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An iPad Update

Well it has been several months since I purchased mine, and it is a good investment in my opinion.  I continue to use it everyday in a variety of locations such as the gym and in bed.  The use cases are largely about browsing the web, doing casual work emails, and watching Movies/TV shows.  When I do bring it to the office it ends up being my notebook during meetings.  However, I’m not using it for deep content creation, perhaps because I have a MacBook Pro.  What I find interesting is that the iPad is a platform that shows it is possible to make the computing experience reachable to more types of users.  (After all with a platform that allows you touch your applications, imagine what is next. Heck even cats can use the iPad, see at the end of the post.)  With Apple’s supply constraints beginning to ease, I imagine that we will start seeing more business adoption of the iPad since it becomes possible to order these wonders in bulk quantity. I was just talking to a colleague of mine in Japan, he cited a Japanese company that is moving many of their personnel to iPad using VDI techniques to deliver applications to the screen. This follows many other companies from hospitals, to automotive companies, to legal firms who have an appetite for using a device like the iPad.

This of course brings us to the inevitable point of contemplation: oh my god the iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash.  Well there is a recent article on using Flash for Adroid based devices at laptopmag.com.  It was not a shiny and bright article, and in fact the results were mixed.  I think that the most telling point comes from the following quote.

The difference between the smooth Flash trailers on Sony.com, the slightly jerky episode of CSI, and the system-stalling Flash video on Fox.com is that the smoother ones were optimized specifically for phone playback. But if content providers have to go back and optimize their videos for mobile platforms, one of the key benefits of mobile Flash–backward compatibility with millions of existing videos–is lost. If you’re modifying your videos anyway, why not go the full monty and use an HTML 5 player instead of Flash?

This is super valid I think; if you are going do have to do conversion work from non-mobile to mobile for Flash then why not invest in the future, HTML 5? Perhaps running Flash on tablet sized devices with more powerful processors will resolve some of the issues, but I don’t think it will be as straight forward as that.  For both Apple and Adobe there is more that apparently needs to be done to better support the development communities.  Both need better tool chains supporting the creation of applications for mobile devices.  The major question for Adobe to contemplate is will the developers want to invest in Flash or HTML 5 when rework is required for mobile devices?  If Apple can energize a vibrant HTML 5 community complete with the necessary tools then it is possible, in my opinion, that they will be better positioned to monetize the HTML 5 agenda, leaving Adobe behind with the Flash agenda.

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Michael Hay

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