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Adobe (hearts) Apple -- except for that one little Flash problem

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Tech-heads have been eating up an ongoing war between Apple and Adobe, which makes lots of software that you use all the time, such as Photoshop, Acrobat and Flash, which is the software at the heart of the dispute.

Steve Jobs's new Apple iPad (and the iPhone and iPod) doesn't support applications that run Flash, a multimedia platform that works animation, video and interactivity on Web sites. Adobe is not crazy about this because the iPad looks like it's going to be a hit. Apple sold 1 million of them in the first month they were out.

But Jobs says iPad users (and other mobile users) don't need Flash, which really ticked off Adobe. Jobs laid the hammer to Flash in this long posting he wrote back in April. Jobs summed up:

"Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."

Well, Adobe fired back at Apple and Jobs today in full-page newspaper ads (Yay!) including in The Washington Post (Double yay!) topped with a big headline: "We (heart) Apple." The ad listed all the things about Apple and the iPad that Adobe loves, but then concluded thusly:

"What we don't love is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it and what you experience on the web."

Takeaway for you? If you buy some Apple products, they won't display some Flash content, and that will be disappointing. Takeaway for me? I hope Steve Jobs buys a full-page ad in response to Adobe's.

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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 13, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Corporations  | Tags: Adobe Flash, Adobe Systems, Apple, Apple and Adobe, Apple vs. Flash, Flash, IPad, Steve Jobs, Washington Post  
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Comments

A shot of the ad would be helpful to those of us outside the area.

Posted by: query0 | May 13, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Adobe is junk and dead. No developer in his or her right mind will go anywhere near any of their products. I am going to ask you and the other readers of this column to engage in a little experiment, one I have been though many times, but "for real". Call Adobe's technical support number. You will be on hold for hours.... literally two or more hours. Then, you'll get someone in India that speaks poor English, doesn't know anything about Adobe's products, will transfer you around, and *very* likely cut you off, leaving you to repeat the whole useless process ad nauseum until you give up. I have two $1200 boat anchors, "suites" that anything but "sweet", from this company.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | May 14, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Adobe is junk and dead. No developer in his or her right mind will go anywhere near any of their products. I am going to ask you and the other readers of this column to engage in a little experiment, one I have been though many times, but "for real". Call Adobe's technical support number. You will be on hold for hours.... literally two or more hours. Then, you'll get someone in India that speaks poor English, doesn't know anything about Adobe's products, will transfer you around, and *very* likely cut you off, leaving you to repeat the whole useless process ad nauseum until you give up. I have two $1200 boat anchors, "suites" that anything but "sweet", from this company.

Posted by: mibrooks27
=================================
Thats way over the top.
I've never been longer that 15min on hold.
And just what would you replace Adobe with?

Posted by: jjgrah | May 14, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Apple would be dead without Adobe. The only reason that company survived is because graphic designers liked it. I'm sick to death of all the "we are cool" ad campaigning by Apple, while they charge twice as much for the same computer hardware as everyone else. I'm a graphic designer, and I've worked extensively on both Windows and Macintosh. Don't let anyone tell you that Apple is somehow innately *better.* Both platforms have issues, both of them crash, both of them run graphic design software equally well. I stick with Windows because the prices are more reasonable. But I didn't have a problem with Apple until they started biting the hand that feeds them. Why on earth are they trying to screw Adobe of all companies?! That makes no sense to me. I hope they get slapped with antitrust suits (and it sounds like they probably will).

Posted by: AnonyMiss | May 14, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

jjgrah - I use discrete software, now. Apple's development center has a lot of free integrated and really nice software that allows you to do web publishing, application development, and graphics. Nikon makes a photography package that is far superior to Photoshop and it's only $99 (and works great with non-Nikon camera's, too). The Adobe packages I refer to are the "Creative Suite 3, Web Premium" and a stand alone edition of graphics design software I bought for Mac development. I had/have an installation problem and I really did wait for more than two hours....twice... got some call center in India, got the run around, and was cut off. Ditto for their web based support. I am NOT alone. Virtually everyone I talk with has gone though the same nonsense. Moreover, Adobe treats everyday customers even worse. I don't need that kind of grief and I sure don't like being treated like garbage for being stupid enough to buy a software package from Adobe. So, I tell EVERYONE about my treatment and expect and hope I have cost Adobe at least several hundred customers. Again, you would need to be a complete idiot to use ANY product that this company sells.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou59 | May 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

i do think it has something to do with freedom. The iphone and ipod are a little different in that they are (more) specific-task oriented. the ipad really is a computer and having it so locked down that it cannot run something like flash is ridiculous.

apple is a great company but not everybody can rule the world like google :)

Posted by: jolt1 | May 14, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Frank Ahrens comes down on the wrong side of the issue. The Flash problem is a minor sidebar to the main issue: Apple Inc. exercises complete control over the content of your software and is free to ignore First Amendment rights and to arbitrarily discriminate against its competitors. Apple's talk about open standards is a joke, since the iPhone and iPad are the computer equivalents of a maximum-security lockdown. I'm a software developer who has worked with Macs for 25 years and has applications for the iPhone, but I have realized that continuing to develop for this platform is equivalent to collaborating with a totalitarian government. And mark my words: the iPhone, iPad, and ultimately the iPersonalComputer, will be favorites of repressive governments everywhere. If Apple succeeds in extending this business model to your desktop, this will be the end of open computing. Hope all of you Apple apologists are prepared to live in a world of computers which run only the software your government allows them to run.

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 14, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Gimmea break... Adobe has a history of bad products as well as good ones.

We love choice too, and lost when you bought Macromedia and trashed GoLive, eventually dropping it, now Dreamweaver is the ONLY choice for high end html editors, so much for choices.

