Apple tested Adobe Flash on the iPhone but the results were miserable

Apple tested Adobe Flash on the iPhone but the results were miserable

It was supposed to be a huge differentiator between iOS and Android in those early days when the Motorola DROID became the first legitimate threat to the iPhone. While iOS did not support Adobe Flash, Google included it with Android 2.2. Flash delivered animations and the lack of it on iOS often left empty spaces when viewing web sites on mobile Safari.

Former Apple iOS chief Scott Forstall says Flash on iOS was awful

Steve Jobs said back in 2010 that Flash was a “CPU hog,” too buggy, and not secure enough for iOS, and he correctly forecast that it would be replaced by HTML5. Those of us who used mobile Flash on our Android phones were in denial, trying to get excited about it even though we had to deal with lag and unsatisfying experiences. In November 2011 Adobe announced the end of support for mobile Flash and gave Android users until the following August to install it.

Now, according to 9to5Mac, more information about Apple and Flash has surfaced in a deposition given by Apple’s former senior vice president of iOS software Scott Forstall. His deposition was taped for the upcoming Epic Games v. Apple trial. Under oath, Forstall admitted that Apple did work with Adobe trying to get Flash working on iOS.
Scott, who left Apple in the wake of the Apple Maps debacle when he wouldn’t sign an apology (that was the official word), said in the deposition, “We tried to make Flash work. We helped Adobe. We definitely were interested. Again, this is one where I thought if we could help make it work, this could be great.”

The line of questioning that the ex-Apple executive was responding to had to do with the use of cross-platform integration in iOS. This could be a subject matter that Epic plans to explore during the trial.

Forstall noted in his deposition that the performance of Adobe’s software when tested on iOS was awful. He stated, “Flash has been such a problem because the way that it hooks into systems, it’s been a virus nightmare on Windows, even on the Mac. And when we got it running on iOS, the performance was just abysmal and embarrassing and it could never get to something which would be consumer value add.”

Without an open line of communications, Jobs’ was concerned that issues could not get resolved. While we are speaking about Jobs, we should give him credit for his correct call about HTML5 replacing Flash. On the last day of 2020, Adobe ended support for the Flash Player.
Going through the famed “PhoneArena vault,” we found a story from June 2010 that discussed a video showing the “very preliminary” stages of hacking Adobe Flash onto an iPhone. You can find the video below.

The lawsuit that Forstall was deposed for, Epic Games v. Apple, deals with the decision made by the latter to kick Epic’s Fortnite game out of the App Store. Epic decided to offer its own in-app payment platform to bypass Apple’s which violated App Store regulations. Epic was looking to escape the so-called “Apple Tax” which gives the tech giant a 30% cut of in-app purchases.

The Trial is scheduled to begin on May 3rd, and with Congress licking their chops over the possibility of designating the App Store and Apple itself as an anticompetitive monopoly, all eyes are watching.

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