Spoiler alert! Actually, the headline kind of was the spoiler. I’m not sure how much more I can spoil for you.
I know this isn’t an app review. Consider it a review for what could have been.
Cupertino, California — April 1
Unless you missed the tech news, you already know that Apple acquired Adobe and fired John Warnock as CEO. Steve Jobs will officially take the reins as CEO of both companies.
While the purchase may have surprised analysts and pundits,1 the following announcement that neither Apple nor Adobe would continue to support Flash or Flash-based apps should have come as no surprise.
Steve Jobs has had it in for Flash since the beginning. The development platform for web-based and even Macintosh apps allowed programmers around the world to develop Mac-like apps without paying licensing fees (to Apple) or paying for Apple’s software developer’s kit (SDK). Jobs felt Flash based apps were too buggy and unreliable to run on iOS devices, compared to apps like ngmoco:)’s We Rule, or Big Fish’s Amazon: Hidden Expedition, which reportedly never crash.
In the future, small-scale developers for web, phone and Android devices will have to learn real programming languages or rely on third-party development platforms like Game Salad. One immediate consequence will be the demise of the enormously popular but Flash-based game Farmville.
Jobs told members of the press, “People can always play the crippled iPad version, or the iOS knock-offs Farm Story and We Farm. They’re kind of the same and far more secure from data leaks and hackers. Plus, not as many people play, so it’ll be easier to climb those leader boards.”
He added that Apple will not refund any of the money players invested in farm bucks.
Last year Jobs published a paper making it clear that users did not deserve to choose whether or not they wanted to run Flash-based apps because Apple considered it to be an inferior product. When the Google-based Android platform offered consumers an admittedly less-popular but marginally viable alternative that supported Flash, Jobs immediately directed Apple’s development team to buy out Adobe at all costs in order to kill Flash.
Ironically, Flash begin it’s life as a small animation program called VideoWorks on early Macs. It soon evolved into Director, a program for CD-ROM and animation development, to compete with Apple’s heavily-hyped Hypercard. Because it supported color and could move cross-platform, the expensive Director eventually eclipsed and then replaced the free Hypercard. Apple has been looking to get even ever since.
When Macromedia realized vector-based apps might be more functional than Director on the increasingly popular web, they introduced Flash, but it floundered for years until developers finally released ActionScript 2, and its object oriented follow-up ActionScript 3. Flash-based apps offered robust features that iOS apps are only now beginning to approximate.
Funeral services for Flash will be held on the last Sunday of April, coincident with the Easter holiday. Jobs felt this was the most symbolically appropriate time because “this puppy will never rise again to haunt us.”
Jim Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, announced intentions to protest the funeral “because Apple proved its clear support of the homosexual agenda when it killed Exodus International with the same haste it’s killing Flash.” Phelps added, “We always though Flash was kind of queer too, but nowhere as queer as those iPads.”
Jenny Manytoes rates the decision to kill Flash
Jenny doesn’t want to rate anything Apple does anymore. She thinks Flash did a far better job animating cats than any code in the iOS SDK.