back to article Flash Player to vanish from Android store on Wednesday

If you really, really want to use the Flash Player plugin for Android and you haven't downloaded it already, you'd better move quickly. Tomorrow, August 15, is the day Adobe will pull it from the Google Play store. The software maker has said it will adjust the configuration settings on the Flash Player page in Google Play on …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bye Bye Flash

    Thanks for all the crashes and malware

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wasn't this

      What made Android phones stand out from the competition.

      Now who was it that put Flash into an early grave?

      Oops, it was he who should never be mentioned.

      1. vic 4

        Re: Wasn't this

        It was certainly one thing that was often cited, but the world has finally come round. Many websites that used flash to provide content have ditched it or at least moving away from it, so is pretty much bordering on insignificant.

      2. a_been
        Thumb Up

        Re: Wasn't this

        Yes the Fandroids spent years saying how good Android was because it could run Flash, forget the fact that Flash still dosent run on most android phones and is a pile of shit anyway. The Fandroids will be quiet about this as is there way when dealing with reality.

        Me, im glad Flash has another nail in it's long overdue coffin, it really was the worst piece of software ever created. I still find it hard to understand how people were paid to wright software that gets worse with more resourses. How the fuck do people feel good about creating software that when given more ram and processing power runs slower!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wasn't this

          I think you've rather missed the point (much like the spelling and grammar classes).

          The underlying message about Android being able to run Flash was - "Hey. Look at our open platform. It can run Flash (if we want to)". Personally I never bothered with it much, although the few times I did use it was because it handled Flash based websites better than Safari on my Macbook.

          Android as a platform promotes individual user choice as opposed to iOS which expects things to be done the 'Apple Way' and requires you to jailbreak it to do otherwise. I've nothing against iPhones personally (I used to own a 3G, my girlfriend has had a 3GS and now has a 4S) but I prefer the more open approach of Android for my personal use.

          Each to their own.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wasn't this

            Yes - Android users certainly have an amazing number of viruses to choose from.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Each to their own.

            "to each his own"

            // grammar nazi

            1. TraceyC
              Headmaster

              Re: Each to their own.

              "To each their own" is grammatically correct *and* less sexist / exclusionist of those who don't have danglies between their legs. The Indefinite ‘they’ has been used by Shakespeare, C.S Lewis and Austen.

              http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/singular-they-and-the-many-reasons-why-its-correct/

              Kudos to those who try not to exclude anyone by gender in their writing.

          3. jai

            Re: Wasn't this

            The underlying message about Android being able to run Flash was - "Hey. Look at our open platform. It can run Flash (if we want to)".

            that may have been the underlying message, but it wasn't the one that every Android user i've met in the last few years has said. they've just said "but can you run flash? no? because i can with my android and so that makes it better"

            perhaps Android users should have been a bit more clearer in the messages they wished to convey and then they'd avoid having to find ways of making it out like they meant to say something else than what they did.

            "Oh yes, I may have said you were an utter smeghead, but my underlying message was actually that I think you're okay"

            1. Peter 48

              Re: Wasn't this

              You do realise that

              "Hey. Look at our open platform. It can run Flash (if we want to)".

              and

              "but can you run flash? no? because i can with my android and so that makes it better""

              are exactly the same statement? Android was a better choice if you wanted to browse the internet and be able to utilise ALL websites. Now it will be just as bad and restricted as iOS.

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: Wasn't this

                well times move on. Yes long ago when flash was about and was almost the defacto way that the majority of people used streaming content then yes flash was fairly necessary. Especially with the likes of BBC iplayer and youtube dominating the streaming market for the masses. Flash may have been crap and may have been clunky but people used it. Having a platform that supported it WAS a good sell.

                Times change though, flash is a bloated piece of crap still and with HTML5 coming on scene why on earth would anyone use flash or AIR now? Iphone and android have the market share and if neither use flash then why bother coding for adobe at all? If MS could actually get silverlight to work properly then im sure silverlight would start to edge in - especially with its streaming DRM.

                Seems a daft decision by adobe on the face of it.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Now it will be just as bad and restricted as iOS."

                Really? I beg to differ, Android has Firefox with a proper content aware ad blocker addon- something that I sorely miss on my iPad (the best it can do is a jailbroken hosts file blocker).

