Apple and Adobe (infographics)

(Click the image below to view the full resolution version of the infographics)

Apple and Adobe infographics

Since so much has been said about not having Flash support in the devices of Apple (mainly the Apple iPhone and the iPad) I put together as much facts as possible about Apple, Adobe, the iPhone and Flash, plus some on video codecs including Theora, H.264 and HTML 5 video.

I hope these infographics help you better understand the big picture with the current situation of these technologies and companies.

If you liked it and found it useful, share it!

Bookmark and Share


Philip said...

your last info about the cost of each component - got me wondering, what about the cost for developing a standard app for the iphone/ipad vs the cost for development of apps that will work on all device in the world not only pc's mac's smart phones but also standard mobile phones with flash player lite - we are talking about a serious amount of dollars, if you had to pay for development of 10 differend standards, all re-coded from the ground up - this is what apple wants - so they can benefit from having their own apps. even if we are talking about a 1:1 i still belive adobe have made the tools for creating apps through flash even fast better and easier for creative people - than building iphones app with xcode or cocoa

wonder how many people who are making successful apps for apple who are still benifitting from adobe creative prodcuts like photoshop

ESV said...

Hi, Philip.

I got the same conclusion about the development environments. The IDEs from Adobe aren't cheap at all, but they:
- Are available for all main platforms (so you don't need to purchase specific hardware for that).
- Compile apps for all main platforms (well, excluding iPhones and iPads, whose market is still small but growing).
- Have open source alternatives for most tasks.

On the other hand, if you want to develop an app for iPhone you need:
- The iPhone.
- The Apple certificate.
- A Mac.
- And the free Cocoa.

It is true that those pieces of hardware work for more than just developing apps. But on the other hand, Apple is forcing people to buy their hardware in a subtle (or not so subtle) way. So at the end it doesn't matter whether the development environment is free or not, because there are other mandatory, not so obvious costs there.

I think there are also alternatives to create iPhone apps without the Cocoa environment, but I'm not sure about their limitations. Nevertheless, I think they would also require iPhones and Macs.

So if you really support standards and open source, you shouldn't be forcing developers to pick just your hardware and your so called standards.

There are lots of Adobe apps that still work on Apple computers. That's why Adobe, as a provider of Apple, cannot start such a hard critic against the policy of Apple. On the other hand, Apple didn't have those problems starting an obvious critic about Flash.

From that point of view, Adobe products work on a broader range of devices from both, a development and a deployment perspective. You are right: cross platform efforts save developer costs.

So yes, even when both, Apple and Adobe, could be doing even stronger efforts for the open source community, looking at the most recent data, it is the trend of Apple what it worries me most.

Philip said...

hey esv, totally agree, but also from the cost point of view a cs5 production suit isnt much if you keep in mind that you can develop for a much broader audience, and in sectors that is more willing to pay up for what you create as in the webdevelopment and webdesign sector, so if we hypotheticaly say that you get payed for all depoloyments - wow so from a money machine point of view flash wins

as a 3d aftereffects flash'er i am really looking for an alternative and quick way to carry my work around on a mobile device, and for that i need Unity3D, f4v and flash

ESV said...

Completely agreed, Philip. In terms of investment, a multiplatform approach is much more profitable for the developer.

But with this last decision, Apple has split the community of developers, forcing them to choose between them or other multiplatform / Flash approaches.

The last news on the topic are that Flash has discontinued Flash Player or AIR developments for iPad or iPhone, and that Apple is trying to setup its Flash alternative named Gianduia.

Personally, I think that the well established Flash approach and other pure HTML 5 approaches could be more appropriate than any newer closed framework for a proprietary architecture.

And I'm eager to see what Android based devices can do.

Pixy said...

An interesting addition to the timeline would be the timeline for the development of what will be the html5-standard, when it is finnished.

