The CTO of Adobe has spoken out on the bad press that Flash has received recently, the latest issue being the dramatic drop in battery life observed when Flash was installed on the 2010 MacBook Air versus uninstalled. Kevin Lynch, in an interview with FastCompany, was not happy with Apple’s negative campaigning towards Flash and suggests that HTML5 would use up just as much, if not more, battery life.
He argues that “When you’re displaying content, any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content.”
The new MacBook Air comes without Flash preinstalled on it, a move that some might say is smart, as Apple has been tagged before for shipping OSX without the latest version of Flash. This enables users, of their own volition, to install the latest version with the newest security updates present. However, some people have viewed it as a move to strategically minimize Flash content on Apple devices in favor of other standards such as HTML5.
So, are we being too hard on Adobe. Well, until a complete comparison is conducted with three MacBook Airs, side-by-side, running identical content (one with Flash, one with HTML5 and a negative control with neither), then it is unclear at the moment what the deal is. Certainly, I’ve had my fair share of spinning balls with Flash but I haven’t sat down and taken note of the amount of times that it has happened with HTML5, or what the load it places on the processor. But I do know that Flash runs Mac processors hard. Very hard. Just listen to the fan on an MBP and you know it’s unhappy.
Personally, I think that Flash needs to go somewhere (away, preferably). But, I still have the choice of whether or not to install it on my computer. For mobile devices, let’s face it, it’s a bad idea. But I can choose to run in on my Mac if I want, and therein lies the root of the matter. If Adobe believes this technology is good enough for my Mac, then that’s fair enough.