain to my why this HTML video player spins up my dual core on MBP 2.6 GHz to 120% CPU? I tought without flash it wouldn’t do it anymore. Is this something with the code in the page? It’s only using the plain video tag in Safari.

  74. Narendra Nag

    “So, what about Flash running on Apple devices?”

    There’s a bunch of Apple device on which flash runs — very badly.

    I think you should be thinking about fixing flash on the Apple devices you already have access to before coming out with versions for newer devices.

  75. fredo

    One note for the mac people: The fact that your laptop fan is on does not mean your computer is about to explode! Computer CPUs do not wear out from use.

  76. Reda

    Firefox for Maemo RC3 :

    “We’ve decided to disable plugin (not to be confused with add-ons, which are supported) support for this release. The Adobe Flash plugin used on many sites degraded the performance of the browser to the point where it didn’t meet our standards. If you wish to enable our experimental plugin support, you will be able to manually via about:config, but do so at your own risk. We are working on an add-on that will allow the user to have control of which sites to enable plugins for, as some sites, like YouTube, do work quite well.”

  77. ifrodo


    Which proves that Flash on mobile devices is still not quite ready for prime time.

    I hope that in addition to optimizations for Mac OS X, you’ll also concentrate on optimizations for Linux and mobile platforms. As Mobile Web surfing will become more and more popular, and if you don’t do the necessary work to get Flash ready for prime time on these platforms, this will both reduce the user experience (making them unable to visit normal version of website that use Flash for their useful content), but also that would certainly not improve the unpopularity you’ve sadly gained with Flash these past few years.

  78. Tracy

    On the argument of Flash performance I think a distinction needs to be drawn between Flash programmers and the Flash Player itself. Performing better on Windows vs Mac indicates that there are performance issues attributed to the Flash Player. However I find that it is very easy for Flash programmers to write non-performant code without realizing it. For example spawning event listeners without cleaning them up can bring a browser to its knees.

    So yes, the Flash Player itself might be guilty of some performance-related issues, but don’t forget that badly written programs are more likely to be responsible for badly performing Flash apps.

  79. John

    Thanks Kevin for the response. Feedback like this is greatly appreciated within the development community. People don’t mind issues as much as long as they know they are being fixed and out pleas aren’t falling on deaf ears.

    Flash is an amazing development tool for enhancing websites and providing functionality that would be near impossible using HTML + Javascript (even with recent developments).

    We have just has to put up with bugs, crashes and performance issues for so long many developers/designers and end users just feel disgruntled at the lack of support/development on these issues especially on mac/linux platforms.

    Both my iMac (duel 2.8ghz) and Macbook (duel 2.4ghz) running 10.6 and the latest version of flash player experience these performance/crash issues mainly with video performance. I personally am very pleased that your addressing this and will be interested to see how your developments affect my user experience.

  80. Jeff

    While there is some piling on here, as one who is responsible for maintaining 250 Macs, Flash Player 10 has not been one of Adobe’s best efforts. If the issues we see repeatedly have not come across your desk as CTO, I hear there’s a few job openings at Toyota for they too have a problem getting chronic issues recognized by upper-management.

    On the development front, we also worry about how your products are being “shoved”, if you will, out the door. With the Creative Suites, including CS5, Adobe is releasing products based on a given date and not necessarily based on their readiness. Many CS4 apps’s initial releases would be a prime examples as not ready for prime time. Think about it, it is very difficult to get 8-14 apps all nice and spiffy and in sync. Perhaps impossible. Granted, a .0 release is going to be a little rough, but CS4 was rougher than it should be and, more importantly, didn’t present enough of a reason to upgrade from CS3 based on new features.

    As an example, our clients have been begging for auto font activation for a decade in Flash CSx. I’m guessing it is still a no show in CS5. I bring it up because it illustrates another disconnect between Adobe and its users.

    Let me be clear, I would like Adobe to succeed and excel. Our clients depend on Adobe’s technologies/apps. When Adobe hiccups, we hiccup for our fortunes are intertwined. Thus, I think there is plenty of room for improvement and would hope that while your post caused a bit of a firestorm, it does illustrate that there is pent up frustration that Adobe needs to take seriously into consideration.

  81. Bill

    Developing browser plugins (like Flash) for OS X, especially for Safari is a nightmare. Apple constantly changes APIs and replaces them with buggy implementations. Apple refuses to offer necessary support to plugin developers. So if Flash works better on Windows than on OS X, most likely the problem is with OS X APIs for browser plugins.

  82. Mike E.

    Thanks Kevin for the additional post. We’ve made a very heavy (20% of revenue for 7 years) investment in Flash (AS3) and all the negative comments were giving me a facial tic.

    Looking forward to 10.1 for Mac/Linux. We’re depending on you.

  83. Rui Silva

    Hi Kevin,

    Your original post and further comment are truly helpful when trying to see who is who and what is what in this whole affair.

    As a die hard Flash developer and supporter I really appreciate your insight as it provides valuable information about the state of things. This is information we can provide to concerned customers or users to try an ease their minds.

