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Motorola Xoom Won't Have Flash Support At Launch

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-finished-when-it's-almost-finished dept.

Graphics 187

Several readers have sent word that Motorola's Xoom tablet, marketed as the iPad's first significant competitor, won't ship with Flash support. Quoting: "Support for Adobe's Flash technology has been an argument for the Android operating system since Apple CEO Steve Jobs notoriously said that Flash is a dying technology and that it won't make it onto iOS devices for several reasons. Flash support appeared in Android with version 2.2 and Google even flaunted it as a killer feature for tablets running Honeycomb (3.0), like the Motorola Xoom. But it looks like Adobe and/or Google have yet to put the finishing touches on Flash's implementation in Android 3.0. An advertisement for the Xoom on Verizon's site says (in 6 point text at the bottom) that Adobe Flash support on the Xoom is expected in Spring 2011, meaning this functionality won't be available at the launch of the first Honeycomb tablet on February 24. Considering how slow carriers and manufacturers are when it comes to software updates, this Spring 2011 update could mean more like late Spring 2011 ETA."

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I think... (2, Funny)

wiggles (30088) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270646)

the Xoom is going to Xuck. I'll keep my Nook.

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270728)

Enjoy the subpar performance and non-honeycomb interface...

Re:I think... (2)

wiggles (30088) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270964)

Honeycomb isn't worth the extra $1000+cellular plan the Xoom will cost, and my nook performs just fine.

Re:I think... (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271242)

I'll wait for a couple of Honeycomb tablets to come out before I buy one, but if I were to get the Xoom I'd go WiFi only and just tether it to a rooted android phone.

Re:I think... (1)

Sparks23 (412116) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272260)

The real problem I have with the Xoom is that you have to sign up for the cellular data plan in order for the tablet to enable WiFi [engadget.com] . No Verizon data plan? No WiFi for you, either. Sure, you can cancel after the WiFi's been activated, with a minimum of one month data service... but still, that's just outright extortion. And there's no release date on the WiFi-only Xoom yet, so it's the cellular-enabled Xoom or nothing.

Re:I think... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271626)

Honeycomb isn't worth the extra $1000+cellular plan the Xoom will cost, and my nook performs just fine.

That right there is what you call "Insightful".

Re:I think... (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272046)

The claim so far has been that you need to sign up for 1 month of Verizon service, and can terminate it afterwards. It's still annoying, but it's not a "$1k plan".

Re:I think... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272164)

Enjoy the subpar performance and non-honeycomb interface...

You don't need to spend $800 to get performance which would be entirely adequate for watching videos, browsing, reading books. An Archos 101 satisfies the things most people need from a tablet for a price which is 3/5 of an iPad. The Nook is cheaper again. I would hope that there will be android 3.0 tablets with beef up specs hitting those price points before the year is out.

There is no avoiding that the Xoom is way too expensive. It makes the overpriced iPad look like a bargain. Perhaps it's all a cunning plan to make the price under contract look like a bargain. I wouldn't rule that out.

Re:I think... (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270778)

Xoom, Flash, all these 'fast' names ... I'd like something slower please. Can I have a nice product called 'Savor'?

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270950)

Fuck that, I want a tablet called the "Jesus."

Re:I think... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271378)

Odin!

Re:I think... (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271132)

Xoom, Flash, all these 'fast' names

I wasn't aware "Exhume" was a fast word. If you ask me, they're more dirty than fast.

Yet another product name that didn't pass the teenager giggle test before it was decided on.

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271430)

Clearly you've never worked for a necromancer.

Exhume this, exhume that, like I have time for digging up all these bodies!

Silly Motorolla! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270666)

Only Apple can get away with a move like that!

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270706)

Android seemed to be doing alright without flash also, about 60% [android.com] of android handsets run 2.2 or later.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270732)

Those 60% running 2.2 HAVE Flash.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270828)

Point one is: It just reached 60%.
Point two is: Up until recently less than half of all Android handsets did not have Flash.
Point three is: Android did well without Flash.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (0)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270928)

Given the number of times flash has crashed in chrome on my desktop in the past week, I really don't see myself holding my breath for a stable release of flash on Android. Sure, at least flash doesn't take down the whole browser with it but it seems to crash more often than it did in FireFox and that sucked enough as it was.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (2)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271024)

Haven't had an issue with flash on android yet. The only issue is I loaded up kitty cannon but couldn't play since it uses keys and doesn't work with a touch screen

Re:Silly Motorolla! (0)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271388)

Why is Apple protecting people from this?!!!

