It looks like Apple’s war on Flash is drawing some comments from the peanut gallery, as Opera Software is now weighing in.
The browser company has yet to gain much traction on the desktop but it is a force in the mobile space – its recently-release iPhone browser has been downloaded like crazy. Its mobile browsers do support some form of Flash via server-side technology but a company spokesperson said Adobe should embrace open standards like HTML5 to remain relevant.
“Flash does have its purposes and will have its purposes, the same as [Microsoft’s] Silverlight and other, especially for dynamic content,” said Opera product analyst Phillip Gronvold, “But Flash as a video container makes very little sense for CPU, WiFi, battery usage etcetera … you can cook an egg on [devices] once you start running Flash on them and there’s a reason for that.”
To catch you up to speed, Apple doesn’t allow the nearly-ubiquitous web technology on its iPhone OS devices for a multiple reasons that Steve Jobs outlined in an open letter. The company has even cut off Adobe’s technology to app developers because Apple feared it would lead to substandard programs. Jobs has some arguable points but the cynic in me is convinced he doesn’t want to see a credible and often free competitor to the App Store.
Adobe has fired back and said there is no technical reason to ban Flash and the decision is utterly political. Flash is getting cozy with Android and other platforms and Adobe hopes that it can deliver a good experience on every other operating system. If Adobe can execute on this, then it will condition all non-iPhone users to expect full Flash with their mobile browsers and this could potentially make Apple cave. Jobs is known to be a stubborn man with a clear vision though, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for Adobe’s technology to hit Apple’s phones.