    From all of what’s been said here, I’d really like to see an one-on-one between Adobe and Apple so that everyone can finally understand where both stand and what both are doing to solve the users problems.

  84. Patrick C.

    Before coming on Apple Mobile Device, finish your job on other Apple Device:
    – flash player performance: I’m suprised of your post as I’ve seen recently another post from Adobe accusing Apple to be responsible of bag performance. Now, with your post, it seems to be your job
    – support of a small and cheap software made for non professional users: I speak about CS, for example CS3 that you have stop support on Mac OS X 10.6
    – remember us where are Premier and small other software on Mac OS X-> Apple is doing the same thing, stop complain, they just use a photocopier.

    Do a good job on Mac OS X, and users will listen to you on iPod/iPad.

  85. Steve S

    I don’t understand why you (Adobe) is trying to justify/defend this crappy software for Apple products. On the Mac, Flash is absolutely garbage, specifically, CPU loading, battery drain, memory leaks and crashes is not something you should be trying to defend. On portable/mobile products it is a disaster.
    Just fix the bloody thing and then you may have an argument but while it performs like a beta product you really have nothing to contribute. I have blocked all Flash on my MBA and now I find my battery lasts twice as long.

  86. seb

    Dear Adobe.

    15 years. It’s been a great run.

    But I just can’t do it with you anymore.

    I never understood Flash. I never understood why you killed GoLive instead of developing and furthering consistency in UIs. You should look at coda and see how it’s done. You even killed the UI in photoshop too! And don’t get me started on Flash and and Fireworks?! Adobe Fireworks? What a cruel joke…

    Flash simply has to go in an open source world, it is redundant.

    Web developers have fantastic tools as jquery, php, mysql, html5. Surely, there is nothing left for flash in browsers. Perhaps on pen tablet devices. But, uh, see who will run that market.

    As a freelancer I can’t defend your prices either when there are free alternatives to your web development tools.

    Goodbye, Flash. And good riddance.

  87. Don Kerr

    I hear a lot of opinions from technology people. But, what about the typical end-user? What do they want? They want what meets their needs. That varies widely as it should. They can give a crap what is under the hood or who is winning the nerd pissin’ contest or who has more market share.

    As a developer, I want the full flexibility to meet my user’s needs without ANY barriers. I don’t want anything that gets in the way of my ability to innovate and deliver products on any device.

    Kevin really nailed it with the title “Open Access to Content and Applications.” He also really nailed it by casting a vision of “Open Screen.”

    I’m “Pro-Life” on social issues. But I’m “Pro-Choice” when it comes to technology, innovation and meeting my customer needs.

    How hard would it be for Apple to become Pro-Choice? Let true competition drive what apps people choose to use and on what device they choose to use it on?

    As of today, my customers, which include NASA, are choosing Adobe Flash because they care about user experience.

    Please allow the user to decide.

    Don Kerr

    Space City Adobe User Group
    Houston, TX

  88. John Mason

    Flash Player is very far from perfect, but at the same time I see a lot of buggy Objective-C apps as well. So let’s all be fair on that point.

    I’m trying to get to the heart of the technical issue surrounding this debate. Can yourself or one of the engineers at Adobe fully explain why this hasn’t happen yet. It seems you need help from Apple? What exactly are the problems?

    I need to also make the point that get Flash on the iPhone or iPad it wouldn’t necessarily need to work as a plugin within the Safari browser like the way we normally see it on the desktop environment. It may actually be more practical for everyone involved to simply have a place holder for the flash content that when you click on it takes you to a separate Flash Player app that plays the flash content. For example, in many cases when I click on video content, the iPhone jumps me into the YouTube player. Or when I click on an email address, into the Mail program. Why could we not have the same logic for the Flash Player? Yes, it may not be a perfect solution, but it would at least provide something. If YouTube and Apple worked that out, I would suspect it’s workable for Adobe and Apple.

  89. Isaac

    Don’t you all think windows platform is better off then?

    I have personally experienced this on my machine, whenever I use chrome to view my Flex sites, the font rendering is wobbled but with IE, it’s pixel perfect, I thot maybe in some sense, M$’s approach to using ActiveX pays off then… it’s better and more stable though not widely accepted.

  90. dan

    A few thoughts from a long time flash guy:

    -It seems obvious that Apple doesn’t support flash on iDevices so they can sell apps through the app store.

    -Bad performance is almost always because of bad coding practices by whomever made the content.

    -It seems a lot easier for a bad programmer to get Flash work than other programming work—because they usually work for the creative department not the technology department.

    -A lot of Flash people come from the art side of things, not the tech, which also accounts for a lot of bad programming.

    -I’m really excited to be able to build one app in flash and export an iPhone app, an iPad app, Mac and Windows Air apps, and a web version, all with one click. If you guys can really get that to work it will be a major accomplishment.

    -People who build banner ads should not have access to the full application power of flash.

    -old SWFs with infinite frame loops, terrible CPU usage and the like should be quietly snuffed out by the newer players.

