I don’t many people who have disputed Adobe Flash Player’s impact on battery life — especially since Ars Technica discovered that merely having Flash installed on the new MacBook Air took two hours off the battery life — but nonetheless, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch thinks it’s somehow indicative of a coordinated Apple plot to put them out of the business of interactive web content.
In an interview with Fast Company, Lynch said: “It’s a false argument to make. When you’re displaying content, any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content. If you used HTML5, for example, to display advertisements, that would use as much or more processing power than what Flash uses.”
Well, no, it jolly well doesn’t: both Ars Technica’s and our own results have shown that HTML5 advertisements do not suck up the same amount of battery life from the MacBook Air as similar ads rendered in Flash. The same is true with video. It’s true that Flash is more versatile for advanced interactive content like games than HTML5… but there’s better ways to deliver that sort of content: apps. When the Mac App Store launches, even this benefit to Flash will largely be obviated.
Lynch goes on to claim that Apple is trying to somehow stamp down on Adobe’s First Amendment rights to self-expression through Flash Player: “We don’t think it’s good for the web to have aspects closed off — a blockade of certain types of expression. There’s a decade of content out there that you just can’t view on Apple’s device, and I think that’s not only hurtful to Adobe, but hurtful to everyone that created that content.”
But that’s just stupid. Apple is mostly promoting HTML5, a free and open standard. It’s Adobe which has been in control of the last decade’s worth of self-expression, and while — at the time — that was certainly the best option available, time has changed that. If Flash Player can’t change along with it, then it deserves to be consigned to the dustbins of obsolete proprietary APIs, and computing’s just chock full of those.