At the same time, OMAP 4, TI’s latest generation of mobile processors, (as will be used in the BlackBerry Playbook) is also optimised for Flash.
It shares the same ARM core as Tegra 2, so the question is: who has done the better optimisation? No doubt, the head-to-heads will come out later this year.
The future for mobile developers is multi-platform, with Android OS, BlackBerry 6 and even Windows Phone 7 making waves. In this context, developing for the mobile web, as opposed to building apps for proprietary platforms, will be the way forward. But there will still be trade-offs.
For instance, HTML 5 is not a realistic choice for everything web designers and developers want to build, particularly in a cross-platform, cross-browser world. Flash solves problems and provides a relatively consistent platform across browsers and devices.
When Google announced recently that it is dropping support for the H.264 codec in the <video> tag in the Chrome browser, it stated that this would promote open web standards.
Whether or not that is the full reason, Google could not contemplate this move without the Flash Player, now embedded by default in Chrome, which will continue to play H.264 content provided it is in a Flash wrapper. Maybe Flash will decline as HTML 5 evolves, and Apple’s position has forced web sites to provide non-Flash content in order to support iOS.
It is also possible that Adobe will keep improving its player to stay a jump ahead; the upside of proprietary technology is that it can evolve more quickly than standards driven by cross-industry committees. In the meantime, better to have Flash than not to have it.
Flash versus HTML 5
i'm a long time mac user but jobs is wrong on this one - a bit like cd burners and blu-ray on macs - apple should have phased out flash slowly, not just dumped it.
i've bought an advent vega tablet, it runs flash nicely and more importantly, it runs when i choose to run it in the browser - great, so i can choose to run flash or not.
this makes the ipad look daft, and overpriced.
apple could live to regret this decision. hopefully once jobs has gone, they will think again about flash and blu-ray......
missing the point
Do you think that the annoying bulky flash ads will be replaced with content (of empty space) when everybody moves from flash to html5? Think again. They will just re-create them with html5, including the bulky graphics and sounds inside.
So the point about html5 being better for mobile is moot...
HTML5 is no magic bullet
I think some people believe that if we got rid of Flash that everything would be good with the world.
Sadly this is not the case at all. If authoring tools were repurposed to spit out the HTML5 equivalent of a SWF, the content would likely run even worse than it did as a plugin. All the DOM+JS in a page runs in a single thread apart from worker threads which are not allowed to interact with the DOM at all. So if you had a couple of banner ads and some content they would all be in contention and running from the same thread. The whole experience would chug as timers fired and the page was constantly refreshed by DOM changes and additional GC occurred. Needless to say performance would also wildly vary from one browser to the next too.
The best that could be hoped is that banner ads etc. would confine themselves to canvas elements where the browser stands the best chance of optimizing the refresh rate. Any overlayed content (equivalent to windowless Flash) would likely suffer very badly.
The situation with video is even more complex, but I don't think the browser could do a better job than Flash here either. Video decoding is a slow operation and requires hardware acceleration to be optimal. In addition video content is YUV encoded and must be converted and rendered into an RGB colourspace, possibly sandwiched between other DOM elements. At best performance might match Flash and at worst (especially for WebM) there might not be any hardware acceleration at all for the forseeable future, at least in desktop browsers.
So the while HTML5 would be a good way to weed out some of the most gratuitous used of Flash (e.g. webforms etc.), it's not some magic pill that solves the issues people level at Flash. In the case of animation / media heavy content it's likely to be a lot, lot worse.
Even if Flash dies
Even if Flash dies, it will take at least a few years before it would be all but gone. So even if HTML5 is the way of the future, a phone that can handle flash will have an advantage over a typical life of 2-4 years.
Have you actually *used* flash on 'droid?
"[Flash] is more than tolerable on devices running Android 2.2"
No it isn't, it's terrible. I have a Galaxy Tab, an android device with pretty must the most up to date processor, big display and plenty of RAM.
Navigating to any website that uses flash is a nightmare. The android browser won't even let me scroll until the page has loaded all its Flash content (sllloooowwwwlllyyyy), and then the whole thing is jerky and a pain to navigate. And, being Android, this slowness affects the whole phone, not just the browser, so unless I go into the Task Manager (I thought we'd gotten rid of those in the mobile world.) and kill the browser, I can't use my phone*. Oh joy.