christopher miller discusses marketing, technology and emerging media in the digital space
Apple hasn’t supported Flash in the past for what seems to be a couple of reasons, depending on which “side” you are on.
- Take away the closed app ecosystem – Since Flash has evolved from just being a animation player into a full on platform that can run its own Apps, allowing flash would let application developers to get their software onto the iPhone/iPad. Just build them in flash, put in to a webpage and it’s all go. This would take business away from the App Store and possibly let publishers distribute other content such as music, video’s and movies.
- It’s a resource hog – flash, even coded well can use a large about of CPU resources (see above). This can affect battery life and speed two key things on a mobile device.
- Cost to Apple – Apple would need to license flash from Adobe (as Microsoft did) with Flash lite and reader.
All in all I believe it’s about control, Steve Jobs has proven that time and time again that we wants to control the ecosystem and you have to play within his rules. Flash doesn’t do that.
So what does that mean to development. Flash isn’t going away from Mac’s. It’s too entrenched on the Mac platform for it to disappear but in the controlled environment of the iTunes store it’s different.
But let’s first look at the penetration of iPhones, which is still small. Of all mobile phones in the US, 11% are smart phones and of that 21% are iPhones. Sure when we add iTouch in there it goes up but it’s still small.
When we talk about mobile we have three things that we (Draftfcb) think mobile should do:
Bite Sized: Mobile offerings need to be conceived as small.
Relevant: Mobile offerings need to address an immediate need.
Disposable: Mobile offerings need to be easy to leave behind.
This helps form the strategy and creative thinking and you don’t need flash to do these things. However it also means that what you create for your web (read that computer or larger screen) experience should probably be different from what you do for mobile. It means that we should create experience specific platforms so while flash could be appropriate technology to use on the web it may not be needed on mobile. And you probably want to create a different experience in mobile anyway.
Look at some of the great mobile apps. UrbanSpoon for example, the website and iPhone app are reflective of “where” you are when you access their content. The website giving you deep and rich content while the app asks you a couple of easy “questions” and then suggest what restaurant to go to.
So in summary a couple of key things:
- Flash won’t disappear from the Mac
- Flash may come to the iPad if users revolt as it’s built for web surfing but doesn’t support Flash -
- This may bring it to the iPhone/iTouch
- When we develop for users that may access our experience (site) from multiple-devices we should think about what that unique experience should be.
Biggies are moved the tabs to the right, updates refreshed via Ajax (yep much faster loading) and a slightly tweaked UI.
The UI has been cleaned up a bit and made the star and reply swoosh beside every update into hover state items.
Find out more, check out your own twitter page or read their blog here.
I like it but I’ll still be using the web app’s for the most part as I wrote about here.
Looks like today at noon central we’ll be seeing Google’s first forey into the browser world with Chrome. Adam Kmiec said it pretty well in a tweet this morning. I like his three reasons. Some first looks are of course over at Wikipedia, cnet and information week.
Of course if you want Google’s take on it check out their chrome comic.
Me I’ll be downloading it today and will let you know my hands on thoughts.
More screen shots from Techcrunch.
That’s right, why pay the $.99 for the application when yellow pages has been optimized for the iphone. Not on an iPhone check it out here.
Otherwise open that Safari browser on your iPhone, go to www.yellowpages.com and the click on the +, select “add to home screen” (can do this for any web page) and you’ve got your quick link right to it.
Thanks Russ and Adam for notes (via email and twitter) on adobe’s recent announcement regarding technology for search engines to index flash. Interestingly it’s an application for the search engines that acts like a virtual user going through each application/website and actually goes through the runtime of each flash application.
Hmmm, no comment from me yet on what impact lots of spiders hitting flash sites may have, that and I’m wondering how it will show up in search logs. As in “wow our site traffic is way up,” “no that’s just the adobe virtual flash user indexing our site.”
However this is an exciting announcement given how much of Element79’s client work (and own site) is flash, that and helping promote an even better reason to build in Flex/Flash.
Bring on SEO for flash!
More intuitive interface – back button only lights up when you can go back and a UI reflective of the system that it is on.
Better handling of passwords.
Smart location Bar – just type in a term and the autocomplete functions like it’s on steroids by showing a list that includes possible matching sites from your browsing history, as well as sites you’ve bookmarked and tagged in a drop down. You can even enter in terms and matched terms are highlighted, making the list of results easy to scan.
Have to love the bookmarks. Both in Firefox 3 and it’s integration with Del.icio.us. Get the Del.icio.us add on and away you go, making it more of the default place to save your bookmarks. One click / Two click book marking functionality. – One click on the star icon at the end of the location bar bookmarks a site. Two clicks and you can choose where to save it and whether to tag it. Then you can find your bookmarked sites in a flash by entering the tag, page or bookmark name into the location bar. The more you use your tags and bookmark names in the location bar, the more the system will adapt to your preferences. But hey with the Del.icio.us add in you can do all this and more
One for you, I want to open as many tabs as possible people, Reopen Closed Tabs -If you accidentally close a tab, you can reopen it in one click. Just view Recently Closed Tabs in the History menu and select the tab you’d like to reopen.
Now I just wonder when my second favorite browser, Flock is going to update to FF3’s features as well
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