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271498)

Flash can't handle scroll wheels yet. how long do you think it will take them to get touch screen support?

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271032)

Point 4: All Flash content had/has to be redone to support 'mobile' Flash. All the video had to be re-encoded AND all the UI has to be fixed to work with mobile touch support.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270940)

Maybe Motorola is doing the right thing. From what I've heard Flash on Android hasn't been ideal. I've never used it but if I were to guess, Motorola may be waiting for Adobe to fix/correct/optimize something first.

Re:Silly Motorolla! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271634)

No, probably Motorola is waiting for the test results from Adobe for their Xoom optimized Flash.
Perhaps the current Flash in the Market is not compatible with Honeycomb and the new Flash for Honeycomb needs to go through the Adobe red tape.

But that's good right? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270674)

But that's good right? Isn't Flash an inefficient battery drainer like we are constantly told? If so, why is this bad news?

Re:But that's good right? (0, Troll)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270784)

But that's good right? Isn't Flash an inefficient battery drainer like we are constantly told? If so, why is this bad news?

It's only bad news for all of the Flash zealots who have been crying and whining about how Apple is evil and Adobe is being treated so poorly. Apparently there is some truth to what Job's said about Flash. Not sure if all of the Flash developers can handle it. Remember, first comes denial, then frustration, anger follows and finally acceptance.

Re:But that's good right? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271100)

you missed depression( or if u were quoting someone they did)

Re:But that's good right? (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271318)

Bargaining too. Also there's no Frustration, it's just in there with Anger.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Re:But that's good right? (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271812)

I should have added "Mod the truth as Flamebait" in there as well.

Split Personality? (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271180)

It's interesting that the majority of Slashdotters will froth at the mouth at the mere mention of the Evil Flash, and claim that *they* have it blocked anyway...

But mention a device that ships without it, and it's "crippled"...

Re:Split Personality? (4, Insightful)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271486)

I don't run MSOffice either, but if you wanted to sell me a computer specifically designed to disallow running it, I'd tell you to shove it.

Also, despite blocking Flash from running ads on websites, I could still allow it with a single click if I came across a useful use of it.

And finally, I also run NoScript, but that doesn't mean no scripts ever run on my machine -- I allow what I want to allow.

Re:Split Personality? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272340)

Sorry, is there a device/computer specifically designed not to run Flash?!

Re:Split Personality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271638)

I think that comes from mistakenly thinking about the /. community as a single organism. Some people here hate it, some people here like it. Isn't that true with most large groups? I know you mention "majority", but unless you are talking about specific people and contradictory views they've given in the past, "majority" doesn't mean much.

I'm on the fence about it personally. I don't especially like Flash and the various problems it has, but for some applications, I don't know of a better technology. Either a replacement seems to not be present as ubiquitously, or not work as well for the specific use (usually graphical browser games that don't require installation). Now with touchscreen interfaces not working very well with Flash, it is well past time for a replacement, but I haven't seen one yet.

Re:Split Personality? (5, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272210)

Flash isn't evil, it's just abused. When you load a page and it has 3 or 4 flash ads and every tab in your browser is the same your computer is going to have a hernia. Some people pretend this is Flash's fault but the reality is that if pages were serving up the equivalent workload in HTML5 performance is bound to be even worse. At least the Flash plugin can spawn threads, do background rendering and so on. Everything in HTML5 on the same page will be competing on the same thread (web workers could potentially handle some load but nothing DOM related).

The remedy is to use an ad blocker so you can pick and choose what content to receive. In time I expect Ad Block will be used as much to curb the abuses of HTML5 as it is for Flash now. Assuming HTML5 ads aren't inlined and obfuscated which is a distinct possibility.

Re:But that's good right? (5, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271382)

But that's good right? Isn't Flash an inefficient battery drainer like we are constantly told? If so, why is this bad news?

It's not bad news. You apparently didn't get the Slashdot memo:
No Flash on iPad = vice
No Flash on Android = virtue

Re:But that's good right? (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272178)

Flash on Android is a choice. It's not on the iPad.

The correct slashdot memo is:

Choice = good
No choice = bad

Re:But that's good right? (4, Funny)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271720)

Isn't Flash an inefficient battery drainer like we are constantly told?

That's incorrect - Flash is very efficient at draining batteries. ;)

They won't miss it. (0)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270678)


We have an iPad 3G and don't recall ever crying "oohhh gnoz!!! teh Flashez are gonez!"
Yeah, our household is just one datapoint, but I'd wager we're in the majority.

