The iPhone has been out since mid-2007. The iPhone doesn’t run Flash animation. Does anyone miss Flash? Apparently not, since the iPhone continues to grow in sales and market share. Flash doesn’t matter much for iPhone users.
That brings up a logical question. Do Mac users need Adobe’s Flash player? If you enjoy crashing Safari, the answer is a qualified yes. Besides crashes, what does Flash really give to Mac users? Can we do without Flash on a Mac?
What Flash Does
Adobe’s Flash is billed as an interactive multi-media platform that provides animation and interactivity to web pages.
Flash can run on Macs or PCs in a standalone mode. Browsers need the Flash plugin to display Flash files.
Flash video is the de factor video standard on the internet. So, why isn’t Flash available on the iPhone and iPad? Why do we need it on the Mac? Flash is considered the number one cause of crashes for Mac users.
Flash In The Pan
The controversy surrounding Flash is growing. Google is slowly moving away from using Flash to stream videos in YouTube. No Flash anything on the iPhone or iPad.
Last week, TheFlashBlog put up a graphic which was designed to show how a bunch of popular web sites would look on Apple’s iPad. It wasn’t a pretty
site sight. Each web site featured the prominent Plugin Needed block instead of the Flash animation.
Someone else actually bothered to look at those same web sites using an iPhone and the result was much different; posting the question, “Do you really need Flash for the Web?”
Web sites have Flash games, Flash interactive animation, and Flash advertisements. What else? If the iPhone and iPad don’t need Flash, do Mac users need Flash?
No. Flash is technology from the 20th century, a vestige from the 1990s, an eye candy salute to Java’s write once, run everywhere mantra. Mac users do not need Flash. Flash will go the Internet Explorer route—a slow fall from grace, a lingering and painful remembrance of the past.
The 3 Faces Of Flash
Mac users run into Flash in three basic areas. Flash ads and effects. Flash games. Flash interactive sites. And probably in that order.
Flash ads can be defeated easily by Safari users with Click2Flash, a nifty utility which disguises Flash with a gray wall, and prevents them from running until you click the wall. Highly recommended if Flash ads annoy you.
Flash games are popular, though, compared to games on the iPod touch or iPhone, rather anemic and limited. Flash animated games are no match for standalone games on any platform, Mac, Windows, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. Good riddance.
That brings up Flash web sites. Here’s the Top 10 Flash Sites of 2010. Advertising agencies and many web designers love Flash because it offers an opportunity to bill clients lots of money to create an entertaining design.
Apple, Google, and many others think the internet would do just fine without Flash. I’ve been running Click2Flash for a couple of months to block out Flash on Safari. Mac users will never miss it. Your Mac will run cooler and have fewer crashes. What’s not to like about Flash going away?