Former Apple software engineer says Apple tested Flash on the iPhone in 2008

Former Apple software engineer says Apple tested Flash on the iPhone in 2008
The Apple iPhone has never had Adobe Flash. That is the program that runs certain animations on the browser. At one time, Apple critics were wondering how the company could advertise that mobile Safari provided the complete desktop browsing experience on the iPhone when the device did not include Flash. To make matters worse for Apple, Android browsers on phones running Android 2.1 and up did include Adobe's mobile Flash.

In January 2010, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs ranted against Adobe and Flash. He called it buggy, and said that in the future no one would be using it. He predicted that HTML5 was the wave of the future, which was quite an accurate call. Jobs later wrote a long essay entitled "Thoughts on Flash" which you can read by clicking on the sourcelink. Among issues with mobile Flash (besides being buggy), Jobs was not enamored with the battery drain and the fact that the software was not written for touchscreens.

According to a former Apple software development manager by the name of Bob Burrough, Apple tested Flash on the iPhone all the way back in 2008. According to Burrough, Jobs wasn't so upset at the bugs in Flash, which the executive felt were "mere engineering problems." What ticked off Jobs was that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen would not take Jobs' calls. Without this communication, Jobs did not feel confident that issues could be resolved. And that, according to Bob Burrough, is why the iPhone never had Flash.

But as it turns out, Flash never ran particularly great on Android and mobile Flash eventually died.


source: Apple, @bob_burrough via BGR

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21 Comments

1. EC112987

Posts: 1213; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Now safari doesn't support it smh

2. kiko007

Posts: 7457; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Why wouldn't they kill it? It's not particularly beneficial....

13. willard12 unregistered

Apparently, the reason why they would kill it is because of a personal spat between the two CEOs. Yet, the "innovative one" told consumers that it was "buggy", in spite of the fact that it was undergoing testing. When you let a corporation lie to over and over again, then come up with excuses to try to hide the fact that they were blatantly lying to you, that is insane. It only proves there is absolutely nothing they can do that their loyal customers won't excuse. If they lie to you, "well, flash wasn't good anyway." The software engineer's point was never about what is or isn't beneficial. It is about the fact that a CEO BS'd consumers and denied a feature because of a personal vendetta. Maybe we should focus on that point and not "flash no good, flash no benefit."

14. EugeneN

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

You werent able to comprehend or read this article as well as, perhaps, you might. It was both "not good enough" ( it isnt good enough for desktops even now) and the CEO wouldnt take the call from Steve Jobs to get it fixed and add touch technology. But it very much was, and is, buggy. So much so that despite Android fans dinging Apple for not having the full internet - although Flash was never a standard - Google subsequently dropped it.

18. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Of course google dropped it, but it is different dropping it in 2008 and 2016. Everyone knew that flash was not about to last forever, but HTML5 was just not ready back then and the internet was still full of adobe flash. You don't drop 4G support today in favour of 5G...

16. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Flash is indeed buggy and can hog up resources for seemingly minute things. The bad thing about HTML5 is that ads cannot be blocked and s**t has a habit of autoplaying like shockwave flash did but doesn't really cause performance issues.

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

To you. Fact - HTML vs Flash. When it comes to display media, facst show HTML5 is a larger resource hog than flash. How? Becaus ein order for media to be hosted, the HTML code has to be reloaded constantly in RAm, which eats up resources. With Flash, the movie is only loaded once. Even though Flash can be CPU intensive, any compauter has enough power to deal with it. Phones, back then maybe not so much. The issue with the iPhoen is, it low RAM in the hardware would prevent Flash from working properly without crashing. Any phoen with a 1Ghz CPu and 1GB of RAm could run Flash very well with no issues. HTML5 is only for simple media and animation, but lack the capacity for more complex animations vs Flash. Flash is still used by more than 50% of the be. So I dont see how Jobs was right about anything. PA. Since I am pretty sure KIKO you've never coded a webpage in yoru life, you ahve no idea what you're talking about. This video just shows a YouTube video being played using HTML5 vs using Adobe's native Flash Player. This test doesn't show the real benefit because this is just playign a simple video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQGh8AoCQxY But ig you look for an animation made with Adobe Flash, and created the same routine if you can with HTML5, which is easy to do because they have tools that can convert a native flash movie file to HTML5, you can see that HTML5 to play the same animation is slower and more CPU intesive, because each line of code has to progressively be loaded for the animation to work. I just think you are brainwashed and just believes everythign Apple claims...which just makes you a "sheep". The fact is very simple. The pros and cons just depends on platform and the power of the hardware. So I agree with Jobs that on a mobile phone, at leats back then, Flash was too buggy and slow for a 412Mhz CPu that the original iPhone had. Run those same flash file on a phoen with a 1GHz CPU and 1GB of RM and you get a whoel different beast. Comparing such with a PC is useless because PC's are more powerful than phones and thus the performance on a PC using Flash vs HTML 5 is the same. But Steve didn't give all the facts. He never mention that wall flash runs terrible on a device with a 412Mhz CPU and 128MB of RAM. Yeah that is why it performed like shyte.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3938; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I've always hated flash, HTML5 is much better.

17. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Flash has been the bane of my computing experience on the desktop and I'm glad more sites are moving away from it.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

List 5 things HTML 5 is better at vs Flash. I can't wait to see the lame excuse. Oh and you can't google your answer. BAse it totally on experience.. I will start by listing 5 things that make \Flash better 1 - Animations. Flash handles animations better, and to be specific, unique and very complicated animation routines. 2 - Useless resources overall. HTML5 requires a browser. Which based on facts, all browsers are resource hogs. Flash allows for offline playback while HTML5 would require you to save the pages for offline usage. 3 - Loading time - Flash loads into memory in seconds, because there is no code to load. The platforms simply loads the player and the plater handled the rest because everythign needed in in the one file. With complicated HTML routines, the code would need to not only load 1000's of lines of HTNL code, it may also need to load multiple HTML files to handle the full routine. HTML requires to many call-outs and redirects. Flash does not require this. 4 - Advanced capabilities. Like HTML, Flash can be used to create a full webpage However Flash offers more usage an benefits over HTML. Both allow the use of Static and animated content, but only Flash can offer them in a single entity. 5 - Speed Flash is faster The main downsides to Flash is how peopel have used it. Using Flash for thinsg liek ads reduces PC performwnce only because the CPU is bogged down with so many Flash animation. But if you make one clean animation with Flash, and the file is filled with excessive images and animations that are very complex, the same stuff done in HTML takes long. When progranming Flash code vs HTML, for Flash you dont need to know any code at all. All you need to do is understand how to use a time-line and learn some basic action-script. The Routines for Flash are already in the actionscript. All you ahve to do is choose the action that best serves what you are trying to accomplish ans thats it. Though both platforms have tools to make this easy, Flash tools are much easier to use even by a novice. I have made plenty of nice websites using Flash, that when I converted them to HTML5 were ruined.

12. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I've had flash off on all my browsers on my PC, I don't have it installed anywhere. It is nothing but a plague on the internet.

3. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Come on! Not again. This was one of the Jobs' most famous BS.(many of them, though) Flash is still in use 10 years after the iboys were fu,,ed up by him. No need to advocate him. LOL .. And Flash will go away for good, like any other tech standard, when something better and easier come up. Not when some ignorant say so/ It's coming...take it easy. LOL

5. kiko007

Posts: 7457; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You're the last person who should be saying "take it easy" after the nonsense you just posted.

7. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Please help me to see what was the 'nonsense' in my comment?! Cause I wanna be a better person, and to know more about how are the things changing in the tech World ! And by whom? Jobs or Cook ?

15. EugeneN

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

Flash is pretty much dead. It isnt used on any mobile platform now - all of this was in the article.

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You always have to be such an idiot. It's really sad to be purposely ignorant. Nothing better has come to replace flash. That's why t's still being used. Just leik the guy said. Flash will go away when something better replaces it. here we are almost 10 years since jobs talked his lame BS. Again proof you are just a sheep with no independent thinking. I don't liek or dislike Flash. One thing I have disliked is how devs have used it to ruin webpages with tons of ads made with flash. When you visit a page where Flash has been coded properly with Actionscript and not overused in to many animations, it is a clean nice application. As far as being buggy? All apps are buggy. Flash itself for me has never crashed, though some pages have crashed my browser.

8. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

What a big news, it made my day!

10. yUlek

Posts: 57; Member since: May 14, 2014

Flash was being tested by Apple? No way!

11. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Flash?! What is that?! It is basically dead now. Nobody needs it anymore.

19. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

i always enjoyed flash on my older android devices, i play flash streaming sites, watched live sports and trolled iUsers like a pro

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