                Lack of flash isn't really "restricted". I run with noscript on my desktop every day, and only re-enable flash to watch Zero Punctuation. Even that will move to something more sensible as their viewer numbers start to drop due to their choice of video player.

              3. jai

                @Peter 48 Re: Wasn't this

                You do realise that "Hey. Look at our open platform. It can run Flash (if we want to)". and "but can you run flash? no? because i can with my android and so that makes it better"" are exactly the same statement?

                No they're not.

                I thought your point originally was that the Android user was saying "the platform is open, which makes it better, oh and also, as a result, i can run flash, yay \o/ lolz"

                whereas what i was saying was that all the Android users i've encountered insisted that being able to run Flash was the key advantage of the platform over iOS. To them, the openness of the platform was a secondary consideration.

                (which is weird, cos most of them a techies, so you'd think they'd appreciate the open platform, but it seems all they really cared about was the ability to run flash and also play divx and avi movie formats)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: jai @15:43

                  > all the Android users i've encountered insisted that being able to run Flash was the key advantage of the platform over iOS.

                  You need to get out more.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wasn't this

          Schools out I see.

        3. LeeS

          Re: Wasn't this

          I love android and (having suffered iTunes for an iPhone and iPod Touch) wouldn't touch apple with a barge pole again. But I honestly couldn't give a damn about Flash.

          Fandroid? well I love the fact I can plug it in a do what I like with it, I love many of the things that apple fans love, but without the strangle hold of apple. So call me that if you will, but don't ever suggest all android supporters have used flash as it's 'big seller', many of us are more intelligent than that (leave single features to the other team).

        4. Mike G

          Re: Wasn't this

          You'll find that html5/css3 stuff that now replaces flash actually uses a lot more cpu (e.g try run any canvas animation on mobile) and has a larger file size (doesn't compress as well as in a swf and needs lots of large external libraries like jquery). But html5 is the hip thing so yay for progress in a going back 10 years type way.

    2. Ilgaz

      Re: Bye Bye Flash

      Just wait for dozens of Trojan flash apk files on web.

      Adobe and google doesn't know or care about the problem they created by letting flash vanish from official market.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. sinfocomar
      IT Angle

      Re: Bye Bye Flash

      Flash player for Blackberry Playbook: no crashes, no malware. Flash is not the only problem when security is an issue on a specific platform.

      PS: For those that will add "no crashes, no malware, NO APPS" you might want to look again.

      Cheers.

  2. guvna

    Flash..........

    AHHHHhhhhhhh.

    Savior of the universe.

    Need we say more.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Flash..........

      "Need we say more?"

      Yes, we spell it "saviour" round these here parts ;-)

      1. steogede

        Re: Flash..........

        "Yes, we spell it "saviour" round these here parts ;-)"

        That's fine, but was it written round these here parts?

        1. Annihilator Silver badge
          Coat

          @steogede

          "That's fine, but was it written round these here parts?"

          Yes, Brian May wrote it B-)

    2. Daren Nestor

      Re: Flash..........

      AHHHHhhhhhhh.

      King of the Impossible.

      --

      I love the lyrics to this song. It could not be cheezier, but it's awesome nevertheless

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Flash..........

        Brian blessed always stole the film for me. I bet the sound man had a fit balancing those scenes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Flash..........

          Not really, good quality analogue limiters cope with Mr Blessed very well, and a properly-chosen mic won't be clipping. Once you have your levels set up, you can keep half an eye on the meter bridge on your field mixer, but there really is no problem.

      2. The Original Cactus
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Flash..........

        "Flash! I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!"

        That's my favourite line from any film, even above "We're going to need a bigger boat".

        Those three rows of icons remind me of the panel Ming used to select disasters. What shall I inflict on the readers of this post: Nuclear blast? Wildfire? Chemical hazard? Plague of trolls?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Flash..........

          Yes, he deserves credit for saving the Earth, but you should see the shine he brings up on my kitchen worktops!

        2. Nigel 11
          Paris Hilton

          @Original Cactus

          <-- Inflict?

