There is a war coming, and the parts are Apple and Adobe.
I’m somewhat in the middle of all this, because I use and love Apple’s products, but at the same time Flash has been the software who helped me purchase these devices. I can’t take any sides, because I really love both companies. But I kind of understand Apple’s move, and it’s logical for them to proceed this way, as it is for Adobe to protect their software’s future.
My take on the recent Apple TOS changes, and the fight between Apple and Adobe over the past several months, is that Flash is not meant to work with multitouch devices. Being a Flash developer and using an iPhone, I can see how the Hover and MouseOver actions would interfere with the way the GUI is meant to work on a multitouch device.
Apple should not be obligated in any way to build a special functionality in their devices, for a (very popular) browser plugin to function as it does on the desktop. Such interactivity is only possible with the cursor, and the multitouch devices such as the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch, should only resume to displaying content that doesn’t require Hover or MouseOver. With each release of their iPhone OS, Apple can focus on improving their software without having to worry much that they will break the way Flash works on their mobile platform.
On the other hand, I don’t agree with the statement that Flash is dying either. There are many uses for Flash, that simply can’t be built with any other software. And the web is meant to be interactive.
Similar story, but different players
What happens today, is very similar to what happened with the Floppy disk in the past. The Floppy disk was dead because the time for Memory Sticks arrived, which did a much better job, and were portable as well. But the big difference is that if Flash is the Floppy disk, at the moment there is no Memory Stick to replace it.
I believe there’s no easy solution for this. We are in a situation where content should follow form. We have to build content targeted at either the desktop, or multitouch devices, or both at the same time. Otherwise innovation, such as Apple tries to do will never happen, or on the other hand, true interactivity such as what Flash offers, won’t ever be possible on the web.