Earlier this week, Apple's infamously opinionated CEO, Steve Jobs, allegedly said in a private company-wide employee town hall meeting that they weren't putting Flash on the iPhone or iPad because Flash was still too buggy and insecure due to Adobe's laziness. Adobe's CTO, Kevin Lynch, responded to the claim in a lengthy blog post, in which he claims that Flash is "ready" for the iPhone and iPad.
Reverend Gruber has a great post which addresses one of the biggest concerns that people have about the iPad; its lack of Adobe Flash. Summed up, it goes like this: Flash totally sucks, but lots of sites on the web use it. So if the iPad doesn't support it, sites will either have to start using alternatives that work on the iPad like HTML5, or they won't be on the device.
I totally agree with the G-man on this, and there's a lot more to read on his post.
Steve Jobs is known to be calm and reserved when the media is around, but employees get to see his more outspoken side. According to a few anonymous Apple employees, they all got to see that side of him at a company town hall meeting a few days after the keynote. The events give employees to ask questions about the direction of the company. This time, it resulted in him bashing Google's motto and calling Adobe lazy.
If you're still holding onto hope that the the iPad will have Flash, it's time to let the notion go. In response to Internet-wide confusion, the iPad intro video which initially prompted us to think that the wonder pad would have Flash has been updated to show a "missing plugin" icon in place of would-be Flash content. The original version showed a mocked-up version of the New York Times with all Flash content loaded in.
So now that Apple's gone out of their way to remove Flash from their promotional video, it's highly unlikely that we'll see Flash in the iPad any time in the near future.
I think most people probably weren't too surprised to see broken Flash elements in the websites Steve Jobs browsed to during the iPad keynote. It makes sense when you consider that the iPad is running what is essentially the same Mobile Safari as the iPhone and iPod touch. Surprisingly, however, Apple's promotional video and images on their website show the contrary.
With so many similarities to the iPhone and iPod touch (the OS kernel being one of them), it was no surprise that the device doesn't support Adobe Flash. Still, now that Apple has expanded the products with that limitation to include a tablet, some think Apple is pushing their anti-Flash agenda a little too far. Adobe is understandably one of them, and they have issued a public response announcing that they intend to fight Apple's unofficial boycott.
The wait to get Adobe Flash working on the iPhone may be finally over, in a matter of speaking, thanks to an alternative technology. The Gordon project, an open source effort at github, makes it possible to load Flash .swf files on the iPhone's Mobile Safari web browser. The technology is a little too complicated for a non-developer like myself to understand, but Erica Sadun posted a good explanation.
In an unlikely twist, Microsoft has successfully demonstrated streaming video powered by their Silverlight technology playing on an iPhone. The technology uses server-side transcoding and an HTML5 video tag, and displays Silverlight content in a native H.264/MPEG-2 v8 format recognized by the iPhone's built in Quicktime player. Most surprising was the response of Microsoft User Experience Platform Manager Brian Goldfarb when asked how they succeeded with Silverlight where Adobe had failed with Flash: "We worked with Apple."
Adobe has pointed a subtle finger at Apple in a recent change to their "Get Flash" download page for their Flash Player. When viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch, it now blames Apple directly for the lack of Flash support for the device, pointing out their restrictions on "such technologies".
Software developer Adobe Systems announced on Monday that its next version of Flash Professional, which is due to hit beta next year, will allow developers to export their Flash code in a format that allows it to run as a native iPhone application. The company also stated the solution was developed without the help of Apple, though it hopes the iPhone maker will be glad of its efforts. Per Macworld, the fix is designed as a workaround that will prevent developers from having to rewrite their applications from scratch for the iPhone.