  3. GitMeMyShootinIrons
    Joke

    Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

      Truer than you think, because this is clearly a downgrade. Google stats recently showed something like 99% of Chrome users used flash on the desktop in the last week. Steve Jobs was hopelessly wrong on this one, and the web is still not ready for a flashless world.

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

        Doesn't change the fact it sucks on mobile devices.

      2. An0n C0w4rd

        Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

        Used flash or had flash run in their browser without them actually wanting the content?

        Remember two points with that 99% statistic:

        - flash is default bundled with chrome

        - not all requests for flash are desired by the user. some secondary content on pages (e.g. ads) still use flash.

        I would also suspect that people with Chrome are more likely to visit Googly sites like youtube which probably still prefer flash on chrome to HTML5 playback.

        Incidentally the reason I won't touch Chrome is because they bundled Flash. I don't trust it as it can basically run as an independent agent in my browser while ignoring all my browser security/proxy settings. The fact they release a security fix version of flash frequently doesn't particularly add to my confidence of the product.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

          You do realize you can disable the bundled Flash, right? You can also use Chromium, which doesn't bundle it.

        2. vic 4

          Re: release a security fix version of flash frequently

          Eh, would that not be a good thing? Compared to the number of other bits of software I update often, such as safari, chrome or firefox that pretty much always have some feature in.

          Don't get me wrong, I hate flash but really don't see why it gets as much bashing as it does for crashing/performance, is it really worse than your average piece of software, just more noticed beacuse of it's prevalence?

          1. a_been

            Re: release a security fix version of flash frequently

            Simple answer "Yes". It should be called malware as it expotantialy uses resorces.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

        "Google stats recently showed something like 99% of Chrome users used flash on the desktop in the last week."

        The fact that they *know that* is cause for concern. People honestly want to carry around a tracking device made by these guys??

        1. Craigness

          Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

          I use flash on mobile devices and it's never been a problem, always been very useful.

          I also use it in Chrome on the desktop but have it disabled by default. This gives me the "full web" as Jobs envisioned it, and it remains a mass of grey boxes many years after he announced that vision. I don't enable all of the boxes, but I enable a lot of them and do so at least once a week. Flash works and it's still a requirement.

          For the last Coward I'll make the following correction:

          99% of people who have selected "Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google" use flash each week and are not forced to be tracked by Google. Why do people still not get this?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

            ...and the people who are forced to enter a Google ID to use their Android phone? (Which has a GPS in it, camera, microphone, uploads address book to Google's servers...)

            So not only do they know *every* dodgy search you have ever done, they now know who your contacts are and can know *where **you** are* at all times.

            No doubt you will say 'well just make a new ID' p- roblem with that is Google are smart at joining up the dots. Oh look - two Google IDs from the same home broadband IP - that's a link. Also it only takes one accident, and what about your email? Don't use Google email you say? Very wise.

            I believe there is a build of Android somewhere which is anonymised to remove the forcing of Google ID usage - the fact that this exists proves this is a concern for many.

            I would not trust that company *at all*.

            1. Craigness
              FAIL

              Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

              AOSP does not require Google ID usage, and unlike other systems you can side-load apps, so it's not limited to system apps when you don't give it an ID. The fact that this exists proves that it should not be a concern for any.

              You would not trust that company *because you're ignorant*. Would you trust Apple? They usually get a free ride on this sort of thing even though all your worries above could be applied to Apple, and not all can be applied to Google.

            2. gort
              Boffin

              Re: Android starts to catch up with the iPhone...

              You don't have to use a Google account on any version of Android I've used. You can just skip the account setup at first boot. You won't get backup or contacts sync without loading some more apps, and you will have to use an app store other than Google's (e.g. Amazon, but then you need an Amazon account, oh noes), but that's about all you would lose.

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Ah well...

    I'm no fan of Flash (it can cause my desktop PC to cane CPU cycles, let alone a mobile device). I'm new to this smartphone malarky, and whilst it is a fine new toy (and occasionally a handy tool) its battery could last longer.

    That said, it is nice to have the option of using it (when I'm near a wall socket). I currently have Flash preinstalled on a Sony phone that is due an ICS update next week, and I'm new to this smartphone malarky; will I need to obtain Flash (and other things) after an Android OS update?

    1. Craigness

      Re: Ah well...

