4 February 2011


Why Don't Apple Products Support Flash?

When it comes to computers, it is an interesting situation in our office at FDC. All of the staff use either Macs or PCs. Because of this there is a consistent squabble about which platform is better. The web developers prefer their easily modified PCs, while the designers enjoy their trusty Macs.

The difference in opinion goes much further than computing though, and ends up in a bitter argument about Smart Phones. Once again the web developers preferring Android phones, while on the opposing side are the iPhone lovers.

The interesting thing is that I am in the middle. Being a copywriter I think that I am allowed to have a mixed opinion in this situation, as I am neither a designer nor a techie. I love the look of Apple products and have done for years, but I've always used a PC.

It is the same with phones. I just like a phone that looks good and lets me do all the things I need to do. But now I have taken the plunge and bought an iPhone. Before I was a seriously ignorant Apple-hater. Me and my BlackBerry were best friends and in my opinion every other smartphone - especially iPhones - were just useless.

One issue that also keeps recurring in the office is the Flash debate. Why don't Apple products support Flash?

The people at Apple obviously have their reservations about Flash. In an article written by Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, he clearly explains the situation:

"Flash was created during the PC era - for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards - all areas where Flash falls short."

Basically touch-screen technology is all the rage at the moment and Flash is just too dated to keep up the pace. It constantly requires the latest code in order to completely enable its functionality, and it was designed in a time where there was only one way to use a website and that was with a mouse and a PC - not for touch screen users.

The integration of touch screens requires different technology, and design agencies should embrace the new coding and new development rather than sticking to dated Flash. It's a difficult situation for Apple to be in, but with the company selling millions of iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches it can't possibly support Flash as it is completely incompatible.

Technology is always going to be subjective and personal opinions will always be divided about which brand is better or cooler. The Mac/PC debate will no doubt continue until designers and developers everywhere are blue in the face. We will just have to sit tight and see what happens with Flash's future, but one thing is certain: Apple will continue selling products and making a profit.


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