Joshua Schnell, January 29, 2010
The Flash on iPhone argument is raging on today, but this time it’s taken a whole new twist. Adobe’s Platform Evangelist, Lee Brimelow, has decided that the iPad experience can’t be the best browsing experience without flash support. I have to say that the image gave me a hearty chuckle, but this is a case of a picture not being worth a thousand words.
Flash has long been a staple of internet video content, and crappy animated websites since I was in high school, but to be frank, I’ve never really stumbled on a website where alternatives couldn’t be adopted. The only real challenge to my statement might be video players, but HTML5 seems to be challenging that viewpoint altogether.
Some websites might look better in flash, and I’m sure that there’s plenty of excellent uses for the language, but given the flexibility of alternative stylesheets and modern web standards I don’t think users should be faced with the blue lego icon. It doesn’t make much sense, and these brands that Lee Brimelow illustrates in his hilarious picture are losing out on a pretty huge demographic.
Users shouldn’t be forced into one particular technology, and if Flash isn’t available on the iPhone or iPad then these developers should be doing everything in their power to make sure that viewers on these devices are getting what they came for. It’s not that difficult to create a stylesheet for an iPhone currently, so I don’t see why we’re still arguing about flash on these devices.
Business is about making sure your customers don’t have to jump through hoops to get what they want, and frankly this blue lego is just one giant hoop for companies like CNN, Hulu, and the others. It doesn’t make much sense from a business standpoint, and it certainly doesn’t make much sense from a user standpoint.
What’s this blue lego telling potential customers who use the iPhone as a browsing device? It says we don’t care enough about you to make sure our site works bug free.
Sure, this fight makes sense from Flash’s standpoint, but all of these companies on the list need to get a lesson or two in website management. It’s not a Flash or HTML5 decision. Both can be used, and alternative can be served up to individuals who don’t have flash access. Seems pretty simple if you ask me.
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