      Follow the link in the article. Download the apk file from Adobe and sideload it when you get ICS, but you won't get any updates. My new tablet is arriving at the weekend so I'm in a similar predicament.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah well...

        "with no chance of being infected by Aids of Flash."

        Correction, you don't get AIDS from Flash. You only get AIDS if you have a Facebook Account.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facebook AIDS?

          If only. It would solve so many problems. Illiteracy, hunger, pollution, unemployment, traffic...

          1. thegrouch

            Re: Facebook AIDS?

            Not as bad as Flying Aids

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The BBC needs to update its Iplayer app for Android then so it can work without flash being installed, since new devices will no longer be able to download flash anymore

    1. Craigness

      I think it uses Adobe Air on phones, but on my tablet it's just a shortcut to the web. It should be the same version though, so I don't know why they'd have a difference.

      1. a_been

        Don't know about phones or tablets but yes it uses air for PCs.

      2. Eponymous Cowherd

        Flash iPlayer

        "I think it uses Adobe Air on phones, but on my tablet it's just a shortcut to the web"

        Android iPlayer is a Flash app and, yes, it does just act as a bookmark to the iPlayer website for tablets.

        The use of Flash has made the whole iPlayer experience less than ideal completely shite (just look at the comments on Play).

        My hope is this will force the BBC to produce something that actually works on most devices, but I expect the reality is they will move to Air like ITVPlayer (and that, if anything, is even shittier then iPlayer).

        The real irony is that the BBC killed off the 3rd party iPlayer clients BeebPlayer and myPlayer and used Flash (because of its DRM facilities) in order to protect their content on Android devices. The reality is that they have produce such a poor user experience that they have probably driven more people to "pirate" sources than if they had just left BeebPlayer and MyPlayer alone and/or produce a decent (but un-DRM'd) native Android app.

    2. Dave 142

      Set your browser to pretend it's mobile safari and the BBC will give you the non-flash version.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Alternatively

        "Set your browser to pretend it's mobile safari and the BBC will give you the non-flash version."

        Alternatively use get_iplayer to download the programmes, then copy them to your device. No more reliance on Flash or flaky 3G networks when you are out and about.

      2. bluest.one

        >Set your browser to pretend it's mobile safari and the BBC will give you the non-flash version.

        Not on a Nexus 7 using Dolphin. UA set as ipod or ipad gets you to the "click to play" screen (instead of the antequated "you must install flash player" screen) but clicking the button to play the content does nothing.

        Queries to the BBC result in being fobbed off with something about something happening at some point in the future. Applecolytes fully catered for, but Androidians mostly left swinging, despite, as some earlier poster pointed out - the thing should work perfectly in Adobe Air.

        What was that about being "platform neutral", BBC?

        (Maybe if their tech division hadn't been privatised.)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The BBC needs to update its Iplayer app for Android"

      Yes, it does, and there is much headscratching as to the best way to do it. The threats of doom from rights owners means that they can't just go to h.264 and stop worrying, which is the technically superior solution.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Still no iPlayer app for Android 4

      @ mark : you need to put a space in between the word 'any' and the word 'more'.

  6. Cameron Colley

    Slight correction.

    "Instead, Adobe says it plans to concentrate its Flash efforts on desktop machines..."

    I think you'll find that's Windows desktop machines and Google Chrome. The desktop Linux version of Flash is end of life also.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slight correction.

      Flash for OS/2 was EOL years ago and was only missed by a few of the young generation.

      1. Cameron Colley

        @Ivan 4

        Was Steam announced for OS/2 a couple of weeks ago too? ;-)

    2. bluest.one

      Re: Slight correction.

      Not being ubiquitous, leaving out Linux, leaving out (the ever increasing numbers of) mobile devices marks the beginning of the inevitable end for Flash everywhere.

      Who will create content in Flash knowing that its going to alienate large numbers of users. They'll use something that works on all platforms instead.

  7. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    Yay

    We're one step closer to finally finding a cure for Flash!

    1. Cameron Colley

      Re: Yay

      Yup, Silverlight:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/01/lovefilm_dumps_flash/

      Seems the "cure" is of the medieval variety.

  8. Richard 81

    I'm confused

    Does Adobe actually want anyone to use Flash?

