Adobe still angling for Apple Flash support

Adobe - still looking for Apple to adopt Flash in its devices
Adobe - still looking for Apple to adopt Flash in its devices

Adobe believes that Apple is missing a trick by not supporting Flash on either its popular iPhone or its forthcoming iPad, with the company pointing out that 85 per cent of the top 100 sites use the company's technology.

The lack of Flash support on Apple's gadgets has been a major talking point for years, but the announcement of the iPad at the end of January has inevitably drawn the conversation back out into the public arena again.

Adobe is understandably bullish about its product, and keen to push the heavy presence of Flash on the internet.

"From a content perspective, 85% of the top 100 sites [rated] on Alexa use Flash," Adobe's Director of Technology Strategy Partner Development, Anup Murarka, told TechRadar.

Farmville to Facebook

And that's not for adverts; it's games – like Farmville and most other Facebook games – interactive trailers, product previews shopping carts etc.

"70% of all web casual games are Flash, 75% of all video on the web is Flash. We have probably better reach than any other platform; 98% of all internet-connected PCs have Flash – and 95% have Flash Player 10 installed, "added Muraka.

"Flash is an integral art of the web experience today and we think there's a tremendous opportunity for designers and developers to deliver rich content on any device that has web browsing as part of it.

"With our most recent mobile announcements, 19 of the top 20 mobile device manufacturers have shipped Flash in one form or another; either our previous implementation of Flash Lite or they've committed to shipping Flash Player 10.1 in the near feature."

Only 9% of smartphones will have Flash this year, but that will be over 50% by 2010 according to Adobe and you won't have to buy a new phone to get Flash 10.1, asserts Murarka, adding:

"Whenever possible, where existing devices are compatible, an over-the-air update should offer them a great experience without having to purchase a new handset".

No Flash on iPad or iPhone

And the obvious exception? "Certainly [Apple's] use cases are all things where Flash is used to deliver those types of content today and we think it would be great if the iPad was supported with Flash as well."

But the iPad isn't the only tablet game in town for Adobe, with Murarka looking to the next wave of connected devices.

"We're interested in supporting Flash on tablets – on Linux, on Android, on Windows. Our silicon partners have done some amazing work to accelerate video performance and we have a wide range of partners in the pipeline to deliver Flash on tablet platforms."

The battery question

What about the criticisms of Flash: could badly-coded Flash run down your battery?

"It's an on-going effort," Murarka admitted; "but it is improving. We have a new ability in Flash Player 10.1 to be more respectful and mindful of the limits of mobile devices.

"We can dynamically detect which Flash objects are off-screen on a web page and auto-suspend processing of those elements - if it's not visible it shouldn't take any extra power - and we can do that dynamically as the user scrolls around.

"We're being mindful of suspend modes or sleep modes so apps do stop processing whenever your device goes into a low power state." And yes, Adobe is pushing content creators to think mobile.

"We're working with a number of developers already, through the Open Screen Project, so they can get what the real world experience is like with their sites. They want people to spend a long time on their web site - they don't want them running out of battery power in five minutes so they can't enjoy the site any more."