Posts Tagged

flash

You’ve probably heard by now that Adobe will no longer support Flash Player for mobile devices. (If you hadn’t, check out James Cull’s recent post for the details.)

It was only in last year’s Google I/O keynote that Vic Gundotra said Android was committed to having “the world’s most comprehensive browser”, and noted, “it turns out that, on the Internet, people use Flash“. You’ve probably seen adverts for Android handsets and tablets that mention “the full web”. Flash Player has been one of Android’s checklist selling points… but was it deserved?

I’ve been disappointed with Flash Player on mobile. It runs at a fine speed, but sites often don’t optimise for it; even when trying to watch a simple video, I’ll find that it’s jerky, or that the video can’t be made full screen, or that there’s some other problem that makes the overall experience frustrating. I won’t miss that – at least not on my handset (tablets are a different matter).

I know people have strong opinions about Flash anyway, and would like to see it die out on desktops, too; Steve Jobs’s Thoughts on Flash, with its lies and half-truths, helped to fuel that fire. HTML5 is being hailed as the One True Answer to developing browser-based apps, and it’s true that it has amazing capabilities, and will soon be able to do everything that we currently use Flash for.

But Flash isn’t just a tool for streaming videos and the reason for countless annoying banner ads: Flash does what HTML can do, before HTML can do it. YouTube exists because Flash Player allowed cross-browser streaming video, and it’s only now, six years later, that plugin-free HTML is reaching the same capabilities. In the mean time, Flash has moved on, now focusing on 3D and games, and we’ll have to wait a while longer for HTML to catch up.

So, like I said, for practical purposes I won’t miss Flash Player on my handset. But looking at the broader picture, I feel it’s a great shame that we’ll be restricted to HTML alone on our mobiles and tablets.

November 9th was a difficult day for Android users round the world. Adobe announced, in a major turn of events, that they will no longer be developing Flash Player for the Android and Blackberry mobile platforms, instead concentrating on alternative media technology such as HTML 5. Android users had to slink away with their tails between their legs, mainly from the surge of smugness coming from users of Apple devices, who were all bursting to say, “Told you so!”.
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If you’ve rooted your phone, you’ve been there. You’re deep into your rooting addiction and have flashed yet another meticulously-chosen custom ROM onto your beloved phone – and then have had the pain of trying to set everything you back to the way you had it in the days of yester-ROM. After much dismay and lost data I have often turned to other applications to help me. So have no fear, because I have a few valuable tricks up my sleeve. If you do use custom ROMs and need some help restoring things to the way you like them, these tricks will definitely help. (more…)