Re:They won't miss it. (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270826)

Re:They won't miss it. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270858)

That's why I said we were just one datapoint :)

Re:They won't miss it. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271130)

Yeah, but there're only so many anecdotes on a day without incendiary politics stories.

Re:They won't miss it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35272132)

You were correct. Something some folks have a hard time understanding is this:

Q. What do you get when you have 100 anecdotes?
A. You have data.

It would be true to say that it hasn't been corrected for x and y and z - but it is not correct to simply write it off either.

Re:They won't miss it. (0)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270836)

I agree 100 percent. My iPad replaced my laptop last April and I don't recall a single time a lack of Flash has mattered to me.

Re:They won't miss it. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271122)

How many(if any), native applications are you using that are iDevice-specific implementations of a web property or game that is otherwise flash based? If nonzero, how many of those also have an Android equivalent?

That is why Apple can spit on flash, while Google is getting cozy with Adobe... Apple knows that, for the present at any rate, they have the install base sufficient to drive people to develop platform specific applications for them. Android has fewer platform-specifics, which makes Adobe's ability to(imperfectly) make available the vast legacy base of Flash stuff all at once attractive...

In the long term, Flash is almost certainly fucked. Apple and Microsoft both have competing native environments and development tools in which they are strongly invested, and which are defaults on their platforms. Google is less overtly hostile; but their native environment also isn't flash based, and their web products are pretty aggressive about advancing native HTML/JS and using those where possible. Adobe has the advantage of well-entrenched design tools; but their flash runtime has no platform of its own, and the world isn't quite as friendly as it used to be... Short and mid term, though, there is a huge body of legacy and current stuff that they can offer to platforms with weaker native application bases.

Re:They won't miss it. (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272190)

. Apple knows that, for the present at any rate, they have the install base sufficient to drive people to develop platform specific applications for them.

Yes, we know how very well that strategy played out for Apple in the past, when they were the leaders and competing with cheaper but open and standard alternatives...

But hey, it's not like they're in imminent danger of Steve Jobs leaving the company... oh.

It certainly sounds an awful lot like history repeating.

Re:They won't miss it. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272328)

Hence the "for the present at any rate"...

If(and only if) Apple adjusts their strategy as needed, I would say that what they are doing is (while rather nasty) quite pragmatic. They could hardly have had a better position from which to induce the production of iOS-native applications, favorable network effects, and customer lock-in than they have enjoyed since the iPhone release. They would have been foolish to turn that down by spending their time obsessing about whether it could support Flash, and Java(and its cellphone variants), and BREW, and whatnot. They had what a very desirable segment of customers very much desired. That left them in the position to make the rules and tell everyone that they could play along or not at all. By doing so, they made a pile of cash and had a huge library of applications produced for their exclusive platform.

Now should they(through some combination of the continued improvement of Android and decreasing cost of handsets running it or internal Scully-esque stagnation) start heading back to the bad old days of flogging incremental improvements to old products, for high prices, as their competitors advance rapidly, they may have to revise this strategy...

If they do revise it, they should get away largely unscathed(and with a giant pile of cash and legacy application lock-in in the bank). Even after Jobs' public mockery of them, Adobe would probably come running like a whipped puppy if given the chance to offer Flash on iDevices. Doing something along the lines of Blackberry's rumored 'dalvik-alike' android compatibility mechanism would also be entirely possible. As would things like making the device available to more carriers and/or for a lower margin.

If they do not revise it, they could have some long-term issues...

Wow, that was close... (4, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270696)

From the headline I was concerned that Xoom wasn't going to have reprogrammable nonvolatile memory [wikipedia.org] .

I need to get out more.

So what? (2)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270750)

Honestly, Flash is nice to have but not the be-all end-all that some have made it out to be. On my Android handheld, flash is almost all advertisements. On my iPad, I've been able to stream Netflix, Yahoo clips, YouTube, and WSJ videos with no problem. Somehow they've worked around the no-Flash limitation.

As a side note, I love my new iPad but some spouse or daughter is going to inherit it as soon as one of these awesome Honeycomb tablets comes down to my price range. iPad is great, but a bit too closed for my tastes. I'll just have to suffer a few months longer...

Re:So what? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270800)

Unless something changes, you'll give up your Netflix streaming when you trade your iPad for a Android tablet. I'm hoping that Netflix will make a honeycomb version of their player.

