Earlier in the week I wrote a mostly positive report on joltleft.com regarding my initial feelings of the new Mac OSX Lion. While I still like most of the new features, particularly the Mac Mail synch with Gmail, Yahoo and other email services, I continue to experience trouble with Apple’s Safari with features on any website that is using Adobe’s Flash animations and/or movies. Mozilla’s web browser, Firefox seems to be more stable with but I tend to prefer Safari and have to deal with the Flash issues. And you can’t test the Flash content on the Microsoft browser Internet Explorer because the Lion upgrade wont support Internet Explorer any longer.
So after I uploaded the OSX Lion, I immediately started having issues with video and animations on websites. I suppose I didn’t mind that I wasn’t able to see ads on a website such as for clothing, automobiles etc. etc., but I couldn’t see, perhaps an Amy Winehouse video on You Tube without some issue or some sort of delay.
What I continue to see as of today when I go to a website that has Flash animations and video (and most do) is a sort of blank square with the words “Flash” in the center. In order to get the animation/video to load, you have to click on to the “Flash” and then the commercial or video will play. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to load but eventually you should be able to see the image. I was also having issues with Java Runtime, which supports Flash but now it seems that you need to install Apple’s own Java software to run Flash more efficiently.
For those of you who aren’t all that familiar with Flash and its machinations, it is software developed by Adobe several years ago and has been the software of choice for most of the video content on the web. Thus, the video content you see on You Tube, Hulu and elsewhere use Flash capability. On the other hand, Netflix does not use Flash and instead uses Microsoft’s Silver Light software.
So why is Flash is popular on the Internet but not favored by Apple? Adobe states that their player is “the world’s most pervasive software reaching 99% of Internet-enabled desktops in mature markets as well as a wide range of devices.” Flash is not available on any Apple mobile device such as the iPhone or iPad for some very good reasons to follow – In April 2010, Steve Jobs released a statement and published it on Apple.com, explaining why he doesn’t think Flash has a place in the Apple universe of applications. Without going into too much detail about the letter, there are many important reasons why Apple has had this position. Jobs wrote that there is more advanced technology with regards to video content and this is known as the “H.264/MPEG-4.” It is also known that Flash uses a large of amount of CPU power so if a user were to try playing a game or watch a video on their iPhone, the battery would drain fairly quickly. Then there is a security issue with the Flash player in that it collects information from the computer/iPhone/iPad user similar to the cookies collected when accessing a website and the his main bone of contention is Flash is closed and proprietary software and is a third party developer which might affect the advancement of the Mac technology.
Because of the onslaught of complaints from MAC OSX Lion users regarding the compatibility issues with Flash, Adobe has been working on an update to their software. Hopefully that will correct some of the issues I currently experience. In fact Flash is not the only Adobe product I have been having issues with. Apple’s QuickTime would load up on my screen instead of Adobe Acrobat when I was trying to view a pdf. There are several other issues that you can view by following this link to Adobe.com.
Because of Apple’s mega-huge success over the last few years, I’m wondering what their next step is in this seemingly tough disagreement between their company and Adobe’s. In fact Apple is now bigger than Intel and Microsoft combined! I am certain there are developers working on this issue right now as I complete this page. I hope to see some agreement amongst the two firms regarding these current issues. Who knows, maybe Apple will just go out and buy Adobe! Please stay tuned.