Steve Jobs doesn’t hate flash. It’s just the energy consumption and increased competition from other mobile phone manufacturers due to the nature of platform independence that he is concerned about. Accept the fact, he is the CEO of Apple.

Flash and many other runtimes are now becoming a trend of the past as most mobile device makers are now focusing on enhancing energy consumption through the use of native code.

What about Apple?

In his now famous post published on Apple website, Steve noted that there are six (6) reasons why he has decided to keep flash and other runtimes away from Apple devices.

Openness - Flash is completely proprietary as Jobs says.

Full Web – Flash stands blocking the way for the completely open and total web experience without separate plugins for most browsers.

Reliability, Security and Performance-  There are known reliability and security vulnerabilities in Flash plugins. Flash is known to be the number 1 reasons that Macs crash, according to Jobs.

Battery Life – The device battery dies fast, when Flash is running.  This is a known and clearly visible fact, in instances where operations such as video decoding is performed through software, when it is possible through a dedicated chip. The processor is usually a heavy resource consumer, when compared against a dedicated video decoding chip.

Touch – Flash doesn’t completely support touch. This is somewhat notable when you run Flash applications on a Symbian device. The highly famous ‘On Mouse Over’ effect in Flash sometimes destroys the user experience for most touch based Flash applications.

Proprietary and Third party – Having Flash on board the Apple devices means it creates a third-party dependency on Apple.

What about other manufacturers?

Interestingly, Nokia is trying to lead a different trend. They are promoting QT runtime as the future in mobile and desktop application development as a solution to the highly criticized Symbian platform native application development. Actually QT runs faster on Symbian than most native Symbian applications [as I have noted].

On contrast to Apple, Nokia smartphones are known to support a large number of runtimes including Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Sun(Oracle) Java,Nokia QT and Python. I have used apps that run on Flash, Java and QT runtimes, and have to say that they are pretty impressive and works almost fine as the native applications on Symbian.

For an example, one of the main reasons I bought my current Nokia N97 Mobile computer and previously Nokia N96 Mobile computer is their ability to run Java based applications.

Speaking of QT, even now I use WordPress for Symbian application which runs on QT runtime and is pretty much impressed with the performance and the user experience.

Google has stated that it is and will continue offering support for Adobe Flash runtime on their Android mobile platform.

What about the users of mobile devices?

The expectation from a mobile device is somewhat independent of what Adobe and Apple are fighting for. Consumers use mobile devices for various purposes and the needs of most consumers are largely different from each other. Some would like to play games on their mobiles, and some people focus on staying connected all the time.

It is almost impractical [at least for the moment] for mobile manufacturers to reach both ends of being able to support processing intensive applications and prolonged battery life.

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