    -The newer players could have restraints that force developers to code more responsibly (and probably miss deadline!)

    In the end I think this will be good for Adobe, a little pressure makes everyone work a little harder.

  91. KKai

    I also don’t need Flash will go away in the foreseeable future.

    However, two main issues — performance and stability, really damage the user experience, and I hope Adobe can focus on them and make significant (not just a little better) improvement in these two areas because these two issues will really drive people (mainly developers) to seek alternatives.

  92. dan

    Oh and one last thing:

    To the guy who said he’s still coding AS2—you’re who Jobs was talking about when he said “lazy”. Adobe still wants your cash for an upgrade, but AS1&2 should be dropped.

    You are the scourge that’s killing flash.

  93. Cliff Rowley

    @FREDO no, but batteries suffer in a hot laptop, as does battery life from constant high CPU usage when surfing.

    @BILL actually you’ll find that the *standalone* Flash Player suffers as many performance problems as the browser plugin, so the problem almost certainly isn’t browser APIs.

    @SEB not sure what relevance any of that has in terms of the subject (iPad (+OS X) and Flash) 😉 Also, this isn’t really (or ever will be) an open source world. It’s a mixed world. Without commercial software, the only software would be written by hobbyists, there would be little competition, and innovation would slow to a crawl. Remember that even the best open source software (such as linux) was born from a commercial world (due to frustration) and is maintained by a commercial world (who pays the bills?).

  94. Skylined69

    I can understand the whole debate based on processor drain on mac’s and that may go a long way to explaining Apple’s stance on the issue but I’m more inclined to believe that apple don’t want flash on the iPhone/iPad due to profit loss from the app store.

    It’s easy to see that the more flash games you play on safari the less consumers would be likely to buy games on the app store and I suspect this could be equally true of other types of app’s on the store.

    The one thing that truly makes the iPhone great is the flexibility given to it by the app store however if given the choice of paying for apps on the store or using free online content I know which one I’d pick and Apple certainly won’t want that as an option.

    Unfortunately Apple advertise the iPad as the best way to browse the web, this in my opinion is a completely false and misleading statement on Apple’s part as the best experience is the one that gives the consumer complete access to the web warts and all, not annoying blue lego bricks.

    I have to admit that Adobe’s stance on this blog is at least more open than Apple’s, that being said it’s not gone far enough if there are specific reasons Apple are refusing to come to the table on this call them out, state what the issues are rather than tip toe around the subject, at present both companies are acting like Schoolkids pointing fingers at each other and laying blame.

    While I applaud Adobe for seeming to be more open on the situation with consumers it’s not the details consumers want hear, after all both Adobe and Apple would not exist if not for their consumers and it’s apparent now that all people want is for both parties to come to the table and develop a solution to the problem.

    If it comes down to redesigning flash from the ground up so it will play nice with the A4 processor then thats what it should take, if it comes down to Apple letting the consumer use the product for what they want (unrestricted web surfing) not what Apple can charge for then this has to be what it takes.

    At present consumers are feeling less and less confident in both parties because of this tit for tat argument, at the end of the day all I want as a consumer is to be able to play Cafe World on an ipad without it crashing until then arguments from both sides are moot points because it’s only prolonging the frustration of your consumers.

  95. W^L+

    The biggest and most important thing on a mobile platform is that Flash must NEVER autostart. Let the user decide whether the Flash content on a page is worth viewing.

    When I browse to a site on my Pre, I want the choice whether I see active content (e.g., “rich media” ads).

  96. W^L+

    By the way, on older WinXP machines and 64-bit Linux machines, content in the Flash Player can consume so much CPU and RAM that even a browser kill won’t work. It takes a hard restart to get control back.

    That, and the banner ad problem (on a Flash-free computer, you don’t have autostarted Flash adverts expanding to cover the page), are major reasons why I wish Flash would not autostart. If swfdec worked for more sites, I would switch in a heartbeat.

  97. _mark

    Adobe, don’t let all these jokers with pr0n infested machines dictate your operations. Most of them are lying / exaggerating mac fanboys whom are aligning themselves with Jobs and his ill fated iPad App Store Cash Cow.

    Flash works great for 95+ % of us. I’m sure you guys know this. Screw Apple and HTML5 beating Flash RIA’s like PREZI.COM ??

    LOL!! HTML7 won’t beat Flash10. Dream on you little chest beating baboons!

  98. Cliff Rowley

    @SKYLINED69 The problem with the whole “Apple don’t Flash because they’ll lose sales” is kinda flawed when you consider that the App Store is (and will remain to be, as is entirely evident on the Android platform with its store) the easiest and most profitable way for developers to sell their games and apps. Flash really wouldn’t make a dent in that.

  99. jb

    Spend less time on PR fighting with Apple and more time fixing your terrible legacy code. Flash is responsible for more computers getting hacked any other piece of software. Its only real competitor is the massively bloated Adobe Reader (40+ meg download for a pdf reader, how come Foxit Pro does it with a 4 meg download, faster and more secure?). Its almost comical to see every year the security researchers win the Apple and Windows computer by exploiting flash and owning a box 8 seconds after the Pwn hacking contest starts.

