No Flash video on iPad & iPhone?Feb 2nd, 2010 | By Anet Dunne | Category: Featured Articles
Who blocked Flash from iPhone, iPad and Android? It may be the telephone carriers, not Apple or Google. Flash downloads gobble up bandwidth and run up charges. The New York Times reported that the new iPad can’t play Flash video and speculated that it was Apple who decided that Flash would not be used on the iPhone. Apple has argued that the Flash technology is too slow and unduly taxes laptops and netbooks. The company also has concerns over Flash’s vulnerability to viruses and other malware, as well as the way Flash-based content can voraciously consume battery life.
Is it coincidence that Google’s Android phones also don’t play Flash video? Maybe phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile don’t want the network load. Maybe smartphone users don’t want to pay bandwidth charges for Flash ads appearing on their phones. The bandwith required for other types of online content created in Flash, including animated advertisements and online gaming may not be how cellphone carriers want to tax their network capacities.
Many online video sites have been experimenting with a new video format, called HTML5. Unlike Flash, which is a downloaded piece of software that can interact with a computer’s operating system, HTML5 works directly in a Web browser.
The popular video-sharing site Vimeo.com is also experimenting with new platforms, based on comments from its online community. “We received a tremendous amount of feedback from our users saying that they wanted to have HTML5 as an option for their videos,” said Andrew Pile, vice president for product and development at Vimeo, an online video service. Mr. Pile does not see this new format replacing Vimeo’s Flash-video inventory, but will instead offer it as an option for its viewers.
And while HTML5 may help standardize Web video, it does not necessarily address the needs of other types of online content created in Flash, including animated advertisements, short “adult” movies and online gaming.
What do you think? Is it Apple who left Flash video out of the iPhone and iPad, or was it AT&T and the other carriers? How would you feel about paying bandwidth charges for unwanted Flash video advertising?