Netflix (and Kindle) on iPad are in danger (1)

jjo (62046) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271238)

If you keep your iPad (or buy a new one), don't count on keeping your Netflix or Kindle apps. Apple is demanding that they sell their movies and books through Apple, and hand over 30% of the revenue. Apple is threatening to pull the apps if they don't get their way. It may end up that you will give up your Netflix streaming if you stay with Apple. Both Netflix and Amazon have annouced that they will release Android versions of their apps this year.

Re:Netflix (and Kindle) on iPad are in danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271502)

Duke nukem forever will also be released this year.

Re:Netflix (and Kindle) on iPad are in danger (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271652)

If you keep your iPad (or buy a new one), don't count on keeping your Netflix or Kindle apps. Apple is demanding that they sell their movies and books through Apple, and hand over 30% of the revenue.

If you read details of the new subscription model [tuaw.com] , Apple clearly says: " . . . when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing. " So if you currently have a Netflix account, Apple gets nothing. If you sign up for a new account through Netflix, Apple gets nothing. If you sign up for Netflix through Apple, Apple keeps 30%. Will Netflix go for that? It remains to be seen, but details matter.

Re:Netflix (and Kindle) on iPad are in danger (0)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271752)

Well, they demand users get to choose whether to get content through Apple or the provider, and that they cannot charge more for in-app purchases than online. For that they take a 30% cut, but the real problem for the content providers is that Apple don't give them customer info, which is what really has value in the transaction.

They could cut Apple out completely and make a HTML5 app for all browsers, but wait: HTML5 lacks the Digital Revenue Management they are so fond of...

Re:So what? (1)

rfdparker2002 (1192421) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271584)

Well as much as I hate DRM (and think it never achieved it's claimed goal anyway), the main reason I've seen Netflix claim they won't make an Android release in the past is something like a lack of a 'universal DRM solution' across Android devices - well if you look at http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-3.0-highlights.html#multimedia [android.com] - hopefully this 'Pluggable DRM framework' may be what they're looking for. That said, being in the UK, I can't get Netflix anyway, and I don't expect to see LoveFilm bringing its service to mobile devices any time soon.

Re:So what? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270944)

I think that, in large part(aside from specific niche/legacy stuff that is simply "flash or nothing", which is comparatively rare but very important to certain buyers) Flash is more of an issue for runners-up.

Because Apple has a fairly impressive chunk of the desirable customers demographic and a strong no-flash position on their iDevices, many outfits who were previously content to use flash have had to adjust. However, many of them have just churned out an iDevice-specific app that wraps their web content, rather than re-tool their web presence. For non-Apple devices, this isn't all that helpful. It is quite likely that many of them will eventually do the same for Android; but, in the meantime, there is a problem. Adobe, while dubiously competent, is the party capable of providing a general-purpose solution to viewing flash-dependent web properties.

I can only assume that neither Adobe nor Motorola are happy about this. Motorola needs all the advantages they can get in competing against the incumbent tablet device, and the longer Flash on mobile devices remains a joke, the more Flash users will come up with alternatives that will reduce Flash's value to embedded device developers and likely trickle back to the PC side sooner or later(and I'm pretty sure that there isn't an IT department on earth who wouldn't love to stop supporting the Flash plugin...).

Re:So what? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271312)

What this is the fact that apple and other devices have H.264 decoding chips embedded in the hardware. H.264 doesn't require a flash container. You'll find it a lot of places as a .m4v in a mpeg 4 container. For video that is all Flash is was a container. It just happened to be the container that was nearly universal for both mac and pc for many years.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271734)

Could we stop saying pc when we mean Windows at least here? I have no problems with laymen doing that -- context usually helps there -- but I'd like to set the bar a bit higher for someone who claims to be a "computer geek"...

Re:So what? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271846)

For pure *tube cases, it is true that Flash is essentially entirely unnecessary. As you say, it just does decode on an mp4 or flv video pulled from a URL, and provides a few basic play control widgets(and typically ads...).

On quite a few sites, the URL for the video file is clearly visible in the page source. You can even rewrite the page on the client side for HTML5 video with some basic greasemonkey or equivalent. Annoyingly, enough sites do a little bit of obfuscation/screwing around with referrer URLs and cookies/embedding certain parts of the URL in the .swf player/etc. that creating a fully general-purpose HTML5-ifier would require either per-site hand tuning or a more invasive approach(traffic sniffing the HTTP GET request usually works...)