  100. Rich Howarth

    I’m sorry but I have to agree with Steve Jobs. Flash is a disaster on OSX and would be worse on the iPhone or iPad.

    I had to change the New York Times from my homepage because of the goofy flash ads they use. Every time my Macbook Pro fans start running full-speed it is due to Flash.

    Flash has a great development environment but the Mac runtime needs serious help.

  101. James

    ” Before we release a new version of Flash Player we run more than 100,000 test cases and have built an automated system that has scanned over 1 million SWFs “

    If the same people write the code for the final product as well as the test cases, and the final product is largely believed to be buggy and inefficient, can you really trust the results of those test cases? Were the tests written correctly? Do you claim to have a 100% pass rate, or do ‘more than 100,000’ test cases pass out of a far larger number of test cases?

  102. Matthew

    I’ve been using Windows since 1.0 & a Mac for 6 years.
    Flash enters my life most often for annoying flash advertisements (about 80%) and animated content (the remaining 20%). The ads (or other content), running for a while in a background browser tab are most often the reason I need to kill a browser, whether on Mac (Intel, PPC) or on Windows, on any browser. The only difference with Chrome is the limited scope of the crash…but that’s not my primary browser.

    With AJAX/Javascript, some browsers will give the option of killing or halting the offending script. Why not the flash player? Also, why not actively collect info from crashes and hangs in the flash player? Then you may be able to analyze the crashes.

    Because of the above issues, I can tell you that flash has become one thing I’d rather do without.

    I have to say my sentiments are in line with what Mr Jobs expressed. He just gave voice to it before I did.

  103. Blain

    Since when is previous market share a solid reason to maintain such a share? Flash is common, so everyone needs to have flash. The same could be said about IE6. It’s time to move on.

    Were it just about protecting the App Store sales, Apple wouldn’t allow free apps in their store, nor would they work hard on a good javascript and HTML 5 engine.

    One of Firefox’s plugins is Flashblocker. And on the Mac, there’s ClickToFlash ( ). That they even exist, much less are very popular, is telling.

    FickleBlox and Chroma Circuit are both panned in the app store for being sluggish, and more telling, both of these simple 2D games take more disk space than something as graphical as the native 3D game Enigmo.

    Others have already commented on the youtube clip. Miniclip’s game, with limited 2D graphics looked sluggish and had flickering. The camera had to cut when the National Geographic page refused to finish loading. Why should this be considered acceptable, much less ‘rocking’, on a 1Ghz snapdragon when a 400Ghz iPod Touch is playing Need for Speed with detailed 3D graphics?

    I had more to say, but in reading the comments, they’ve already been said (Maemo, Chrome, etc).

  104. OK

    I had to scrap my old iMac ONLY because Flash websites made it unusable with CPU spiking to 100% most of the time. Ever since I use browser add ons to block all those useless Flash animations.
    The worst things are the websites designed completely in Flash, utterly useless! We need innovations based on open standards not monopoly by one company, same for Apple not just for Adobe.
    Well done for Mr Jobs for standing up against this.
    I chose Apple products because I like them due to innovation and ease of use not because I’m forced to use them.

  105. tom

    I think of software in terms of ‘worlds’ or platforms and there are first class players in a world and poor relations.
    The iphone world has first players in Objective C and Cocoa api’s. HTML 5 is a poor relation – but getting richer. Flash – in the cold.
    In Chrome/ChromeOS – HMTL5 and ECMAScript are first class things. Flash is a poor relation.

    I’m surprised that Adobe didn’t try to make Flash/Actionscript a first class environment on mobile platforms. That is the whole functionality of the mobile device is exposed as ActionScript api’s. Something similar to Android but with Flash replacing the Java/Darvik layers. i.e Adobe MobileOS (Infact, use the same mobile linux kernel as Android). If it was done well Adobe could have made money out of licensing. And developers would have got on board.

    If Actionscript could find it’s way into Chrome – with Dom access – via native client – it could give Actionscript/Flash a new lease of life. e.g

  106. i_cola

    Jeez, if Flash is so great just concentrate on getting it to work without dragging down whatever platform / browser it is trying to run on. I don’t know anyone with a mobile device that has it working properly and I’ve had three browser crashes on my laptop today from trying to run Flash-based pages.

    I use & train people on CS4 design apps and love it but Flash is just an annoyance.

  107. Alderete

    My current distaste for Flash stems from two personal observations. First, it’s currently definitely a processor hog on my Mac OS X system. Whenever I’m on a site with Flash content (without ClickToFlash enabled), my laptop’s fan starts to whir at high speed. My wife’s (older) laptop is even worse.

    No, that doesn’t mean my laptop is going to melt, but (a) I don’t want to hear the noise, and (b) it means that other applications will not be able to get resources, i.e., will be slower. Poor price to pay for being able to see annoying ads.

