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FAQ: Apple vs. AdobeBrian Cooley answers your frequently asked questions about Apple's problem with running Adobe Flash on its mobile products.
I'm Brian Cooley, answering your frequently asked questions about the problem with Apple's mobiles and Adobe's Flash. Question: Why don't Flash sites, video or games, work on Apple mobile devices? Answer: Apple doesn't let them. The company thinks Flash and the related air technology are buggy and slow and doesn't want customers to think Apple's the problem when a site or video based on them runs poorly. Is Apple right about Flash? To some degree, yes, and Adobe sort of agrees with them. Many Mac users have complained Flash has been less than a great experience on their computers. Adobe recently agreed, improving it to run faster with fewer bugs, but mobile devices like the iPhone and the iPad, they have a lot fewer resources to handle Flash with, so Apple just blocks it. Why buy an iPhone or iPad if they miss so much of the web, video and games? Because apps kick in where Adobe got kicked out. Adobe says the majority of web video sites and games are Flash-based today, and a quick scan of the web on an iPhone makes that painfully clear, but you are somewhat covered with apps that can fill the Flash gap. The problem comes with smaller websites that do use Flash but will not spend the time or effort to create a special app. Is there any indication Flash will come to Apple's devices? In a word, no. Apple instead wants to see a basket of other web technologies do what Flash does. That means developers will have to move their sites to those technologies which are good for site work and video but not really there yet for developing games. Should I hold off buying an iPhone or iPad 'til this whole thing is sorted out? Probably not. They are still seen as generally the best portable net devices and have undisputed leadership in apps, which, of course, can bridge that Flash gap. For a great in-depth take on this issue, give a read to Stephen Shankland's FAQ on CNET.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for joining us.