Flash On Android Independently Confirmed To Stink
No surprise here: Flash on Android isn’t so hot. I know that back in June 2010 I noted how well it worked, but my usage was light, and I didn’t run it through the ringer. But I did note how Flash crashed the browser, and that’s something that’s being noticed. The Droid 2 is the first handset shipping with Flash 10.1 built in, and it’s not exactly a crowd pleaser. Here’s why.
The eternal tip of the hat goes to LaptopMag.com’s Avram Piltch who begrudgingly admits that Steve Jobs was right to criticize Flash for mobile devices:
I’m the last person on earth who wanted to believe Steve Jobs when he told Walt Mossberg at D8 that “Flash has had its day.” I took it as nothing more than showmanship when Jobs shared his thoughts on Flash and wrote that “Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices.” After spending time playing with Flash Player 10.1 on the new Droid 2, the first Android 2.2 phone to come with the player pre-installed, I’m sad to admit that Steve Jobs was right. Adobe’s offering seems like it’s too little, too late.
Ouch. Doesn’t sound like a good start for Adobe. Piltch noted that while video that was ‘optmized’ for mobile Flash devices worked just fine, the majority of non-optimized content was hit or miss, with stuttering, or unresponsive playback controls. An experience Piltch and I shared was that — pages stuffed with Flash ads — frequently took forever to load, or froze the device all together. We both also dealt with browser crashes. That’s really just unacceptable.
That’s not to say there aren’t gems, Piltch describes a handful of Flash games and apps, but the bottom line was that if you’re going out of your way to optimize something for Flash, you might think about going out of your way to make it HTML5, too. Plus, Flash games that aren’t optimized for touch input require keyboard input, and even if you have a hardware keyboard, you’re out of luck, because the button presses don’t register either.
One could speculate that as Adobe’s mobile implementation of Flash causes more headaches than ease-of-use, developers might be heading over to HTML5 on their own volition.