    If what Kevin has written above (in the comments) about Flash Player 10.1 is true, and processor utilization will be better optimized for Mac OS X, that’s great news, and I think those of us for whom Flash is not a religious issue, but a pragmatic one, will be heartened.

    But second, while there certainly is a lot of Flash content on the web (“85% of top web sites”), how much of it do I want to see? I recently installed ClickToFlash, which hides Flash content by default, while allowing me to click it to run it. I would venture to say that I click fewer than 1 in 100 Flash blocks I see, on roughly 1 in 40 pages I visit. I am not missing much by turning off Flash voluntarily, and my experience on my Mac has helped me realize I am not deprived when I browse on my iPhone. No Flash on my iPhone has become a feature, not a liability.

    ROB MCKEOWN wrote “I would rather have a better experience that drains my battery faster or uses more memory than not be able to see half the content on the internet.”

    I am not sure what “better experience” he is referring to; having my battery drained faster is a worse experience, not a better one.

    And “half the content on the Internet” is such hyperbole that it’s laughable. If you subtract advertising (which I understand the need for, but don’t desire to see) and video (which has alternative methods for presentation), what is left? As a percentage of the web’s content, not much, and certainly very little that I care to see myself. I think we’re talking low single digit percentage here, not “half.”

    Rob, if you seriously find yourself deprived of content that is important to you, perhaps you want an Android phone. Have at it, the Nexus One sounds pretty good. A thriving market for smart phones means you have options. But many of us who don’t “need” Flash are quite happy to be without it on our iPhones.

  108. Subduer

    The HTML5 threat is exactly what Adobe and Flash needed, this defiantly forces Adobe to explore more innovation when it comes to the Flash Player. I myself have been developing with Flash on a Mac since OS X arrived and back in the pre Mac Intel days developing Flash content for the web was very painful at times. In some ways I felt it forced me to code as efficient as possible, trying to squeeze every ounce of performance from the Mac Flash Plugin (pre Intel).

    Like some others have noted, an application can come crashing down on its knees if the person behind the scenes doesn’t know how to effectively write code. ActionScript has harbored some of the biggest hack coders (99% of the time coming from a creative background) out of any programming language from my personal experience. ActionScript has come a long way since 1.0, it’s time Adobe starts cracking the wipe on Designers (weekend warrior coders) and forcing harsher standards (creating better flash experiences). AS3 is going in the write direction but needs to move a little faster.

    I will admit, one of the most appealing things about potentially leaving Flash and doing front end web development is the fact I can do it all in simple free Text Editor with a really good open source community to support me. I understand there are work arounds deploying SWFs without Flash/Flex but I’m sure Adobe at some point wouldn’t want Developers to stop buying their products because they can do it all in a simple Text Editor along with open source tools.

    I’m defiantly at a crossroad debating if I should keep on keeping on with ActionScript/Flash or embrace HTML5/JS/CSS. Currently where I work we have pushed away from Flash content because of Strategy and to be more “APPLE LIKE”. They’ve off-shored development and it’s been a complete nightmare, and proves that any web technology done poorly with result in a poor product. At the end of the day I see Apple and Google trying to dictate and push Web 3.0, and sadly Adobe hasn’t shown me they’re in it to win it.

    ActionScript has really come a long way from its pre Flash 5 days, but at some point Adobe has to keep carrying the Flame that Macromedia carried. But as much as I hate to put ActionScript/Flash aside and move on to Web technologies that I swore I never would… I have support my family, and if Flash puts that in jeopardy sadly I will have to embrace HTML5/JS/CSS.

  109. Darren oakey

    I don’t particularly like flash. But i do like adobe. And I do like hulu and other things that use flash, and I very much don’t believe that apple has the consumers best interests at heart by keeping flash off the iPhone – they are trying to monetize all media access, and flash would defeat that effort

    however, I’m amazed that you, Adobe aren’t fighting back – Apple is obviously and actively trying to kill one of your key products, they’ve already turned the fight dirty

    Why on earth haven’t you released a version of flash, or even a flash capable browser for jailbroken phones? It will at once force apple to the table, make your products accessible to 70 million new consumers, and give a good reason for every iPhone owner on earth to jailbreak, thus putting a dent in the monopolistic power that apple is nurturing and abusing.

    Give us flash now, and teach apple that you are a company worthy of respect in future dealings

    anyway, my 2c

  110. Grantus Maximus

    Haha @ “…how can Apple open their device for you to port a potentially battery gulping, processor hogging content platform”…

    My iPhone is already battery gulping and slugish.. as the OWNER of my iPhone, I don’t see why I don’t have the choice to install flash… I mean I paid for the phone? Just like I paid for my computer, and I can install whatever I like on it?

    I wonder if opening the iPhone or iPad up for people to use Flash based games and applications might somehow affect Apples revenue from the App Store?

    The bottom line is corporations will SAY whatever the need to keep their customer loyalty and DO whatever they need to do to increase their bottom line.

