The iPad Will Support Flash and Multi-Tasking…

I will change the web...or just sell you books! Photo: AFP/Getty

…it just has to. Yesterday Jobs and Co. presented the iPad as the ultimate web surfing device; something that will change the way we interact with the Web. That’s great! Can’t wait to go to all my favorite sites and let my fingers do the talking…movie sites, rich magazines, amazing design studios, and games! I’ll be able to touch and move my way around all my favorite sites and applications in a flash….ya, Flash…

All the great creative, visual effects, online movies, and virtual goodness we enjoy? Mostly all Flash (sorry Silverlight). It’s all over the Web and without it we’d mostly have just text and pictures, want to go back to that? Flash brings the web to life…and it’s coming to mobile in a big way this year.

Here’s my theory, when the iPad ships it will support Flash and Multi-tasking…and so will the iPhone…for three reasons:

1. You can’t enjoy the Web without it

2. Android, Blackberry, and Nokia will all support Flash this year. The iPhone will support Flash or be left out of the party (plus developers will get on the iPhone with Flash CS5 anyway)

3. Everyone wants to multi-task on their computer and increasingly on their phone. Android supports it so iPhone has to.

Multi-Tasking is a must-have. Do you listen to music on your computer while surfing the Web? Do you have e-mail, a browser, and a document open at the same time? We all do, and we will want to do the same thing on our beautiful iPad. With the iPhone you’re mobile and usually doing something ‘at the moment’. Sitting on the couch with your iPad means you want to be able to do a few things and not only have one app open at a time. Any sane person knows that multi-tasking is a must have, and my bet is the iPad will support this for sure.

The distant future might see promise in HTML5 and the web moving away from plug-ins, but it’s not a gauranteed bet – remember how DHTML and VRML were supposed to change the Web? IS Flash really just a plug-in when it’s on 98% of computers out there? Plus, we need to get away from system dependent technology. We went through this with the early browser wars when you had to develop for Netscape or IE or Mozilla, and now we have the same thing on mobile. That’s got to change. We want to develop once and go everywhere (Flash isn’t the only way to that but it will be the easiest).

….or is it really all about just selling books?

There’s only one reason I can think of that the iPad won’t support Flash or Multi-tasking…Apple only cares about sell books. Reading is a dedicated activity (you don’t multi0task when you read). So, could be that the real big announcement yesterday wasn’t the iPad, it was iBooks. Remember, Apple’s game is to make it easy for you to get content across all their devices; Macbook, iPod, iPhone, iPad – doesn’t matter. Device money is great but the content brings in the mountains of recurring cash.

By most accounts, iTunes dominates as the place to get (legal) online music and TV programs. The next biggest thing is books and magazines. All the hoopla about being the ultimate web surfing device is great but it might be that the focus is really to own and make money from more of our cultural activities…music succeeded, TV failed (Apple TV), books is the next big prize (games will follow).

So, well find out in April if the way we use the Web is really going to change or if the iPad is really a land grab to sell books. I hope it’s the former because it really would change our digital lives.

What do you think? Take our poll…

11 Responses to The iPad Will Support Flash and Multi-Tasking…

  1. Midijamman says:

    I believe iPad will support flash, but won’t support multi-tasking at launch.
    Apple supports Flash on the Mac.. Their excuse for not supporting on the iPhone was it was too slow and a resource hog. “CEO Steve Jobs said that the iPhone doesn’t support Flash because it runs too slowly on the device to be useful.”
    Well the iPad has some horsepower and using the same excuse as the iPhone does not hold water. So I believe Jobs will support it just like Apple does on the Mac. Multi-tasking is another story and I believe that will not be supported due to iPad’s foundation being built on the iPhone OS and the fact that NOT supporting multi-tasking will dramatically improve battery life..

  2. Jaafer Haidar says:

    Good points Midijamman. Thanks for stopping by.

    My perspective is that no support of Flash on the iPhone is more about ensuring iPhone apps are tied to iTunes and the App Store (which is the real money making monster). Opening it up to Flash means we could get our apps through the browser and bypass Apple’s control completely (which has it’s good and bad sides).

  3. Apple’s a company I’ve enjoyed for some time, they produce technology that is aesthetically gorgeous while working like a champ. That can’t be said about alot of companies, it’s usually one or the other. Businesses don’t usually take aesthetics seriously like Apple. With me stating that I’ve got to say that I’m very excited about the new iSlate. One thing I question though, is it too soon? I’m afraid that this may be ahead of our time. What do you think?

  4. Devon says:

    Mobile Firefox (that is going to be used on the Nokia phones) has announced that they aren’t going to be supporting Flash either, for the same reasons Apple stated.

  5. Mike says:

    That’s hilarious. According to the poll, no one agrees with your premise. In fact, the majority of people completely disagree!

    The iPad isn’t going to support flash or multitasking. I expect the iPhone OS will eventually support very limited multitasking, but not when the iPad is released. I don’t see Apple ever allowing flash on the iPhone or iPad.

    And yes, I will be buying an iPad the day it comes out.

  6. Jaafer says:

    Thanks everyone for stopping by!

    Grazyna – Apple definietly is a great product and marketing company. I think the iPad is arriving at the right time but share the view with others that if it’s going to really change the way we use the web it can’t be a closed ecosystem of apps. We’ll see what happens!

    Devon – It will be interesting to see what the released version of Firefox Mobile supports. In RC2 they had Flash and then disabled it in RC3. Nokia is a very close partner of Abode in the Open Screen Project, where the main tenant is to make Flash-based apps that run on Nokia devices. Add in the fact that Flash runs flawlessly on the Skyfire mobile browser and I think the Firefox story is far from over. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and look forward to your future comments.

    Mike – I guess only 10% agree with my Flash theory! I hope its not just about books or building out the closed App Store ecosystem. If HTML5 was anywhere close then we’d be fine but at this stage without Flash support I think it’s not the ultimate web surfing device as advertised. We’ll see in a couple months!

  7. […] Fight Against Flash Just Got A Lot Harder The battle keeps raging and we all wait and speculate as to whether Apple will indeed keep up the fight and not support Flash on the iPhone/iPad. Well, […]

  8. Guys, I am cautious when it comes to things on the internet that look too good to be true, but I participated this iPhone 4 promo that is now going on.

    They sent me an iPhone 4 (which I just got on Monday). The catch seems to be that I have to fill out this report about it. It’s pretty long but considering – I get to keep the iPhone! This seems a great deal.

    If you wanted to get in on this, the site has all the details:

  9. Sweed Test says:

    hey… your grammar is excellent for my cat lol

  10. Ableton says:


    […]The iPad Will Support Flash and Multi-Tasking… « Digital U, the Sensidea Blog[…]…

  11. […] battle keeps raging and we all wait and speculate as to whether Apple will indeed keep up the fight and not support Flash on the iPhone/iPad. Well, […]

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