The new UI wars: Why there's no Flash on iPhone 2.0

17 Jun 2008 - 11:19pm
6 years ago
3 replies
670 reads
Kontra
2007

Many reasons have been floated for why Flash isn't a good match for the
iPhone: it's slow, it hogs CPU cycles, it drains the battery, it crashes too
often, it's not optimized for Mac OS X and so on. As obvious as these
reasons may be, even if all those *technical* issues could be solved
tomorrow, there would still remain a huge divide between Adobe and Apple on
the iPhone: who controls the UI?
...
In this highly charged and competitive marketplace to establish the next UI
paradigm for mobile devices, Apple is not about to give Adobe or any other
company free reins to dilute its brand proposition by introducing
cross-platform, common-denominator UIs and interaction patterns to be
mingled with Apple's carefully orchestrated multi-touch approach. So what
does that leave Adobe with?

http://counternotions.com/2008/06/17/flash-iphone/

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

Comments

20 Jun 2008 - 8:29am
Stew Dean
2007

I always thought the Flash thing was about the UI but not about new
UIs being built for applications but the fact many existing flash
usages simply won't work on a small touch screen device. In short
flash on the iPhone would often break the web browsing user experience
in the way it's used. For that reason it's a good idea not to put it
on the iPhone. All the technical issues are solvable after all.

Stew Dean

2008/6/18 Kontra <counternotions at gmail.com>:
> Many reasons have been floated for why Flash isn't a good match for the
> iPhone: it's slow, it hogs CPU cycles, it drains the battery, it crashes too
> often, it's not optimized for Mac OS X and so on. As obvious as these
> reasons may be, even if all those *technical* issues could be solved
> tomorrow, there would still remain a huge divide between Adobe and Apple on
> the iPhone: who controls the UI?
> ...
> In this highly charged and competitive marketplace to establish the next UI
> paradigm for mobile devices, Apple is not about to give Adobe or any other
> company free reins to dilute its brand proposition by introducing
> cross-platform, common-denominator UIs and interaction patterns to be
> mingled with Apple's carefully orchestrated multi-touch approach. So what
> does that leave Adobe with?
>
> http://counternotions.com/2008/06/17/flash-iphone/
>
> --
> Kontra
> http://counternotions.com
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--
Stewart Dean

20 Jun 2008 - 8:34am
Jeff Seager
2007

My guess is that the next UI paradigm (in this context, at least) will
not be developed in the kind of environment in which Adobe developers
work, but in some small shop where people are free to create lean
code nearly from scratch.

Apple's success has come from making it easy and intuitive for the
end user, implementing solutions that are elegant in their
simplicity. Those words don't describe Flash, Flex, Air or any other
Adobe product.

I'm not knocking their stuff (I use quite a bit of it), but since
we're talking paradigms, the paradigm of Adobe developers is more
closely aligned with the way Microsoft developers work than the way
Apple developers work. And you don't have to look any farther for
proof than Adobe's website, where there are notes everywhere about
their _plans_ for OS X compatibility.

It's like translating the nuances of Chinese poetry into English. If
you aren't multilingual from birth, pick a language to master and
accept that your second, third, fourth languages will be sub-optimal.

People talk about this being a "war," but it doesn't have to be.
That's the paradigm that must change before consistent progress can
be made. The existence of cows does not depend on the non-existence
of horses. If there's a war here, it should be a war of
functionality against chaos. Pick a platform and program for it, and
allow for the coexistence of other paradigms.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30366

20 Jun 2008 - 3:07pm
Kontra
2007

> People talk about this being a "war," but it doesn't have to be.

Perhaps, but when Microsoft saw a threat to its desktop monopoly in the
Netscape browser, it decided to "cut off its air supply." When it saw a
threat to its media empire in QuickTime, it wanted to "knife the baby",
according to court proceedings. IOW, the players in this "war" are not
signing Kumbaya.

After Microsoft cut off Netscape's air supply, it achieved its goal of
impeding progress on browser development for five extremely long years. Only
after Firefox, Opera and Safari declared war on IE that we saw Microsoft
show any signs of interest in web browsers again. Just as IE is strategic to
MS and Flash to Adobe, so is Safari to Apple, which I explored in:

Runtime wars (2): Apple's answer to Flash, Silverlight and
JavaFX<http://counternotions.com/2007/11/15/apple-runtime-answer-2/>

Apple's "war" against Flash is to not allow its own platform to be
controlled/intimidated by an adversarial vendor, like MS did with its Office
suite. That Apple chose to do this not with another proprietary format like
Flash but largely on open source WebKit is commendable.

> That's the paradigm that must change before consistent progress can
> be made.

In the U.S. we have a market economy and an adversarial legal system pitting
sides against each other. I am not aware of any Republic of Kumbaya that has
been able to remotely challenge the rate of progress or innovation that we
have here.

> The existence of cows does not depend on the non-existence
> of horses.

While balance may be ideal, a species can wipe out another within the same
territory, as we see in nature all the time. Ask Netscape.

While it's trying to establish the iPhone as the next mobile platform, what
benefit would it be for Apple to allow into the mix a common-denominator
runtime, with different interaction patterns, non-native interface controls
and a glaring absence of a multi-touch UI framework, all from a vendor
that's in direct competition with it? Apple's not in the business of selling
kitchen sinks.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

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