In a rather unusual move Steve Jobs has eschewed his normal curt emails from his iPhone or iPad and typed an opus on Apple’s reasoning behind not allowing Flash on iDevices. What’s more he’s posted it front page on the Apple corporate web site for all to see.
It makes compelling reading, and calmly and clearly outlines the many factors behind Apple’s current stance on Flash for the iPhone.
Many of the points he makes have been discussed before. But some key ones are worth summarising :
Steve explains quite simply how Flash is a closed system, where as the web standards that the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are built on are all open standards available to all, which are more than capable of brining all the content that Adobe claim the iPhone is missing out on. With the one exception of Flash games that he admits. But even then the iPhone is not lacking for games as we all know.
He also goes on to point out that Flash is the number one cause of crashes on Macs, and despite promising fixes and updates Adobe are consistently late and unreliable with their support for the desktop version of Flash.
He even gives a timeline for broken promises from Adobe for a demonstrations of a usable version of Flash on a smartphone which to date has been postponed several times, and is currently slated for the second half of this year. Presumably on Android.
Finally he concludes that Flash’s interface does not work with touch screens as it relies on things touch screens don’t do, like hovering over items with a mouse pointer. It is, as he says, an environment designed for the PC era. A media system for the past.
It’s a far more eloquent and thought out reply to a business partner who’s history with Apple over the years, both good and bad, Steve clearly recalls in detail as he also details it in the letter, than the “[Expletive] You, Apple!” that Adobe shot at him from their blogs.
What is interesting to me is why he felt he had to do this? Is it for his own piece of mind, or for a more calculated legal reason. Or simply because he felt it needed to be said.
Have a read of Steve’s letter and let us know your view on the points he raises, and why he raises them, in the comments.