Testing out Flash on an iPad

Fellow Stanford digital type Carlos Seligo and I checking out the usability of Flash on an iPad by running a remote client and hosting the Flash app on a nearby MacBook.  This was an impromptu investigation, and so I apologize for not performing a more rigorous and involved test run, or showing off a more engaging Flash application, but given all the fuss about how Flash just wouldn’t work for iPad for stylistic and technological reasons, I have to say I was shocked at how attractive and functional these apps were, given that we’d spent absolutely no effort optimizing them for multitouch.  Even the much-maligned rollover caused no trouble at all (in the case of this test, rollover events were only triggered if your finger left the screen at a rollover point, which is actually rather interesting functionality and I’d love to play with that).

As far as the gross inefficiency of Flash, we were using well-designed and coded apps, and not hacked together ads or other junk, but of course there was no way to test power drain since this was remoting in, so we had to settle for a rudimentary interface test.  I have no stance on Flash video–I don’t use it except to embed Youtube videos and don’t care if it’s replaced by some other video standard, but I think this and other examples of quality RIAs built in Flex and Flash put the lie to the blanket condemnation of Flash as a tool for software development.  As has been said elsewhere, getting rid of Flash is not going to get rid of junk ads or junk websites, it’s just going to result in junk ads and junk websites written in javascript.  That’s no improvement.

Oh, and A Guide To Authorial London would make a killer iPad app–it’s the perfect form factor for it.

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