Why iPhones, iPods and iPads are Flash-free

Apple does not allow Flash on their iPhones, iPods and iPads. Some complain about this, others think it’s good, and most people probably don’t know or don’t care.

Many have speculated as to why Apple has made this decision. There hasn’t been any official word on this (as far as I know, at least), but in Thoughts on Flash Steve Jobs explains why.

One of the reasons is that Flash is proprietary, web standards are not:

Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript—all open standards.

Regardless of why Apple is pushing HTML5, CSS and JavaScript—be it for business or ideological reasons—I think it’s a big win for the use of open technologies on the Web.

The other reasons Steve mentions are related to security, performance, battery life, most Flash content not working on touch screens, and the drawbacks to Flash being a cross platform development tool that doesn’t use the iPad/iPod/iPhone platform to its fullest.

Go read it. It’s well worth your time if you want to understand why there is no Flash on Apple’s mobile platform.

Posted on April 29, 2010 in Apple, Web Standards, Mobile Web