Adobe Developer Says iPad's Flash Allergy Due To Hovering, Clicking Cursors

Flash on the iPad/iPhone will never happen, right, and the reasons have run the gamut from "Apple vendetta" to "Flash is an energy and resource hog." Is the real, mind-numbingly simple explanation all about touch, mouse cursors and hovering? Possibly!

That's what a real, live Adobe Flash developer is saying this weekend, and I have to admit his simple "hover/mouseover" argument makes a lot of sense.

You see, says Morgan Adams, with current flash sites and flash games and whatnot, the software requires a mouse pointer to function properly, as well as the ability to distinguish between hovering and actual clicking. You see this in Hulu video player controls and with those annoying Cialis banner ads that swell in size when you accidentally hover over them with your cursor.

As Adams explains, the dynamic is pervasive, adopted across the Internet as a "fundamental" component of interactive design. But...BUT! In a touch screen world most people won't care or even understand how to interact with flash banners that were designed with cursors and hovering in mind. In a perfect world devoid of snipes and verbal sparring, Apple and Adobe could work together to make existing flash sites and banners appear on an iPad. Completely possible! But it would suck.

Say all invisible flash content appeared on the iPad or iPhone tomorrow. You would see, with your eyes, that happy Cialis couple sitting in a bathtub as clear as day. But beyond that none of the functionality would work in a touchscreen world. Users could look but not touch, but thanks to the hover/mouseover issues that occur when a pointer/hover-based interface clashes with a touch-based one, it'd all be completely pointless. Hrm.

"Users would hate that broken promise much more than they hate gaps in pages, missing banner ads, and the need to download a game once from the App Store instead of re-downloading it every time they visit a Flash game page," Adams wrote as part of a detailed response over at AppleInsider. He went on to detail several "solutions" that Apple and Adobe (and the Internet) could implement to make flash play well with touch, but they are all "terrible" he says, including the option that sees every flash developer on every web site around the world rewriting existing flash content so that it's compatible with future touch-enabled mobile devices. Not fun, and certainly not profitable.

"So it's not just that Apple has refused to support Flash. It cannot, logically, be done. A finger is not a mouse, and Flash sites are designed to require a mouse pointer (and keyboard) in fundamental ways. Someday that may change, and every Flash site could be redesigned with touch-friendly Flash. But that doesn't make Flash sites work now," Morgan said.

We'll see! It's an interesting development, if nothing else. [Apple Insider Forums via RoughlyDrafted]



    Urgh! I discovered I had the same issue with a CSS-based menu system I made for a website. The :hover psuedo-class doesn't work on the iphone because there *is no hover* when someone pokes their finger on the menu, so now I either have to set up a separate stylesheet for iphone, or make it javascript based... more work I could do without, but that's the way it is.

    "Users would hate that broken promise much more than they hate gaps in pages, missing banner ads"

    Who hates "Missing banner ads" ?
    Thanks to ABP on Firefox, all I see is blank banners and no flash, and that's the way it should be on the iPhone.
    Those banner ads (especially the intrusive hovering - full screen ones) distract & wreck the browsing experience for me .

    So If ever we had Flash on iPad/iPhone, there bettre be a toggle to turn Flash Off

    Err... BS Flash works fine on other mobile platforms without a mouse.

    Have a click to view flash option to save you from unwanted flash.

    It can't be that hard to impliment.

    A simple drag of a finger across the flash area to imitate mouse movement, with a second finger while the other is in contact tap for a mouseclick.

    A Little cumbersome, but so is flash.

    Death to flash.

    Touch to hover, double click to click?

    one finger to hover, two to touch?

    finger down = hover, finger up = press + release?

    I mean, we aren't world class designers here... these problems are small.

    and who needs hover?

    I have tested many typical flash sites on touch screen and there is no issue, sure there are UI design decisions to be made to make the most of gestures and the like in AIR2.

    Really above is a tad nonsense, who is this Morgan person? Have they played with flash sites on a touch device? Basically it is like placing the mouse at one spot then the other (imagine is moving very quickly), all of the mouse events work correctly. Sure there can be quirks but its not worth a doomsayer article like this.

    IMHO <-- based on 13-14yrs of flash development with tablets and most recently touch screens. And mouse driven sites.

    Wait what since when doesnt flash support touch commands ?

    last i checked is that my Cowon S9 runs on Flash and ive been codeing flash UCI's for it for a while now using mouse listeners this argument is void.

    the reason why there is no flash is because apple wants you to buy an app to do the same as embedded flash objects

    Yeah, this is just incredible. You're telling me the Apple people can design the most incredible and advanced pieces of handheld consumer technology in the world, but we can't figure out how to get flash to work? It's laughable.

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