The more complex(but still quite easy for the video provider to build app support for without changing much) case is mp4 video over RTMP or RTMFP... I suppose, if you had access to all the fun HTML5 web sockets and high speed JS and so forth, you might be able to port rtmpdump to javascript and have it reconstruct the mp4 file in local storage and play back from there; but that would be more a stunt than a practical application. However, since the provider controls the permissiveness of their RTMP/RTMFP server, they can presumably get an app working with it...

Either of these cases could easily enough be addressed in an adroid application as well(even a third-party one, if the provider isn't using RTMPE or constantly tweaking their web code in order to break those...); but the marketshare numbers are such that quite a few web properties do have an iDevice app and don't have an Android one.

The genuinely hard case is the one where the full capabilities of Flash are put to use. The classic vector graphics/bitmaps/actionscript stuff. This is rarely what people mean by "flash video" anymore(though it was, back in the day); but still covers essentially all Flash games, some 'webapp' interfaces, and that "AIR" stuff that Adobe is always desperately hoping people will care about. On the client side, you basically have no option but to run Flash if you want to use this stuff(the 3rd party implementations of the flash environment sometimes work; but you are still running flash). On the provider side, re-tooling such flash-based assets takes some, potentially a great deal, of effort. Only viable if the marketshare numbers are compelling.

Re:So what? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271310)

"On my iPad, I've been able to stream Netflix, Yahoo clips, YouTube, and WSJ videos with no problem. Somehow they've worked around the no-Flash limitation."

Yes, that's because either they support HTML5 video (YouTube), or they abandon web delivery and use iTunes or App Store, for those that want content protection.

That's great for Apple, which gets to implement their 30% tax and block stuff for whatever strategic, political, or moral reason they like, but that is bad for:
- for consumers who will eventually have to pay ~30% more,
- for developers who have to write an app for every platform,
- the web, which seems to shrinking for the first time
- for less popular platforms that don't have as many apps.

I agree with you that Flash is used for a lot of obnoxious ads, so I dislike it too, but I like the idea that content distributors can deliver their content over the web, in a platform independent manner, without adding an extra layer of tax and control. A good example of this is Amazon video service - their support of Flash means that you can watch the video you buy from them on an enormous array of devices. So, while DRM is generally obnoxious, it is not nearly so bad when it is not used to artificially restrict the devices that I can watch it on (e.g. as with Kindle or anything Apple).

As for it being inefficient compared to native code, and Flash sites working poorly on mobile devices, the same can (and was) said of the web in general. Javascript is inefficient compared to native code and all web sites rendered horribly on mobile devices until they were appropriately tuned. I prefer that the owners of a Flash website tune their Flash for mobile instead of leaving it as is, writing iPhone and Android apps with all the disadvantages that I list above.

Re:So what? (1)

BlueStraggler (765543) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271526)

- for consumers who will eventually have to pay ~30% more,

That's a fee for marketing and distribution. I'm skeptical that we consumers would pay 30% less if developers all had to manage their own sales, marketing, and distribution channels. The evidence so far indicates that we can expect to pay 60% less on apps delivered through the app store, despite this 30% fee.

So, while DRM is generally obnoxious, it is not nearly so bad when it is not used to artificially restrict the devices that I can watch it on (e.g. as with Kindle or anything Apple).

How does forcing video to HTML5/H.265 artificially restrict the devices you can watch it on?

Re:So what? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271828)

That's great for Apple, which gets to implement their 30% tax and block stuff for whatever strategic, political, or moral reason they like, but that is bad for:

Let's be clear here. Apple keeps 30% of revenue for apps sold. This pays for the payment processing (including the credit card processing fee) as well as all the infrastructure involved. If the developer does not charge for his/her app (and many of the ones above do not), the Apple gets nothing. As for subscriptions, the new model is this: Apple gets 30% of subscriptions if Apple is the one that originates the subscription. If the subscription already exists or was initiated through the content provider (ie. WSJ website), Apple gets nothing. So if you sign up for Netflix through Netflix, Apple doesn't get anything. If you sign up for Netflix through Apple, Apple gets 30%.

No you may argue that 30% is too high but before Apple's store, some stores charged as much as 40% and the credit card processing fees. You have the choice of not developing for Apple should you choose. There are choices.

- for consumers who will eventually have to pay ~30% more

Only if the content provider decides to charge two different tiers based on where the subscription originated.

for developers who have to write an app for every platform

This was a complaint long before Apple and will be one long after unless you can name a universal platform that works well on all hardware. Java could have come close but there were still enough differences in hardware to make it troublesome. Remember Symbian apps didn't work on Blackberries which didn't work on WinMobile which didn't work on Palm, etc.

for less popular platforms that don't have as many apps.

