I have been reading my RSS feeds lately, and more and more I found this rivalry between Apple and Adobe. As many of you know, Apple just released their latest product, the glorious iPad, and announced its new iPhone OS4; on the other hand, Adobe is about to release their latest break-through, Adobe CS5. So, what’s up between Apple and Adobe? They should go on their merry way, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Lee Brimelow, one of Adobe Platform Evengelist, clearly stated his frustration towards Apple. It is apparent from his explanation and some other sources, Engadget and Mashable, that Apple tried to push Adobe Flash to the side and banned anything related to Adobe Flash in their new iPad and iPhone OS WebKit engine.
In my opinion, it all boils down to two choices: HTML5 or Adobe Flash. Apple is obviously supporting HTML5; therefore, there’s no place for Adobe Flash in Apple’s mind. I agree with Nilay Patel from Engadget that Adobe’s domination in online advertising now is “shaken” little bit by Apple’s decision. We’ll see what will happen in the near future.
According to Jan Ozer, Flash 10.1will support hardware acceleration. This means that CPU utilization can be lowered significantly. However, this feature is currently supported by Windows OS. The reason is because Apple was reluctant to give out its Leopard OS X API which Adobe team can use to develop GPU ability in Mac. But, don’t worry Mac users, Mac is currently supporting core animation which will help your video performance also. If you read Jan Ozer’s explanation, he explains that Flash is not necessarily inferior to HTML5. It all depends on Flash’s ability to access your computer’s GPU power though. In the case of Mac, Apple didn’t disclose the necessary “hook” to allow Flash to utilize Mac’s GPU. This is probably one of the main reason why Apple supports HTML5. Apple said the Flash is a CPU hog, contains too many security loopholes and old technology.
In conclusion, I think this war between Apple and Adobe is just about politics. Each side defends its position strongly. As of right now, there is no sign Apple will allow Flash to be appeared on its iPad or future iPhones. Which one is the best? Flash or HTML5? Without GPU acceleration, that’s fully supported in Flash 10.1, HTML5 is the winner; but with GPU acceleration, Windows users can be rest assured that Flash 10.1 will use lesser CPU requirements than HTML5, which will make Flash the winner.