Originally I believed that Appleâ€™s decision to not include flash in the iPad was a corporate and anti-competition move. My opinion has changed. After conducting several different tests on different browsers (Safari, Internet Explorer*, Opera and Google Chrome) and on different computers (2.2 Ghz Macbook, 1.6 Ghz HP Mini and a 3.0 Ghz Dell), I managed to conclude some results on how flash performs.
Iâ€™ll start by saying that I believe that consumer choice is important. If the consumer chooses to use a program it should be at his/her own risk and he/she should be free to take that risk. Unfortunately, after growing up watching YouTube comment wars, Iâ€™m also very aware of one thing. When Apple makes a claim that its products donâ€™t crash, a litany of Windows â€˜fanboysâ€™ comment that Macs crash just as much as PCâ€™s do. This just isnâ€™t true. Flash is largely responsible for any crashes you may encounter on a Mac and Steve Jobs knows this well.
By allowing an unpredictable program run on the iPad, Apple would run the risk of tainting their â€˜crash-freeâ€™ reputation amongst their customers who have a lesser understanding of what individual programs are crashing (A gigantic slice of their target demographic).
On each computer, I would open three tabs of flash sites in any one browser at a time while allowing other applications to run in the background. This method would be used on all of the listed browsers and each test would be refreshed five times.
*There is a possibility that background applications could have an effect on the results, but (in fairness) my results seemed fairly conclusive.
Surprisingly, the MacBook handled the tests with the most competence â€“particularly on Safari. I encountered only one crash (on YouTube) and, surprise surprise, the culprit was flash.
The HP handled flash abysmally. The smaller processor simply couldnâ€™t handle with the crap the program was throwing at it. I encountered SEVEN crashes (one on Safari and the rest on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer).
The Dell did better but with its giant processor, I expected more. I encountered two crashes and eventually had to start the task manager.
The Point of this?
The results showed that all of the computers experienced flash crashes â€“ no other programs crashed. If a 3.0 Ghz monster or a 1.6 Ghz netbook canâ€™t handle Adobeâ€™s program then how is the iPad supposed to? The program is incredibly â€˜buggyâ€™ and unstable, in this writerâ€™s opinion. Apple are doing well to avoid the damage it could cause to their reputation. Iâ€™ve already changed my YouTube account to HTML5, have you?