Developers who code for a living will develop for platforms that make them money. This translates to developing for the most popular platforms. Sure there are some that will do it for altruistic reasons but it is hardly Apple's fault that people need to eat. It would be the same situation if WebOS was the number #1 platform for apps.

Re:So what? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272380)

You seem to be confused. Apple aren't trying to put a "30% tax" on video embedded in web pages, they just don't support the (buggy/unreliable/battery draining/whatever excuse) Flash plugin on the iPad. You're free to watch videos using any other container, just not wrapped in an outdated proprietary plugin that was originally designed for putting vector graphics on web pages.

Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270774)

It's sort of a bummer if the first honeycomb tablet wont support one of(if not the) largest video sites. After all, that used to be a selling point. I know there are hacked together solutions that convert content "in the cloud" and push to the device, but thats got limited support.

Re:Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270786)

What are you talking about? Phones and tablets use the youtube app to stream video. There is no flash required at all.

Re:Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271148)

yup, and just like most apple customers, that solution sucks cock.

if you can't support flash in your device then 98% of the people out there will not be interested in it - like it or not.

most of the public will not have even heard of flash before the iphone and ipad mess-up, but they sure as hell don't want it left out.

Re:Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270880)

If YouTube is dependent on Flash, how do you suppose my iPhone has been viewing YouTube videos from Day 1 (and the iPad has done likewise)? YouTube's video is encoded as MPEG-4. Devices using Flash using Flash to decode and play the MPEG-4. Devices that can directly play the MPEG-4 just do that. This isn't rocket science to understand.

Re:Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270996)

the safari mobile browser detects youtube embed links and converts it to some html 5 thingy.

And of course there is the youtube app.

So no flash.

Re:Is Youtube still content dependent on flash? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271292)

You are kidding right? Smart Phones have had a YouTube app for years and now YouTube has an HTML 5 mode that supports h.264 or at least did and they are adding WebM support.
So the answer is a simple no it isn't.

Flash is a dog on tablets (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270780)

I have a Galaxy tab. The dedicated youtube app works fine, but running flash within the browser brings the whole machine to a halt for many seconds.
As a result, Vimeo is pretty much uselss and they don't have a dedicated app yet (just a buggy fan-made app).

Re:Flash is a dog on tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270832)

Flash is a dog on everything.

Re:Flash is a dog on tablets (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270924)

So what you're saying is that from your first hand experience, Flash on Android sucks. From my perspective, it's been about 8 months since Flash on Android has been released and they still haven't gotten the kinks out yet enough for it to be usable. I remember when Jobs made the argument nine months ago that Flash for mobile just was not suitable. A lot of people here on slashdot responded that that Flash for Android would prove him wrong. In your opinion, do you think that today Jobs was more right or the Flash supporters?

Re:Flash is a dog on tablets (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271570)

considering that it will be another 2-3 years before flash on android/arm is stable enough to actually use, and the current version has many limitations.(not all flash features are actually supported enough to run).

I would say Jobs is right. The underlying hardware is changing far to fast for Adobe to keep up. Adobe's 5 year development cycles just don't cut it in a market that changes every 6 months.

Re:Flash is a dog on tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35272114)

So what you're saying is that from your first hand experience, Flash on Android sucks. From my perspective, it's been about 8 months since Flash on Android has been released and they still haven't gotten the kinks out yet enough for it to be usable. I remember when Jobs made the argument nine months ago that Flash for mobile just was not suitable. A lot of people here on slashdot responded that that Flash for Android would prove him wrong. In your opinion, do you think that today Jobs was more right or the Flash supporters?

The flash supporters were way more right. Notably, many porn web sites require flash to work, but work great on Android.

Video of it in use (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270868)

Is there any video of someone actually using the Xoom? So far the only video I've found is someone using it's video player.

Re:Video of it in use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270942)

Yes. Since that Google event earlier this month, there's been several videos of it being used hands on.

Re:Video of it in use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271836)

Yeah, ever since Google's even on the 2nd, there's been plenty of videos of it in actual use on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s9rMzPaMOY

Check the track record first... (3, Interesting)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270876)

Motorola has been quite bad about promising updates and not delivering. See here [motorola.com] for a list of broken promises. Especially glaring was the failure on the Cliq XT. A year of "we're testing it" followed by "we just couldn't do it". Never mind that the phone ships in Korea running 2.1, never mind that custom 2.1 firmwares work flawlessly, they just wanted to sell new phones. I know Moto is just another big corp doing what big corps do, but eff them, I (and all the non-techies that ask my advice) won't be buying Moto anything again.

