Flash

Apple, leaving the past behind?

As a professional user, Adobe products clearly have great strengths but anyone who uses a product on a day-to-day basis will know their weaknesses. Adobe and Apple were very strong partners in the early days of DTP, the PDF format has grown hugely since that time. Recently though, even the PDF print option, once a great strength of Macs has become fragile and unpredictable.

I remember with sadness the demise of Macromedia, there were strong products in the collection: Fireworks (always cranky), Dreamweaver, Freehand and of course Flash.

I have been appalled at the behaviour of Dreamweaver CS4 on a Mac but continue to use it. InDesign is a powerful tool, it has been good to give Quark some competition. However I can’t honestly say that CS4 has impressed.

Below are Steve Jobs’ conclusions about Flash from an extensive letter on the Apple site.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Steve Jobs
April, 2010