Flash suks. Check out your CPU usage sometime... mine shows the flash plug-in using 50-90% of my CPU... then there's this:

Adobe apologizes for 16-month-old Flash bug Crash vulnerability 'slipped through the cracks,' admits company manager http://tinyurl.com/yd3xhw7

Posted by: kkrimmer | May 14, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Provide a platform Jobs then let the consumer choose.

It's typical Apple total control crap.
Just like Final Cut Pro can't edit AVCHD because Jobs says so; He doesn't control the standard so he doesnt like it. So I guess I'll use adobe premiere or Avid or Vegas because they provide solutions not more problems.

Posted by: stikyfingas | May 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

There are several issues here, and they are personal to me.

I don't care about the motives of either Adobe or Apple, but I do care about my user experience being affected by Adobe flash.

The fact of the matter is that most of the flash applications consist of advertising and I find it quite annoying and distracting to have blinking bobbing moving ads on a webpage... especially when it slows down the loading of webpages and results in inordinate CPU usage.

For that reason, I have installed Click2Flash which puts total control of Adobe flash in my hands: all flash is automatically blocked unless I deliberately choose to unblock it.

And I rarely do.

Posted by: TheBabu | May 14, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"Apple would be dead without Adobe"

You are precisely backwards. Look back at history.

Adobe's very first product was the Apple Laserwriter driver. Really the company came into being for the express purpose of creating the Postscript engine for Apple printers.

If you want to look at how many Apple sales are driven by Adobe, well that number is very very low, and it basically consists of software developers who bought Apple machines so they could run Adobe software. Really it is a tiny little niche market, hardly capable of sustaining a company the size of Apple.

Adobe's entire existence is basically based on dangling from Apple's infrastructure. Their font technologies, etc were cutting edge when new, but the rest of the industry quickly figured it out too. Remember "Adobe Type 1" fonts? Well now they are just a distant memory because the industry has ditched them in favor of "True Type". And so it is with each of their products.

Apple has grown tired of this leech and is in the process of brushing it off.

Posted by: frantaylor | May 14, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jerkhoff: "is free to ignore First Amendment rights"

Wow that is one of the more ignorant assertions I have seen on the subject.

Dude it is a free market. You don't have to buy Apple stuff. Feel free to ignore them and all that they do, it's not going to limit you or your freedoms.

You say you have developed iPhone apps, which means that YOU agreed to and signed that onerous developer's contract. So YOU have expressly agreed to go along with all of their crap. Did you hear that sound? It was the sound of your credibility flying out the window.

Posted by: frantaylor | May 14, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Wait. Did Steve Jobs really say the mobile era is all about "open web standards"? ROFLMAO!!!! BWWWWAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAA!
I've had an iPhone since it came out and you have to jailbreak it to use another phone network; it won't run a Flash video which is a continual frustration; widget developers have to pass an Apple screen so they don't compete with the mothership, and on and on! Jobs is just like a Wall Street bond salesman; all about free enterprise until it cuts into his bottom line. I think he's just jealous Apple doesn't control Adobe. The iPad is the same business model. You have to use limited Apple-approved applications that must be purchased from Apple, it has no USB port to load content, you can't use Google Chrome to browse the web. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Apple is the most controlling entity since the Soviet Union broke up. "Open Web Standards". That's a good one!!!

Posted by: MichaelCFox | May 14, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Provide a platform Jobs then let the consumer choose.

It's typical Apple total control crap.
Just like Final Cut Pro can't edit AVCHD because Jobs says so; He doesn't control the standard so he doesnt like it. So I guess I'll use adobe premiere or Avid or Vegas because they provide solutions not more problems.

Posted by: stikyfingas
============================
Try reading the manual, then you can edit AVCHD and stop posting crap.

Posted by: jjgrah | May 14, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@jerkhoff: you chose a very apt userID. Have you ever read the First Amendment? How is Apple "ignoring it"? Tell us which apps you've developed...so that we can ignore them.
@MichaelCFox: "You have to use limited Apple-approved applications that must be purchased from Apple". Yeah, right, 'limited' to 150,000plus.
Flash is only good for ads or porn, neither of which most people are interested in.
No-one forces anyone to buy or use Apple products. All the bashing and negativity boils down to jealousy. Apple does things better, both hardware and software. If you don't like it, fine. Don't buy it, don't use it. Let people decide for themselves what they want to buy and use. It's their choice. Respect it and leave them alone.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou59 | May 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@frantaylor etc.

Well, Apple certainly marketed themselves as being for graphic designers in the past, but maybe they aren't any more (who are they for?). Graphic designers certainly don't need Apple. Windows works just as well for a whole lot cheaper. If Apple is just for the average-joe nowadays, then the average-joe is getting screwed on pricing since they can get an equivalent system on Windows for a lot cheaper. It's not that I have some huge love for Windows, but I am so sick of the pretension from Apple. I guess they think if they constantly portray themselves as "cool," then people won't mind the higher prices. I'm so sick of hearing about i-everything and how cool it's supposed to be (gross). But as I said, I didn't have a problem with Apple in general until they decided to try to screw Adobe. And anyone who thinks that wasn't an attack on Adobe just needs to look at the timing -- they announced they wouldn't support Flash the same week that Adobe put out CS5 (which had been marketed extensively for how well it could export files for use on ipad, etc.). I imagine is just because Apple wants to control the advertising on their platform. They are clearly trying to force out competition, and that's the same thing that other companies received antitrust suits for. Just because Apple thinks they're cool shouldn't shield them from antitrust suits, and I don't imagine it will.

Posted by: AnonyMiss | May 15, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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