  111. Jacob Hanson

    What kind of planet are you Mac users on? I use a Mac Pro every single day and a Dell Hackintosh M1330, every single day. While there is a noticeable difference in Flash’s performance on OSX vs Windows, I in no way experience regular crashes due to Flash on either machine. Oh, I have regular crashes, yes. I tracked down a recurring Firefox one due to Java today. Finder crashes sometimes. Quicktime sometimes. Various other things, too.

    Flash’s development tool may be a POS, but in a Mac shop running 100+ Macs, these reports of instability due to the Flash Player just does not correlate with reality.

    Seriously? Steve Jobs proclaims Flash as buggy and unstable and everyone is jumping right on board. Yes, it’s obvious Adobe needs to step up their game, but c’mon, my eyes are rolling at this BS.

    FWIW. I’ve submitted 2 bug reports/feature requests to the Flash bug tracker system and they have both been resolved. Yes, it took months, but it did happen. One is a new feature for Flash CS5 (global error handling).

  112. christian

    How silly is to define a company “lazy”, especially the one who brought us a great software as Flash Player (better explained). If it was such a crappy thing, how could it get where it is (with no real competitor)? There is not such thing as “lazy” in business, especially when you compete with Microsoft and Sun.

    Have you ever heard of ROI? It’s not about laziness, it’s just business, get the best return of your investment, and it seems this worked out pretty well for Adobe. Why should have Adobe in the past focused on Mac at the same level as on Windows when the latter user base were 20 times bigger? Is it only Flash which run so bad on pre-Intel Macs? I don’t think so, otherwise Apple wouldn’t have jumped to Intel so quickly.

    Clearly now things are changing, what was before the 4% of the PC market (Apple), now, especially considering the hype and fanatism, is going mainstream and Adobe might have to review its strategy (which might consider to improve the PPC player as well since it seems many people are quite reluctant to update their macs, after all the money they spent) but it’s not necessarily the hype which brings the money, so let’s just give Adobe the time to react to this eventual market change, I’m sure they have all the possibilities to win again from the competition and bring us some great web experiences on our favorite devices (only a fool can expect, of course, that any device will be treated equally, Adobe ain’t charity!).

  113. Harold C Heard Jr


    I like and agree with your points; I find that the core reason this type of attack occurs is (In My Humble Opinion) IMHO; Apple needs Adobe and there is a greater dependence on Adobe’s assests then they are willing to discuss. Keep up the good works!

    Make no mistake if Apple could own Adobe’s ability they would.

    Very best,

  114. Hacked Off

    I have been having regular crashes of IE7 for over a year now. These are invariably caused by Flash 10, specifically Flash10a.ocx

    So, after the first 50 or so crashes, I finally uninstalled Flash 10…..and now if I want to browse something that demands Flash then I install it (yet again) and then uninstall it afterwards.

    Flash 10 is a complete pain in the butt – and Jobs is completely right to criticise Adobe for not fixing it!

    If it causes Adobe a commercial problem to be sidelined because of this then so much the better – they have only themselves to blame!

  115. J.C. Costa

    Both Apple and Adobe are powerhouses of talent. I don’t own a Mac, but I was used to have an iPhone and I own an iPod Touch, so far did not miss Flash but I can’t imagine Internet witouth Flash.

    Apple dissing Adobe and Google? Remember those days when they were all friends with a common target known as Microsoft? Mr Gates is now spending his money to leave the planet better when he’s gone and turned out a better guy then Googlers and Mr Jobs.

  116. Dr. DAT

    It’s really very simple, Kevin.

    Apple is trying to enhance customer satisfaction by not including Flash on its mobile devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad).

    At the same time, all of their Macs have Flash, so this is NOT an us vs. them issue.

    Adobe does not seem to have answers. Develop a flash player as efficient as HTML5 and the problem’s over. Or don’t and watch Flash go the way of Postscript.

    I’m simply an end user and have no developer dog in this fight.

  117. John Elkan

    Please stop work on flash platform and return back to work on dreamweaver and html 5 inclusion/function; you have dropped Interakonile extensions several years ago and now we don’t have more tools for create application for the web 2.0

    ADDT (dreamweaver development toolbox) not flash is the future!!!

  118. Geoff

    I used to think it was my the low spec on my netbook, or maybe Linux, was to blame for the terrible performance of Flash. My CPU hits 100%, the video stutters, and generally sites with video become unusable.

    Roll forward to 2010, and Youtube introduces a HTML5 video opt-in programme. Now, and unexpectedly, all Youtube videos play perfectly, and with under 45% CPU.

    This confirms that Flash performance under Linux (and maybe other platforms) is terrible. And it’s not the fault of Linux, it’s just that there was no alternative until now, so we all blamed our PCs, and bought faster ones.

    The cat’s out of the bag – Adobe need to move incredibly fast to improve the performance and reliability of Flash on low-end platforms (netbooks/phones/slates) – especially under Linux. Flash 10.1 seems to be their admission of this fact, albeit several years too late. If they don’t act soon, HTML5 will make them yesterday’s must-have, and I won’t be shedding a tear for them.

