Product demos and statements from Adobe suggest the device is not Flash-friendly but Apple’s promotional materials paint a very different picture.
iPad and Flash: Mixed Messages
The iPad-Flash disconnect first came to light by way of Apple blog AppleInsider.com. The gang at AI noticed that promotional images posted on Apple’s Web site appear to depict the iPad displaying Flash-based content from NYTimes.com.
A promotional video posted at Apple.com also shows what appears to be that same Flash-based content loading fine on the iPad.
That same content, when accessed on an iPhone or iPod Touch, returns an error stating that Flash is required for viewing.
Furthermore, as AppleInsider observed, those portions of NYTimes.com did not load during Steve Jobs demonstration of the iPad at Wednesday’s Apple event. You can see an empty Flash box in their place at about 1:19 into this YouTube clip.
iPad and Flash: Adobe’s Stance
Representatives from Apple were not immediately for comment, and an Adobe representative said he could not definitively confirm the lack of Flash support on the iPad. Adobe did, however, post a blog on its Flash Platform Web site Wednesday that stated the following:
“There’s something important missing from Apple’s approach to connecting consumers to content. … Without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of Web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the Web. If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab not to mention the millions of other sites on the web I’ll be out of luck.”
Adobe’s official Flash Platform Twitter account also sent out a link on Thursday to a news story that explicitly said the iPad “lacks support for Adobe’s Flash software.” Adobe’s tweet described the report as “sum[ming] up nicely Flash and iPad.”