So I saw this interesting exchange between Steve jobs and Ryan Tate:
What I found interesting is Steve Jobs whole hearted belief that he knows whats best for everyone else even if that means taking choice away. He believes that he needs to save us from Â batteries, porn, privacy leaks, and multimedia apps. Currently with an iDevice you must use 1 of 3 languages to program native apps. You must by a developer license, you must buy a mac to run xcode, and then you must cross your fingers hoping that the app gets approved via a set of undefined ever changing rules Apple dreams up. Even then they may just deny you because you’ve crossed an invisible line of closeness to the rules:
Also based on the email exchange Steve Jobs feels that people who do not “create” something should notÂ criticizeÂ Apple’s platform. I guess Steve just doesn’t have a very thick skin. Going to art school taught me that you should actually listen to theÂ criticismÂ as it may hold some truths your denying to yourself.
It all feels very “1984” at this point. Apple decides what their users do on their iDevices. To developers Steve argues that we can create whatever we want in html and bypass Apple’s lock down. What he fails to talk about is that without Flash any highly interactive, multimedia web apps are close to impossible technically for a reasonable cost.
HTML5/JS/SVG/CANVAS have potential but:
Html5 is not consistent across browsers (desktop/os/device variations):
- It is not a standard yet
- no one codec is agreed upon for the video tag
Using svg and canvas will spike your cpu and suck your battery just as much or more when compared to flash player 10.1 beta for mobile devices tests. In reality, it depends on what your doing and if you have hardware acceleration (mind you apple’s built in video players have that on both it’s OS’s-they just opened the api for a few gpu’s in the desktop OS and Adobe has a beta out with the added ability)
- (some will say these people are invested in Adobe’s success, I would ask “and Steve is not invested in Apple’s”)
JS is lacking the ease of built in high powered classes that Flash offers. (Unity/Corona/Revolution is wait and see if they let them through. If they do then it will be obvious that Flash was singled out.)
- The byte array, sound, local p2p abilities, 3d support, flex framework, strict typing in the flash player blows JS away in what you can build for a reasonable cost.
- better visual IDE’s that many devs/creatives use for this type of content. Some cost money, some are free.
- The flash player executes code the same, browsers have all kinds of differences you have to if/else for-more costs.
So when it comes to heavy multimedia/experience sites, ie:
- http://ironmanmovie.marvel.com/ (click “enter site”)
(not your run of the mill blog/company/news site)
what Apple has done is:
- Remove the number one heavy multimedia path used on the Internet today from their devices.
- State that it performs badly (not surprising when Â you don’t offer direct gpu access)
- State that it isn’t “open” even though most of the spec, other than the 3rd party codecs like h.264, is and available: http://ted.onflash.org/2010/02/flash-open-interactive-medium.php
- Offer Â a not ready for primetime solution chain- html5/svg/js/canvas
- Then say if that can’t cut it build a iPhone native app (not open at all)
- Example: Just see Steve’s letter about flash when he talks about games-his answer: closed native app games approved by apple for the iTunes store. If you want open source games a native app is not the answer.
- Example2: With Iron man site Apple forces them to invest a bunch of time and money to build an app in objC and submit an app to the store for approval to reach iDevices. Why should they have to spend the extra money/time if iPhone and iPad “support the full web” already?
Now you went from Flash on many devices/browsers/OSs to a native app on one device that requires the approval process outlined above and it’s own code base. Apple has successfully lashed you, the developer, Â to the main mast of the USS Apple. Hope the app gets approved at some point!
If Steve is so sure that flash is dead, he should put the plugin on the iDevices and let the user decide what content they want to see. If they stop going to those sites because of bad performance then the site owner can decide what to do with their content. Let the user and site owner think for themselves.
To developers, Steve is just trying to frame the closed tightly controlled iDevice world as open byÂ saying that you can have the same developmentÂ experience (features, ease, and time) Â with html5/js/svg/canvas as you can with the flash platform tooling. I can tell Steve right now that is not true. Â As an e-learning developer who “creates” stuff everyday (which Jobs feels is needed to be able to give himÂ criticism), I think Steve Jobs is flat out lying when he talks about being open and protecting users. He wants to control them and the developers.