  119. John Mason

    Ok, there have been lots of comments about poorly written Flash apps. Yes they do exist. Who’s to blame for that? Adobe? Or the Flash developers? I see many excellently written apps in Flash or Flex that are frankly works of art. At the same time folks, there are buggy iPhone Apps. The point I’m trying to make is that there are bad developers and everyone suffers because of them.

    The Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad doesn’t support any plugin – flash, silverlight, java, etc. Apple may have very good reasons for this.

    Please refer to my earlier post. I imagine it may be acceptable for all involved to not run flash as a plugin on Safari on these platforms and yet still be able to run the flash content if the user chooses to do so.

  120. Dan Cawthorne

    Well Said John Mason,

    Well what are one of the main reasons people buy apple products, and what type of people buy apple imacs?

    Graphic Designers & Web Developers, Using pretty much most of adobes Software?

    Why doesnt Adobe just remove supprt from Apple Products stop making software. it’ll soon penalize apple and people will stop buying apple!!

  121. John Bull

    You Apple guys can spout on about who’s to blame all you like.

    The fact is that as a plain old user I want to browse the web and view videos, films and games. I will not buy a browser device that does not have Flash.

    The iPad is doomed to failure and only those usual blind Apple users gushing about Apple products will buy one, to the rest of us who couldn’t give a stuff about the brand, it is USELESS.

  122. Bill

    Please, just work together guys. I’m a regular consumer, and you know what? I couldn’t care less about the technical ins and outs, just stop this childish never-ending throwing insults at each other.
    Adobe makes brilliant software, Apple makes brilliant hardware, stop behaving like a pair of middle-aged married parents whose kids have left home so they feel as if they’ve nothing better to do than bicker and snipe at each other.

    Make it work

  123. JoeAD

    “Longer term, some point to HTML as eventually supplanting the need for Flash, particularly with the more recent developments coming in HTML with version 5. I don’t see this as one replacing the other, certainly not today nor even in the foreseeable future.”

    Wasn’t this the exact same stance Adobe banged on about when AJAX was just beginning to emerge as an alternative to Flash based navigation, slide out panels, widgets, etc? – it’s pretty clear which technology the web embraced that time…

  124. Russ

    I’m not a developer or a technical person, but I have used Macs since 1984 and know my way around technology. I think Adobe makes some great products–I found Acrobat Professional and Photoshop Elements to have superb documentation and interface. However, Flash on the Mac is an utter disaster, and I fault Adobe for not getting this right. They only have themselves to blame for its omission from the iPhone OS.
    I have run hundreds of applications on my MacBook and MacBook Pro. Only with Flash does the MacBook fan start spinning in such high gear it sounds like a rocket liftoff, and the temperature soars to what could cook an egg. Crashes, while not frequent, are regular, and the performance of the machine grinds to a crawl.
    If Adobe says they don’t ship Flash with any known bugs, I conclude that their QA is suspect.
    Flash on the Mac is horrendous, and I don’t think I’d even want it on my iPod Touch. It sounds like Adobe is defending a process amounting to garbage in, garbage out.

  125. Frank

    We’re so dissappointed with Adobe software here.
    Used to be big fans, I first used photoshop in v1, when it came on a single floppy. Now: not so much.

    Apart from the continuing string of security issues, that will probably lose you flash’s privileged place as ‘most installed plugin’ really quite soon, the software just ‘aint that great any more.

    The only reason we still have Adobe CS suite installed is that our customers use it.

    The CS3 suite experience was horrible: installation took forever and crashed repeatedly. It’s a memory and processor hog too, even allowing for the inherent footprint of graphics software.

    CS4 – wouldn’t even install in the trial version. Well, a disincentive to spend $ there. We decided to make do with CS3.

    Then there’s cost.
    We spend more on 1 adobe CS seat than we do on 10 Microsoft seats for: OS + Office + Servers + Database software + 4 Visual Studio licenses combined.
    Oh, and we get the expression suite thrown in. It’s improved to the point of being worthy of serious consideration, just like Silverlight.

    We’ve got years of flash AS experience, same for illustrator, photoshop and dreamweaver: but we’d drop you tomorrow for an alternative.

    Unhappy customers.
    Watch out for us.
    We’re the ones reducing our dependence on you as fast as we can.

    Again: the only reason we still have Adobe CS suite installed is that our customers use it. that’s a bad reason.

  126. Jean-Marc De Jonghe

    I Completly agree with Mr. SIMS,

    «I’m all for an open web, but I want one that works reliably on the device that I choose to use. You’ve built this mess for yourself. If you want to fix it, deliver technology that runs in a low footprint on every device. Deliver technology that doesn’t crash.»

    Do your homework Adobe, It’s your job to fix the mess you have created !

  127. Elazar Yifrach

    I am sorry if I’m missing anything, but there is something i truly don’t understand and would like to know.

    In all this discussion, people speak about “Flash” and what it can or can’t do an how it behaves, but no one refers to its core, Actionscript.