Re:Check the track record first... (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271052)

Yeah, you can buy LG! Because they're so much better! Or Apple! Or..

Actually, I hear HTC and Samsung are pretty good.

Re:Check the track record first... (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271328)

I would not say Samsung is pretty good. The Moment has several software issues that have never been resolved by Samsung but can be fixed by rooting and updating to "enthusiast" builds.
I was so soured on my Moment that when I could I updated to the HTC Evo. While I wished it have a stock build it is a very nice device and is running 2.2. 2.3 is supposed to come in March but until I see it I don't believe it.

Re:Check the track record first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271116)

Motorola has been quite bad about promising updates and not delivering. See here [motorola.com] for a list of broken promises. Especially glaring was the failure on the Cliq XT. A year of "we're testing it" followed by "we just couldn't do it". Never mind that the phone ships in Korea running 2.1, never mind that custom 2.1 firmwares work flawlessly, they just wanted to sell new phones. I know Moto is just another big corp doing what big corps do, but eff them, I (and all the non-techies that ask my advice) won't be buying Moto anything again.

Flash is a market app. Motorola and/or carriers have nothing to do with it.

Re:Check the track record first... (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271434)

Motorola has been quite bad about promising updates and not delivering.

Au contraire, they are quite good at promising updates and not delivering. They do it all the time.

Re:Check the track record first... (3, Informative)

seifried (12921) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271444)

Say what you will about Apple but they do support their devices properly for a good ~3 years or more in most cases. The only way I'd buy an Android device is if it was fully unlocked so I can update it myself using stock Android firmware and still have 100% functionality, otherwise you know you're going to get screwed (not if, but when).

Re:Check the track record first... (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271528)

You've given a reasonable case against Motorola. Who do you recommend (for Android)? Who has a good track record of delivering what they promise? Perhaps more importantly, who has a good track record of supporting updates for phones that are no longer being sold?

I have a Motorola Droid, and I've had no problem because I've just rooted it and installed my own upgrades. My bigger concern with Motorola is their trend of attempting to DRM lock the bootloader to prevent rooting. They make it harder for us to support ourselves when they no longer do it sufficiently. The Bionic looks like a great device, but they are apparently locking it pretty heavily, making it very unattractive for me.

Re:Check the track record first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35272000)

Really, if you can do TMobile or AT&T (specifically the former, and this for the US; I'm not clear on that status outside of the US), the Nexus phones are your best bet for that, simply just because Google is actually in control of them and can recognize that aspect of it more than just wanting to sell more and more phones.

Beyond that, I have probably heard the least complaints about HTC in keeping the phones up to date and supported beyond their own life cycle. HTC also seems to be one of the few that just hasn't been giving a shit enough that they still allow you to root their phones rather painlessly compared to what everyone else is going to (apparently, it's getting a little bit harder, but it's a hell of a lot easier than Moto's bullshit). From what I've heard, Samsung is going the way of Motorola with the locked bootloaders, so they're off my list unless that turns out to not be true (they're also slow as hell at getting good updates by themselves, and they're trying too hard to be Apple, anyway, if you ask me).

I too have a Droid (currently running nightlies of CM but I float around ROMs quite a bit), but I'm looking at possibly upgrading soon. The HTC Thunderbolt is about the only one that's actually tempting me right now--the Bionic did momentarily, but I despise Motoblur on the Droid X/2s that I have played with from friends that own them (not a fan of Sense either, but at least that can be turned off), and I demand the ability to root my phone if I so please (especially after my experience with the ROM makers making faster and more stable Android builds than the handset makers, in my case Motorola).

Big Deal (0)

phorest (877315) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270956)

My Windows Phone 7 doesn't have it, why should I care?

Re:Big Deal (0)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271576)

Hehe...you shouldn't care at all. That's what's great about the WIN Phone 7, you get to spend more time doing other things than fooling with your phone 'cause the phone makes you want to do almost anything except use it. A genius solution to people always on the phone just make using the phone a miserable experience.

Good riddance? (1)

Haven (34895) | more than 2 years ago | (#35270976)

I have moved into a flash free existence and all of my devices are better off. My electricity bill was less.

Please can you take a moment... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35270982)

Whatever your opinion on Apple as a company, I sincerely hope we can all wish the best for Steve Jobs. The sad news that he is only weeks away from meeting his maker is not in actual fact that sad, if you're an advocate for freedom on the internet.