    1. illiad

      Re: I'm confused

      no, it wants you to use all its *other* far more capable stuff... RTSP, AIR... you need to look around a bit more... :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quitters

    Sorry but from where I'm sitting (which includes hating flash with a vengeance) surely most companies that have come up with a 'something to pay me for to put on your websites' have also come up with a 'pay me more for the upgrade path to still be able to put it on your websites'.

    You will lose a lot of following by ignoring followers who need you to sort out whatever mess they first made using your products.

  10. xmfclick 1
    Unhappy

    Looks like they've pulled it already. A search for "flash player plugin" or variants thereof returns a whole load of "Flash player" apps, but all of them seem to be designed to play FLV files once you've downloaded them locally. They all say "you need to get the Adobe Flash player plugin first" -- but it's not there

    1. Doogie1

      Just search for "Flash Player". It still shows up. (Provided your device is compatible)

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adobe.flashplayer&hl=en

      1. illiad

        you have not get the latest jelly bean then!!

        try reading the article, for an explanation....:P

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adobe throwing in the towel

    Lots of sites still use flash (not just for ads). A great deal of sites my wife visits use flash. With the android table she was able to easily transition from the desktop to mobile environment of a tablet. My wife is not along the stats clear indicating a dramatic rise in web surfing from mobile devices. With potential $ at risk no smart business would invest in using flash anymore - effectively ending the life of flash.

    Flash may not have been perfect but it did a lot of what we wanted out of the internet (although with some headaches for that benefit).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh no!

    Now how will I play those vintage Flash games?

    Apple Shooter, Sim Girl etc.

  13. newtonslife
    Megaphone

    Now hear this !

    Flash Adverts will no longer work in Jelly bean.. Hoooray !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now hear this !

      You would have to use html5, which is much more difficult for adblock to handle...

      1. noodl
        Megaphone

        Re: Now hear this !

        This argument doesn't hold water for me. Surely it'd be just as easy for a browser extension to require a click on a <video> element to load it than it was to do the same for flash content? Easier, probably.

  14. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge
    Pint

    Send war rocket AJAX to bring back his body!

    What?? Am I understanding correctly now... No more daily Flash updates to download?* But what will I do with all those unused megabytes of data at the end of the month? Could it be that I will now be able to use my allocated bandwidth to actually surf the 'net?

    Hurray, hurray, it's a happy happy day! (Or something in that line).

    *On my phone, that is. On my laptop it seems like it will be business as usual.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Send war rocket AJAX to bring back his body!

      "O frabjous day callooh callay!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Send war rocket AJAX to bring back his body!

      I know you're being facetious, so I shall counter it by being pedantic; if you read the article, it says that existing devices with it already installed will continue to receive updates. Not, as you're implying, that all updates will stop entirely.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More fragmentation.

    The App Store, or whatever it's called this week, is full of apps that are only compatible with some devices. Android 2 is still popular in the wild. No idea what happened to 3, but 4.0 is being shipped on newer devices. 4.1 is out now, and will probably make it to mainstream devices in 6 month or so. By then 5 will probably be out too. Now add to that the flash or no flash question and you've got a right mess for developers to try and work with. No wonder Android is treated as a "Maybe one day we'll launch an app for it" OS by the likes of Sky and the BBC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More fragmentation.

      So, the BBC iPlayer app, the BBC News app, the Sky Go app and the Sky News app on my phone are all figments of my imagination?

      Weird.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: More fragmentation.

        do any flash apps rely on having flash underneath already installed though? Surely they wont work (on newer devices) now.

  16. Stuart Halliday
    Thumb Up

    Wow...think of all those adverts we'll not be able to see!

    Gonna drive the advertisers wild! ;)

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      I set my phone to only load plugins on demand, so most of the annoying Flash stuff simply didn't appear; yet it was there for when I needed it for stuff it was actually useful for, such as streaming video.

      I'm sure its replacement won't be so easily hidden away, and I'm also sure that there will be some who will miss what Flash can offer as the replacement technology is an embarrassing hodge-podge of stuff that will surely be an even greater headache for web devs. [in other words: all the haters, kindly stop bashing Flash until you can point to a viable alternative; the reason Flash got as popular as it did was precisely because there wasn't an alternative, and if you ask me, there still isn't]

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tool up and go to work

    Like other Flash developers, I have spent a lot of time transferring my skills to HTML'5'.