    I’ve been a flash developer since times you couldn’t produce much more than a square moving from side to side, and now I’m a Flash/Flex Sr developer responsible for developing elaborate Flex/Flash applications in a well known company, and it has always been a puzzle to me, why do adobe keep updating the language, making everybody learn new packages and libraries, without even once trying to really enforce strict programming rules on its language.

    Actionscript is the most forgiving language ever. You could get away with pretty much anything with it. Only at AS2 were you able to construct proper classes and data structures, and although there was an effort in AS3 towards more strict compilation, you could still make terrible performance mistakes and publish you content for the poor client to stare at an error he doesn’t understand (“hmm… An actionscript error has occurred… mx.binding.utils bla bla com.somecompany.somepackage bla bla… What should i click… hmm”) – and all because the developer didn’t feel it was urgent to properly manage resources (he has the semi working garbage collection, why should he care) or use try/catch blocks.

    When i first started playing with Objective-c, the iPhone’s main coding language, a subset of C, I was immediately captured by the strong foundations this language has. Other than its being based on C, it has so much more thinking about making the developer produce the most beautiful code he can. With Objective-C, I Finally saw a language that makes you band and twist for it, not giving you the clear impression that if you monkey patch it properly you can get it working for you, like actionscript does.

    Adobe has certainly done a great job with flash, and it is really a key player in the burst of the web since its creation, but flash, being actionscript driven, cannot, IMO, play along side the *Magic device’s* architecture.

    I probably owe it to actionscript’s inviting approach to developers of all levels, but even though it was great working with it, I have no intentions of learning Adobe’s latest package of code, I don’t see any Java developers or C++ devs having to take some days off main work to adjust their office to a patch issued by their language creators.

    I agree, some (few IMO) things can’t be done without flash, for now, but i think the web is definitely ready to see flash move from the front page and banners of every big site, demanding its CPU and memory, and perform only as the engine of complicated graphic application.

    THanks for reading, comments are most welcome.

  128. Brian

    These arguments that are made that the Windows version of Flash is better don’t seam to hold true for me. I have several P4 machines my kids use have constant issues with Flash crashing all browsers and when multiple browser windows with flash content are open in the background systems can loose performance.

    Add that to the Mac OX issue with flash on every browser I use for development and Flash has a very poor showing. I am glad Apple does not support it on mobile devices as it would just be a bad experience. Until Adobe can fix it to run with any kind reliability and so that it is not a resource hog I vote to keep it off.

    I am a web developer and I discourage the use of Flash in general. There are some places where it is useful, but a bulk of it’s use is for no good reason.

  129. joe

    My iPhone crashes like crazy. Everyone I talk to tells me how they have poor call quality and dropped calls.

    But somehow no one talks about it?

    When I watch videos on hulu, youtube, yahoo finance, listen to music on pandora, lala,… I don’t crash.

    If you do, log a bug at and tell them the URL that crashes flash 100% of the time.

    … I don’t think apple wants to hear about how your iPhone crashes.

  130. Paul

    I fall in the disabled Flash camp. I have a Flash blocker installed on all my Macs. To those saying don’t worry about the extra load on the CPU it won’t wear out, just use you rather under used brain and think about the real issue. The hotter the CPU is getting the faster the battery is draining. On my travel computer (a MacBook Air) I can see the battery life literally half if I enable Flash when browsing. It really is that bad. What makes it really bad is the fact that 90% of the Flash served up to my browser it is for advertising that I am not in the least bit interested in.

    To you advertisers out there, I would look at those adds (but still ignore them) if it wasn’t for the fact that Flash kill my usage time on my computer. I wonder how much money Google makes from advertising that never gets displayed…

    I’m not placing all the blame with Adobe a lot of it lies with the Flash application developers but come on Adobe it really is inconceivable that you need 100% CPU utilisation just to display a scrolling banner add. Maybe add a feature that limits the amount of CPU available to Flash and force the crap application programmers to learn decent programming habits.


    The “100% CPU Usage” problem is the thing that’ll kill Flash.

    More and more web developers (like us for example) use Flash in one out of ten projects and only out of a total necessity and the young web companies deny it totally. Any computer configuration out there with a CPU below iPad’s 1GHz frequencies will just refuse to render a full-screen flash site and… eventually crash. And I’m talking also about the netbooks, mobiles, etc.

    Do something.

    No hard feelings,

  132. Kevin Lynch

    It looks like the discussion is starting to repeat itself and we hear you.

    At Adobe we definitely don’t feel that Flash has any guaranteed role on the web unless it continues to deliver capabilities to the web that content creators and widespread users find compelling. Competition is good and keeps all the teams involved motivated and on their toes.

    As I said above, there are currently open reports regarding crashes that are being investigated in Flash Player 10 and we see the discussion on the web about this. We are taking this very seriously and continue to work actively with the browser teams on these issues. If you have a reproducable issue please report it.

    Enough words, back to focusing on actions — we are going to turn off comments on this particular post now and you are welcome of course to continue the conversation in other forums on the web. You can also send email directly to the Flash engineering team (and I see these as well) at