Is Apple the reason there’s no Flash video on mobile devices? After all, Steve Jobs hated Flash and the performance problems it caused to Macs, and banned it on iOS devices. Apple doesn’t even ship new Macs with Flash pre-installed.
Yes, Flash has become almost obsolete.
Say Goodbye To The Best Flash Ever
Purists like Apple’s executive staff may decry how the Flash plugin for Safari is a battery killer, and stability killer, and it’s difficult to argue with the sentiment.
The only problem is that recent versions of Flash have been among the best ever on my Macs. Flash may be obsolete, but it’s not quite dead. Yet.
Flash has been victimized by its own success. Without a clear cut standard for audio and video on the internet, Flash became the de facto player and standard in all browsers via the plugin.
Videos which used Flash became ubiquitous, as did Flash’s use in advertising. Advertisers needed interactivity and motion, and for years, Flash was the only game in town.
That was the problem. Mac and Windows PC users would browse to a website which displayed two or three Flash-based ads. Then, users would repeat that effort on more sites, with still more animated or video ads.
In short order, Flash was required to run a few dozen advertisements and videos in multiple open browser windows. All those Flash ads sucked up plenty of CPU horsepower, and even diminished notebook battery life quickly (not to mention the inherent problems of plugin stability).
It’s easy to understand why Steve Jobs put the kiss of death on Flash for iPhone.
My Mac uses Flash only in one place. Google Chrome. I don’t use the plugin for Safari or Firefox. Why?
Stability. Even though the latest versions of the Flash plugin are the most efficient and stable ever, too many websites display ads in Flash, and with half a dozen or more open browser windows, each with two or three Flash ads, it’s just asking for problems.
Flash today has more user settings and controls than Flash from back in the day. Adobe has given users more privacy controls, easier update options, and a feature to delete local storage and settings.
Flash can even use the Mac’s built-in iSight camera and microphone.
And, for what it’s worth, Google Chrome’s built-in version of Flash seems more stable than the plugin for Safari or Firefox.
Flash may still have a place among computer users, but the handwriting is on the wall. As Adobe continues to improve and modernize Flash, the trend moves toward mobile devices which is the dead end for Flash.
Think of what Flash could have been if Adobe had been able to create a stable, low-resource version that ran well on Macs and iPhones.