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Jobs claims Flash would drain iPad battery

21 Feb 2010

As the rivalry escalates between Apple and Adobe, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a meeting with Wall Street Journal employees that running Flash on the iPad would reduce the battery life from 10 hours to 1.5 hours. 

According to AppleInsider, in the meeting Jobs claimed Flash is a “CPU hog” and called it “old technology”. The meeting was held in order to show WSJ editors the device and convince them to bring a digital version of the newspaper to the iPad. Jobs allegedy said, “we don’t spend a lot of energy on old technology” and compared the application to other technologies that Apple stopped using, including floppy disc drives and the CD, which Apple replaced with iPod and iTunes. 

But a number of bloggers argue that Flash wouldn’t decrease the iPad’s battery capacity by 85%. One writer at TechCrunch called Jobs’ remarks “plainly inflammatory” and said that if Apple wanted to fix the bugs and security issues in Flash that Jobs has commented on in the past, they would find a way. 

But Jobs maintains that HTML5 is the way of the future, and it doesn’t seem likely that Apple will embrace Flash on the iPad or iPhone at any point in the near future. A number of major publishers seem to be going along with Apple, and the New York Times and Wired magazine have both shown off interactive iPad apps that don’t use Flash. 

One story on AppleInsider claims that the iPad doesn’t need Flash to be successful. But other people, including those at Gizmodo, think that although Jobs has referred to the axing of Flash as “trivial”, it isn’t and HTML5 isn’t widely used or advanced enough to entitle it to take over from Flash, especially because  HTML5 doesn’t work well on outmoded browsers, primarily Internet Explorer.