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Adobe sounds off on iPad's Flash slap

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Apple claims that its just-announced iPad "lets you see web pages as they were meant to be seen," but Adobe's group manager for Flash marketing isn't buying it.

"If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab - not to mention the millions of other sites on the web - I'll be out of luck," reads a blog post from Adobe's Adrian Ludwig.

His gripe? The iPad doesn't support Flash. "And without Flash support," Ludwig writes, "iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70 per cent of games and 75 per cent of video on the web."

Echoing other complaints about Apple's predilection for closed systems, Luwig noted: "It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers."

The lack of Flash support for the iPad - and, for that matter, for the iPhone and iPod touch as well - is Apple's doing, not Adobe's. Adobe, for its part, has been eager to get Flash onto Apple's handhelds for quite some time. The company's president and CEO Shantanu Narayen said last February that Adobe and Apple were "collaborating" on a version of Flash for the iPhone - and that was eight months after he had told analysts that Adobe had a version of Flash running on Apple's iPhone emulator, and nearly a year after he had told an interviewer that Adobe was "committed to bringing the Flash experience to the iPhone and we’ll work with Apple."

Ludwig also pointed darkly at Apple's plans for its upcoming ebook-providing iBookstore for the iPad. "Unlike many other ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not be able to access ePub content with Apple's DRM technology on devices made by other manufacturers."

Apple using DRM to tie content to its own devices? We're "shocked, shocked!"

In a separate post, Adobe's AIR for Mobile product manager Michael Chou points out that a partial workaround is on the way in his company's upcoming Packager for iPhone, part of the upcoming Flash Pro CS5, which will build native iPhone apps from ActionScript 3 projects, and that "It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad."

But that's not Flash qua Flash, and it won't help Hulu addicts or Farmville's fantasy agriculturalists.

Bootnote

Adobe isn't the only one disappointed in the iPad's lack of Flash support:

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