Do You Really Want Flash?

“Flash…aaaah, Flash aaaah…”

Ok I am not Freddie Mercury, but as soon as somebody starts mentioning Flash and mobile technologies I immediately here Freddie singing in the BlackBerry PlayBook commerical.  It is no secret that I will be dumping my iPhone for an Android on VirginMobile very soon. (First we have to get my mother-in-law off of our AT&T account, and get her set up with something simple and cheap.)  The whole reason I am leaving my dear iPhone is primarily for money reasons.  I simply can’t see the rationale for keeping it at $85/month when I can get a smartphone that does all of the same things (not as intuitively, but it does them) for $40/month.  However one of my biggest complaints about my iPhone (aside from the declining battery life) has been no Flash.

David Lee King recently wrote a post stating he really hasn’t missed having Flash on his Apple devices.  He states that most of his browsing is through RSS feeds and he gets most of his videos through YouTube.  But he asks the question, “How about you? Do you find yourself missing Flash? Is it a problem?”

Uh Yeah…both professionally and personally

I work in a different library than David where YouTube is blocked.  Hospitals and a lot of other non-public and non-academic institutions block YouTube.   So if I or a doctor wants to watch a video of a medical procedure we either have to turn our Apple device to 3G (if we can get a signal in the hospital) and bypass the wifi which blocks it or the video has to be on non-YouTube site. 

For a long time Flash was a nice easy way to animate images, many medical resources online show simple Flash videos on surgical procedures, medical conditions, therapeutic excercises etc.  All of those videos are unavailable to doctors using iPads on rounds.  For example MedlinePlus surgical videos are in Flash and AccessSurgeryvideos are in Flash (I think I remember a McGraw Hill rep say they were gradually converting them from Flash.)  These are just a few of the high quality medical videos that are unusable to iPad docs.  

Steve Job’s stubborn refusal to allow Flash to work on iPads and iPhones is a pain in the butt professionally and it impacts what videos doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can access while on the job treating patients.

My iPhone is my computer when I am not at home, I am browsing way more than RSS feeds and I am watching more than just YouTube.  I am a power user of my iPhone, a total data hog.  I use waaay more than 2GB of data.  In my general surfing I run across more “No Soup For You” messages because I can’t get Flash.  It is annoying as hell and I hate it.  Like many typical American GenXers I want what I want NOW!  Don’t tell me it is Flash and I can’t see it, I don’t care, I want it to work.  Perhaps it is overly narcisitic of me but I don’t see that “I want it NOW!” mentality disappearing.  The Millenials are even more demanding and impatient about getting things online.

Now my the LG Optimus V on VirginMobile doesn’t get Flash but then again I will be paying $40/month for 1200 min of talk and unlimited texting and unlimited data (crucial to this data hog).  So while I will still have the lack of Flash frustration it will be at half the price of my iPhone.  For the amount I paid to get an iPhone and to use it on AT&T, the damn thing should have Flash.  Once, I can find a smartphone that can do Flash at the right price, I will definitely go for it.  And as much as I want an iPad, I keep hearing Freddie in my head and thinking about the BlackBerry Playbook.  I don’t know much about the Playbook other than “Flash…aaah” but that alone would me to look at it and consider it over an iPad.

What about you? Are you like David and don’t seem to mind not having Flash?  Or you frustrated by the lack of Flash?

5 thoughts on “Do You Really Want Flash?”

  1. I have an iPad an can honestly say, 90% of the time I have no need for Flash, 9% of the time I have a need but it isn’t important, and that last 1% is my actual need. Yes, it is annoying, but every day I see new sites coming up with either apps (a bridge for the time being) or coding in HTML 5. When I talk with medical publishers about Flash videos they all indicate they are working on a solution for iPads and iPhones.

    I also have an Android phone which runs Flash. It’s okay at best. Videos take a long time to load still, it is buggy, and it absolutely obliterates my battery. If you’re getting an Android phone running any of the 2.0 softwares you should be able to get Flash as an app from the market. Which brings me to my pet peeve about Android phones, fragmentation. No telling if you’ll ever get an upgrade or if an App will work on your device.

  2. When I first got my iPhone it drove ne crazy that I didn’t have Flash, but now I’ve gotten used to it. I go through the Youtube app when I want that, and most of the time I realize I don’t need the other stuff afterall or an app comes out for it. Maybe I just drank enough of the koolaid, though. A lot of times, I have a computer near by that I can use if I really want, too.

  3. “However one of my biggest complaints about my iPhone (aside from the declining battery life) has been no Flash.”

    “So while I will still have the lack of Flash frustration it will be at half the price of my iPhone.”

    Though 90% of this blog post was complaining about a lack of support for Flash, you’re going to buy another device without support for Flash, when with-Flash options exist? To me, that smacks of a post just for the sake of complaining.

  4. I bought a XOOM, not an iPad. I want medical apps on XOOM, but if I didn’t have Flash capability, I wouldn’t be pleased.

  5. I have an iPad and love it, but, yes the lack of flash is a glaring deficiency. It’s like gliding down a pristine strip of fresh asphalt, reveling in how smooth and wonderful it feels under your tires, and then you run smack into a gaping pothole. I’ve been tempted to jailbreak mine in order to make it flash-capable. Haven’t done it yet, but I’m considering it.

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