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Why the iPad Doesn’t Support Flash – Personal Speculation

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Recently, I went to an Apple training session, which may have been more of a sales pitch, but it was good and informative and we picked up some tools from it.  One of the questions that one of my colleagues brought up was whether Apple was going to support Flash on its mobile device browsers.  The salespeople alluded somewhat to HTML5.

I’ve been watching the recent emergence of Webkit as a popular browser engine. It’s the backbone for Safari and many browsers for mobile devices, touting major support for HTML5 and CSS3.  I’ve also recently read an article where Wired magazine had formed a partnership with Adobe to develop their magazine app for the iPad.  Surprisingly it uses Flash, but within the Adobe AIR platform.  AIR is platform agnostic and provides a way in which your Flash/Flex/AJAX web application can be run as a desktop/mobile application.  This, to me, seems like an interesting move for Adobe.

CSS3, on the other hand is looking to be a contender with Flash animation (jQuery too).  The Art of Web posted a great article on how to use CSS3’s 2d transformations properties.  Make sure you are viewing it in Safari or other Webkit browsers for best results.

As a CSS fan, this looks very promising.  No Flash, no jQuery knowledge; None of that is required.  You just need an understanding of CSS.  As Apple, this probably looks like an opportunity to make their browser (Webkit) the standard, especially on mobile devices right now.  Also maybe another opportunity to rid itself of Flash as a browser application.  The only drawback to HTML5 CSS3 is the same drawback that affects all new adoptions of HTML, XHTML and CSS.  It takes some time for all browsers to adopt these standards and takes time for developers to use such standards; some don’t fully adopt them anyway (thank you, Microsoft).

Apple is leading the race nonetheless and I think HTML5 and CSS3 should be taken seriously.  I don’t think Adobe should be ruled out though when it comes to engaging, interactive media.

Published inThoughtsWeb

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