    If you lot think that with the death of flash you will escape from interactive, resource consuming, over the top, invasive banner ads / page takeovers / other advertising annoyances, then you are living in a fantasy world.

    The only difference is that you can't block HTML'5' ad content in one catch-all plugin block.

    1. xenny
      Happy

      Re: Tool up and go to work

      My installation of Lynx sneers at your graphical adverts. The sneer is a bit angular and tricky to visualise to be sure....

    2. Timmay
      FAIL

      Re: Tool up and go to work

      Am I the only one who questions whether someone really develops for HTML5, when they go against all normal convention and puts the 5 in quotes? It's HTML5, not HTML'5'.

  18. The Belgain
    Thumb Down

    Premature

    Ignoring how much people may or may not hate flash from an ideological point of view, I'd say this is pretty premature. In my experience most websites which feature video still use flash and don't have an HTML5 fall-back solution.

    To take a simple example, if I go to the BBC news website in Chrome on Android and try to play any of the videos it doesn't work. Using the stock Android browser the video will play back fine (and with no particular issue, my Samsung Galaxy S II has plenty of grunt for it). It may be that's just an unfortunate choice of website, but it still means I'll have a significantly less functional device on upgrade to Android 4.1 (assuming Samsung deliver that).

  19. Dave 142

    I will miss Flash for one reason. All the shite "interactive" websites and animated ads will be harder to block in the future. No longer will the 'disable plug-ins' button be so so useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is of course why there is the commercial push to html5.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC iPlayer and the Apple-only streams

    iPlayer got around lack of Flash on iGadgets via a pact with the devil aka BBC to provide exclusive Apple-only streams that work with HTML5 - or something. These streams are not 'open' to the non iThing-owning public.

    How exactly will Android cope with iPlayer in future?

    At least one thing will be fixed: When listening to iPlayer on Android, when you blank the screen to save power, or even if you focus on a different window, the audio will not instantly stop!

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: BBC iPlayer and the Apple-only streams

      you mean non iphone user agent strings?

    2. illiad

      Re: BBC iPlayer and the Apple-only streams

      "when you blank the screen to save power, or even if you focus on a different window, the audio will not instantly stop!"

      No, that is NOT flash's fault! - it is the ancient IOS 's blame, with no multi tasking!!

      1. Nigel R Silver badge

        Re: BBC iPlayer and the Apple-only streams

        @illiad

        Um, did you read it all?

        At least one thing will be fixed: When listening to iPlayer ***on Android***, when you blank the screen to save power, or even if you focus on a different window, the audio will not instantly stop!

        by comparison, IOS is perfect

        1. illiad

          Re: BBC iPlayer and the Apple-only streams

          Nigel R: ah, missed that bit.. but did you want it to stop??

  21. durbster

    The bigger picture

    I can accept that Flash never worked well on mobile devices but the problem we now have is that when people ask for sophisticated web content which NEEDS to be done in Flash they'll also expect it to work on mobile devices.

    Steve Jobs' successfully spread the myth that Flash is no longer necessary at all (on desktops and mobile) when the truth is that the alternative technologies are years behind and therefore need more time and cost to develop.

    Whether it's written in Flash or Javascript, complex content in a browser just does not work on a mobile device and is far better served as an app. I'd always choose the YouTube app than the YouTube website on my phone, for example.

    And to all those expecting a world without Flash to be one with no animation or advertising, you're utterly deluded. You'll still get crappy animations and adverts, they'll just be done in Javascript instead (and therefore will be harder to remove). Blaming Flash for bad content is like blaming your TV for bad programmes.

    The misconceptions about Flash (e.g. that it hogs resources - not the case for several years now) may accelerate its demise but that would leave a void that HTML5 and Javascript are not in a position to fill yet.

    The BBC online Olympic coverge has just demonstrated why Flash is still by far the best tool for the job on desktops. They simply couldn't have done it any other way.

    1. David 138
      Flame

      Re: The bigger picture

      HTML 5 will take years to catch up to flash and it seems a shame to stunt the internet experience because it didnt fit in with Steve jobs Grey and white 1984 world. You shouldn't shoot your cart horse before they have invented the car.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The bigger picture

      "Blaming Flash for bad content is like blaming your TV for bad programmes."