Philip said...

so pixi what i can read from your link is that html5 will propably not be finished before 2015ish comparing to how long the newer html versions has been in development - vs flash's update rate of newer technoligys like as3 and 3d

ESV said...

We will probably start using HTML5 features before the HTML5 standard is complete, but we really need the whole approved standard before fully embracing it.

5 years is a lot in terms of technology. I also think that Flash will evolve a lot in those 5 years, and HTML5 will probably be a step behind in terms of interactive apps, 3D and other complex features and effects.

Finally, we just quit making IE 6 compatible pages a couple of months ago. We really hope that HTML5 will arrive much faster to the broad public. But we cannot really start coding pages and apps in HTML5 till the whole user community makes the switch, and that might take some additional time as well.

It might be ironic, but in the early stages of HTML5 it might no be as compatible as other third party plugins as Flash.

Dan Andersen said...

While I admire the presentation of your infographic, it contains errors of omission and emphasis that I feel should be corrected.

The section on the relative size of Adobe and Apple is quite misleading because it fails to represent the huge difference in growth rates between the two companies. While Adobe's growth is near stagnant, Apple is expected to grow its revenues to over $63 billion this year-- a far cry from the $43 billion in your graphic.

Apple did not 'ban Flash.' It banned the use of any third-party runtime, of which Flash is one. Similarly, Apple did not ban Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler. It banned the use of any cross-platform compiler.

Contrary to the assertion in your infographic, the relative quality deficiencies of Ogg Theora are well established by independent tests. In addition, Theora lacks many technical capabilities that video producers demand. Theora also is not supported natively by most browsers, is still subject to "submarine" patents, and, unlike H.264, lacks vital hardware acceleration support.

The infographic's section of reasons for and against the use of Flash is missing many of the latter. Other reasons to shun Flash include, but are not limited to:

- its known security problems
- its serious processing inefficiencies which lead to excess CPU utilization and consequent energy consumption
- its known stability issues
- its privacy issues, e.g. the use of undeletable private cookies

The published specifications for Flash are incomplete and are 100% controlled by a private interest (Adobe), not by a standards body. Flash does not provide full touch environment support and, in fact, a significant portion of existing Flash objects and sites will remain inaccessible to touch-based interfaces. Contrary to the implication in your graphic, the "100" Flash-derived apps in Apple's App Store have essentially been stripped of their Flash nature by the compile-to-iPhone-native process used to create them.

The section on Flash support is similarly misleading. Users of the following will not be able to access Flash objects:

- all who use any cellphone for Web access (Flash Lite is useless)
- all who use an iPod touch
- all who use an iPad
- all users of systems with no Flash installed (about 4%--not 2%--of desktop & laptop users)
- all who access the Web on TV via media extenders (again, Flash Lite doesn't count)
- all who use Flash blockers on their browsers

That adds up to 100s of millions of users that can't see Flash ads, web site intros/navigation panels, or play Flash-based games and that number is increasing every day. The mobile Web is the fastest growing part of the Web. If you're a web developer, it's clearly time to move on...

Finally, your section covering development costs implies that the cost to develop iPhone (actually iOS platform) apps is excessive. More than 100,000 registered developers and 230,000 apps to date tell me that assertion is probably incorrect...

I hope you can update your infographic accordingly.

ESV said...

Hello, Don.

You have mentioned a lot of interesting aspects related to this topic. I'm definitely going to research a little bit more about them and then publish some kind of update. I'll let you know once it is ready.

Philip said...

flash lite is not useless the only difference between lite and 10.1 is the multitouch issue and some rare bitmap filters that nobody use - you can easily see pageflipper lige iPaper and video sites

Philip said...

Don i can only say one thing - "we'll see..."

Randy Krum said...

Have you seen it reposted in Chinese? I posted it as another example of infographics being translated and reposted in China.

ESV said...

No, it's the first time I've seen the infographic translated into Chinese!

Definitely, these translations are an interesting topic. Thank you for pointing it out, Randy!