While some of us will applaud his skill in selling tat to idiots, albeit people with all the technological expertise of a duvet, his business tactics have become more and more oppressive, and even balanced observers have noticed a tendency toward what can only be described as 'evil.'

As far as I'm concerned, the life of one of the workers in his sickening factories, is worth ten times more than his pathetic evil ass.

His recent moves to collaborate with Rupert Murdoch have been the last straw, and have led many of us to conclude that what is best for Steve (and the rest of us) is that the fucking cunt croaks fairly quickly, and that his shitty company dies with him; it really is about time.

Please take a moment to share a prayer with me.

Re:Please can you take a moment... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272004)

As far as I'm concerned, the life of one of the workers in his sickening factories, is worth ten times more than his pathetic evil ass.

Steve Jobs is probably an asshole in real life as stories suggest, but, let's be honest: Foxconn is not one of his factories. Apple like Dell, like HP, like many other manufacturers contracts Foxconn to manufacture their products (sometimes in the same factory). Apple could have been more inquisitive about the working conditions of the people who make their products but there are not alone in this regard that they were not aware. In fact, I don't seem to recall that any other manufacturer promising anything to help the workers of their products before or after the incidents.

Re:Please can you take a moment... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272244)

As far as I'm concerned, the life of one of the workers in his sickening factories, is worth ten times more than his pathetic evil ass.

You do realize that Foxconn probably makes the Xoom as well, right? And everything else?

Hon Hai Precision Electronics (Foxconn) is a huge company - and it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to buy any electronics that haven't passed through their hands.

So if you want to boycott Apple over the worker treatment at Foxconn, you will have to boycott Dell, HP, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Motorola, ...

Hell, do any of those companies actually try to audit their factories? Or have any of them done anything to help improve conditions?

Flash is an App (1)

Leonard777 (1073320) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271074)

Flash is not dependent upon the carrier or manufacturer.. just Adobe. So as soon as it is ready, users can download it from the Android Market.

How retarded are Adobe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271120)

Are they trying to "Make-a-Wish" for Steve Jobs?

Not Motorola's fault. Probably not Google's either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35271348)

Adobe appears to have let them down. I know this is obvious, but the headline doesn't make it so.

Also this:

"Considering how slow carriers and manufacturers are when it comes to software updates, this Spring 2011 update could mean more like late Spring 2011 ETA."

implies Flash will need a Honeycomb update. Flash is just an application - not part of the OS. Its doubtful that Honeycomb will need any kind of update to accommodate Flash. Its likely entirely in Adobe's hands, which is moderately better than needing input from Adobe, Google, Motorola, and Verizon.

Re:Not Motorola's fault. Probably not Google's eit (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271640)

If Flash was just an app update why does every device and software combination have to be tested by Adobe for flash certification?

Adobe Flash requires direct hardware access. it requires tighter hardware access than the OS or the radio.

If it is just an app why does it need so much?

Still no resolution to touch on Flash (2)

Arkham (10779) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271370)

I have a couple of mobile devices with purported Flash support (Nokia N900 and N8), and while they play video and handle "click" ok, they don't do mouseover, dragging, and other things that makes anything besides video viable. The one device that I saw that supported these advanced features did so by creating a virtual cursor that you moved via arrow keys -- terrible. When Apple decided not to support Flash, this was one of the justifications, and in my mind, the only truly legitimate one. Until Adobe redesigns flash with some sort of drag or gesture support, it's always going to be a poor experience on mobile devices.

Spring 2011? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271390)

Seems close enough. At least it isn't on AT&T. I'm still waiting for my Captivate to be updated so the GPS will work properly.

Not at launch = never (for Motorola, at least) (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271404)

To be honest, I've never heard of a firmware update coming from Motorola. All I hear is excuses. My L6 and Quench (aka Cliq xt) never got their update, so I'm basically a sitting duck for malware in Android. The L6 was trusty, but the Quench is full of bugs I'll never get fixed. I'm just waiting for Cyanogen Mod to add support to the MIB501 to erase the crap out of that phone.

Re:Not at launch = never (for Motorola, at least) (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#35272240)

Flash doesn't require a firmware update. It is supported by Adobe, and they have been fairly regularly updating Flash player for Android.

For the record though, the original droid shipped with 2.0 and it has received updates for both 2.1 and 2.2.

Hmmm... (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#35271454)

Isn't flash support dependent on the browser object model? DL a different browser... It works if you do that in the beta...
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