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Category Archives: Flash

There’s a lot of debates floating around the internet over the iPhone and Flash. Here’s an example. A lot of it is rather frustrating since it is miered in rhetoric. While most people won’t read this – its probably worth writing down for posterities sake. Having actually played with Flash development tools (not so much the authoring tool that comes with CS4) I thought it worth commenting on.

1. Flash is unstable

I honestly cannot remember the last time it crashed for me. I guess it might be unstable if your machine has several not up to date versions of the runtime installed.

2. Flash eats the battery alive

Maybe on the Mac which doesn’t have support for hardware acceleration. When I used to use a Mac as my main machine I never really did understand this – why Apple wouldn’t make the API public for 3rd party apps to use hardware acceleration on the video card. There apps can use it (Safari and the DVD player – but that is about it), but 3rd party apps cannot. In fact if you want to play back video on OSX you have to do so over the Quicktime libraries – which don’t support hardware acceleration. Maybe Apple does this deliberately to cripple Flash.

As a matter of fact – Hulu running in HD mode on my ancient Dell Optiplex 745 uses around 15-20% of the cpu resources – where playing video on my Mac in any program outside of Safari uses over 95% of the cpu, not just in Flash. Sounds like Steve should blame is OS engineers for the cpu time wasted.

No the reality is that Flash is an application platform these days – not at all unlike Java (which has also been barred from the iPhone). If Flash ran on the iPhone it would open up the device to applications that ran on it over the web without app-store approval and revenue. I suspect it’s as simple as that.

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