      I would say it's closer to blaming the PAL standard.

      It's also like blaming PHP for poorly-written code.

    3. illiad

      Re: The bigger picture

      "And to all those expecting a world without Flash to be one with no animation or advertising, you're utterly deluded. You'll still get crappy animations and adverts, they'll just be done in {whatever takes its place} "

      Damn right! if you are wondering what, I'll fill in *research* you should have done... :)

      DO NOTE that thes are quite old now, and may have been updated or superseded..

      (main non-flash data flow) http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmedia/files/2012/03/single_drm_workflow-1024x481.png

      http://www.html5rocks.com/en/mobile/nativedebate/

      http://edge.adobe.com/whatisedge.html

      http://esdot.ca/site/2011/mobile-performance-tests-html5-vs-air

      "The BBC online Olympic coverge has just demonstrated why Flash is still by far the best tool for the job on desktops. They simply couldn't have done it any other way."

      EXCEPT by RTMP/RTSP - The iphone has had bbc Iplayer since last december...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and which shipped as the default browser"

    You're allowed to do that?

  23. sorry, what?
    Flame

    "shyPlayer" or "Now you see me, now you don't. Again."

    I know a number of bods have already talked about the impact on BBC iPlayer (and it has already been noted that the Beeb stamped all over the myPlayer app because it "broke the BBC charter"), but I wanted to add my own vent. Lack of apologies to any fanbois out there who read this - but I suspect they won't as they will simply chortle at the associated article's title and move on.

    I was an avid myPlayer user, downloading the videos for cleaner, offline viewing. The myPlayer app was great for this and apparently would get the media from the iJobs sources (provided by the Beeb in a manner I find annoyingly iBiased).

    Once the Beeb played the "remove or regret" card on myPlayer I was cast out into the "my Android device is crapper than your iStink device" wilderness. Until Flash became available, of course. But then I had still lost the ability to download and play videos offline. So all those iHate users could again feel smug and superior.

    To me the way the Beeb pander to the iCost device based audience is an outrage (no, I'm not from Tunbridge Wells) - if they provide a special service for one brand of mobile device they should supply it in a way consumable on other devices.

    Flash was not a fair way to do this because it didn't support download, and when you look at the cost (and quality) of streaming video over 3G compared with a WiFi download and offline viewing this is quite clear.

    Reading the Beeb's own article on this subject I groaned (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19267140; and would you look at that - no option to comment on this article on the Beeb's site). So the Beeb are "working with Adobe on an alternative video player for Android, ensuring audiences with Android devices continue to enjoy BBC iPlayer". Oh, and they are worried about fragmentation. Personally, I'd be more worried more about failing to support a huge section of the smartphone user base. A massive backwards step.

    Why the F*** don't they just let third parties like myPlayer provide the required player, based on the iBully media sources that they already support?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "shyPlayer" or "Now you see me, now you don't. Again."

      Nice rant, completely ignorant. Two words, "rights owners". They aren't smart, but they have awfully fancy lawyers.

      1. sorry, what?
        Holmes

        Re: "shyPlayer" or "Now you see me, now you don't. Again."

        Yes, I understand about rights owners (oddly I'm not entirely ignorant, I simply chose to ignore that point). What I don't understand is why the iRipoff devices appear to be given free access - there's no DRM in sight for these versions of the media as demonstrated by the get_iplayer scripts. Why isn't the playing field level?

  24. Sean Timarco Baggaley
    FAIL

    And all this is a textbook reason why...

    ... a proprietary third-party technology has absolutely no place in a supposedly "open" system. All the flames, the complaints and the whining we see in these comments—and elsewhere—are entirely your own doing.

    What if BBC iPlayer had relied on RealPlayer instead? Would you be quite so quick to leap to defending that technology too?

    This is the exact same problem that prevents software like LibreOffice being taken seriously: too many businesses have data tied up in Microsoft's Office suite. The only way LibreOffice—or any other rival—can even hope to compete is by fully supporting the Office file formats, right down to all their quirks and foibles.

