The British satirical site The Daily Mash posted an irreverent eulogy shortly after Steve Job’s untimely passing entitled, “‘Can We Get Flash Now?’ Ask Apple Owners.” According to one of the fictional technology analysts they interviewed, “We have lost a great man. An innovator and a visionary who changed the world and stopped me watching videos on this thing I paid more than four hundred quid for.”
It turns out that the answer is no, you can’t get Flash now, but if recent developments are any indication, Jobs was right all along. Adobe vice-president Danny Winokur recently wrote in a blog post that Flash has enabled the Web’s richest content for years, but that “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.” While companies like Nokia, RIM, and Google were touting “flash compatibility” as a major selling point for their hardware, Apple obstinately refused to allow it into any of its devices. Of course, many of us who rely on Apple products found it a bit irritating that we couldn’t access certain content on our own devices, but those concerns never managed to sway Apple’s legendary CEO. According to Greg Mills of MacTech, “Jobs actually practiced staring people down without blinking for long periods. He knew it freaked people out and so mastered long blinkless pearcing stares.”
Flash isn’t completely dead, of course, it’s just that Adobe will no longer be pushing to include it in mobile devices. The company plans to continue updating Flash for desktop PCs as a product focusing on “advanced gaming and premium video.” In any event, one of two things is true: either Steve Jobs and Apple were right about mobile Flash all along, or they worked very hard both in the industry and the press to make sure they’d appear to be.
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