Steve Jobs has posted an open letter on the Apple site, outlining his thoughts on Flash and offering up six big reasons why it is not supported on the iPhone platform. Wow.  Talk about straight from the horse’s mouth.  Jobs’ letter certainly doesn’t leave any grey areas in terms of why Apple is not allowing […]
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Recommended: Steve Jobs’ Thoughts on Flash

Thoughts on Flash

Steve Jobs has posted an open letter on the Apple site, outlining his thoughts on Flash and offering up six big reasons why it is not supported on the iPhone platform.

Wow.  Talk about straight from the horse’s mouth.  Jobs’ letter certainly doesn’t leave any grey areas in terms of why Apple is not allowing Flash on the iPhone platform, and it looks clear that policy is not going to be changing anytime soon.

It looks like the letter is at least partially a response to some recent public statements from Adobe on this subject – and it hits back hard at those.

The letter covers a lot of ground – from a brief look back at Apple and Adobe’s long history of collaboration in certain areas to some places where he obviously feels Adobe has not been a great partner for them.

More than anything though, it’s the 6 reasons for not supporting Flash on Apple’s mobile platform that are laid out very clearly and strongly.  Here’s just a little slice:

Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn ‘t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

Steve covers just about all the bases I think – Flash is not open, it is not secure or stable, and it’s not needed for great video on the web and mobile devices. Oh, and his last big reason is that he is just not willing to have improvements to his mobile platform ever get held up through reliance on Adobe’s (or anyone else’s) software development tools.

I’m sure Adobe will have lots more to say on this, and a very different side of the story to get across.  This new era of Steve Jobs communicating more sure is spicing things up a fair bit though.  Now we don’t need to speculate on why doesn’t Apple allow Flash – it’s all been set out very clearly – although I’m sure plenty of people still will, and will tear down Steve’s reasons and offer other ulterior motives.

You can check out the full letter at Apple’s site here:

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

I discovered this this morning thanks to a good post over at Macgasm.

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