    What was needed was more pressure for open standards, not mere support for plugins. Plugins in web browsers are a massive kludge, not a solution. They're used to solve problems that really shouldn't have existed in the first damned place.

    Anything that superficially resembles a website, but which relies on third-party technologies like Flash, is doing not a website. It's merely a wrapper for a proprietary technology. You might as well just write a dedicated client application instead.

    Flash is a closed, proprietary plugin—and a poorly written one at that. (It is still infamous for lousy performance on Macs, and always has been. Even on Windows, it's not the most efficient chunk of code.)

    Note the word "closed". It's ironic how many Android fans are whining about this given that Adobe are the exact opposite of the GNU / FOSS philosophy of openness. They should be rejoicing; dancing in the streets.

    Adobe's Flash has never been part of the W3C standard.

    1. durbster

      Re: And all this is a textbook reason why...

      "Flash is a closed, proprietary plugin—and a poorly written one at that. (It is still infamous for lousy performance on Macs, and always has been. Even on Windows, it's not the most efficient chunk of code.)"

      Your comment was valid in 2008 maybe but not today. Flash performs perfectly well these days and will usually outperform Javascript for equivalent tasks.

      And today you can easily develop for Flash without giving Adobe a penny. Flex & FlashDevelop serve me perfectly well and they're both free.

      But I agree that plugins have no place on mobile browsers; that's what apps are for.

      1. illiad

        Re: And all this is a textbook reason why...

        durbster: hmm, good post.. what do you think of the 'alternatives' above?? I guess we will have to wait and see if anything better comes out.. it rather depends on the take up of JB....

    2. sorry, what?
      Unhappy

      Re: And all this is a textbook reason why...

      It would be fab if iPlayer didn't use anything proprietary - I wasn't happy when I couldn't access the content from my Android device before and I'm unhappy again now with the way we will be left in limbo for some indeterminate period.

      Basically iPlayer was badly specified, and implemented to match.

      Along comes iJobs and says "no" to Flash causing an outcry from the (still relatively) small number of fabois who want iPlayer. So the Beeb (no doubt full of 'managers' who love their iAllFormAndNoFunction devices) bends over backwards to provide a special service just for them. And then goes around blocking use of this service by anyone else. That's what gets my goat. We had non-Flash access, albeit briefly, to iPlayer on Android. But the Beeb decided to stomp all over that as I previously mentioned.

  25. A J Stiles

    Hmm

    And this, people, is *precisely* what you get when you become over-reliant on proprietary technology, and you forget that someone, somewhere has -- and always had -- the power simply to pick up their ball and go home, leaving you in the lurch.

    It would be great if Adobe just Open-Sourced Flash Player (after all, they give away the binary for nothing; and there is no shortage of people who would be keen to put in the effort to get the Source working on various platforms), but I am not holding my breath for that.

    1. durbster

      Re: Hmm

      I'm pretty sure Adobe said the plan was to release the mobile version of the Flash player into the open source world actually, so it may not be gone forever...

  26. James 100
    Pint

    Flash problems

    I'm delighted to see nails being hammered into that particular coffin - a web without Flash would be a much better place. The real problem isn't so much Flash itself, but the "programmers" who excrete most of the .swf malware* out there (* - seriously, how can wasting resources and slowing the whole machine like that not be considered malware?!) need to be fired, then sent back to remedial finger-painting classes to start their whole education again from scratch.

    The sad irony? There are a handful of Flash files out there which actually do genuinely useful things you can't sensibly achieve in plain HTML/Javascript yet: multiple file uploads, for example. That niche is rapidly shrinking now though: we used to have to resort to Flash for graphing that Canvas can now handle, which is a very welcome development.

    Fizzy alcoholic beverage needed - because Flash is second only to IE6 on the list of "things that make the web a worse place".

  27. illiad

    ...

    yes, well BBC is rather stupid that way... I would bet that an argument between them and adobe, is why they have withdrawn flash!!! :)

    James 100: an even bigger irony, is that once everyone has got used to using 'the flash alternative' the same "malware excreting programmers" will just continue merrily on... Just like IE, now at Version 9.... :/

    Have you got an 'adblocker'??? try adding *.swf to it, and see how many sites still work... I find it is only the video ones (except youtube, that does work, but needs an iphone...), but I will test further... :)

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