Apple iPad, Day 5: Does the iPad Need Adobe Flash?
I don't generally frequent CNBC, but I visited the site just to check out the Flash issue. I confirmed that video clips don't work in Safari because of the lack of Flash, then I went to the App Store and found the CNBC app. I tried to play a story called "Pro-Growth Tax Reform?" in Safari on the CNBC site--no go. I just get an error message telling me to "Please Install Flash Player". But, that same story plays just fine in the CNBC app.
Some will say that I am missing out on the vast world of Flash-based games online. That might impact my children, but I have no interest in playing Flash-based games online. I don't play them on my PC that does have Flash, so I am not going to miss them on the iPad. Besides, there are tens of thousands of games available for iOS, so gaming is not going to be a concern.
One Twitter response pointed out that the Domino's Pizza site is Flash-based and doesn't work on the iPad. Domino's has an iPhone app, but no app specifically for the iPad. Granted, I have to choose between running the app in an iPhone-sized space in the middle of the display, or expanding it to a pixelated view that fits the iPad, but the app used location data from the iPad to identify my nearby locations, and I found it to be a pretty slick way to navigate the menu and order a pizza.
The only response I received that I don't have an answer for is regarding the Cisco Networking Academy online curriculum. The exact quote was, "One million students can't use iOS to study IOS." Clever.
I can't log in to the site to verify, but I'll take his word for it. If you are someone who plans to use the Cisco Networking Academy training, don't ditch your PC just yet. Despite the tepid response to my Twitter request for input, I am sure there are other sites out there like that as well.
I guess I would sum up the situation like this: For most people in most situations, the lack of Flash will simply not matter. For some people in some instances, the lack of Flash will have an impact, and in most--or at least many--of those instances there will be an app that solves the problem, and arguably delivers the content better than the Flash-based website. For a select minority of users in specific scenarios, Flash is simply a requirement, and the iPad will not be able to fill the need.
From what I have read and heard about how flaky and unstable Flash is on Android, it doesn't seem to me like I am missing anything. I can say that--for me--the lack of Flash is simply a non-issue.