Flash Forward: How the iPad’s Lack of Flash Could Spell Disaster

No Flash for the iPad

When Steve Jobs plopped down on a carefully-placed chair to show off the new iPad’s “Internet in your hands” Web surfing capabilities on Wednesday, a white elephant barged onto stage with him very quickly. A large chunk of the New York Times’ site showed up as a blue brick plastered in question marks – a sign iPhone users will immediately recognize as the placeholder for missing Flash content.

Whoops. The iPad doesn’t support one of the most powerful and ubiquitous content formats on the Web.

Adobe-Flash-iconDespite a hotrod 1GHz processor that should run Flash content with ease – especially considering many smartphones already can – Apple has intentionally snubbed the format to keep its app-like capabilities under lock and key. That means no It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia from Hulu.com, no streaming episodes of Matlock from CBS.com no tirades from Eric Cartman at SouthParkStudios.com and no Flash-based Web games for users at all.

“It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers,” wrote Adobe’s Adrian Ludwig after the announcement. “Without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.”

Even so, the company realizes the potential market it has been intentionally barred from, and has attempted to break in. In the wake of the announcement, Adobe was quick to point out that its Packager for iPhone software would allow Flash developers to slide their applications onto the iPad by repackaging them as apps, the same way it works for the iPhone. It’s a clever workaround, but since developers have to take the initiative to make the port – still not equivalent to Flash on the iPad.

gallery-software-ibooks-20100127Scott Alexander, senior editor at Playboy, believes the lack of Flash will be a major hurdle for the iPad. “One of the big things this device is predicated on is browsing the Internet.” he says. “You use Flash all the time as an Internet user. There are gaping holes in the Internet when you try to browse without it.”

Beyond games and applications, Alan Stoga,, CEO of publisher FLYP, believes the lack of Flash could also impinge on the iPad’s reputation as an e-reader. “The challenge is not simply to make magazines and newspapers accessible on mobile, digital platforms with decent screens, but to make their content available in true multimedia format,” he said. “That requires Flash or something like it.”

Although the initial wave of adopters might be willing to overlook Flash for the time being, the format’s continued growth in popularity – Steve Jobs couldn’t even avoid bumping into it in his demo –might make the Apple’s claim of putting “the Internet in your hands” a tough sell as time goes on.

Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.