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Adobe Flash proven to ruin Google Android 2.2 performance

It has been hard to escape the recent news coverage detailing Apples contempt for Flash on mobile devices. Many enthusiasts have stated that Steve Jobs has been very unfair with his dismissal of Adobes media software within the mobile platform. Jobs has said it destroys battery life, reduces security and hampers processor performance – and as such Apple will never adopt it.

Are you currently sitting on the fence? Well, I found this interesting video on Pocketnow which is as good an indication of how the beta Flash software runs. Lets hope Adobe can sort it out before it leaves the beta phase.

Kitguru says: You reckon now Steve has a point?

Discuss in our forums over here or just leave a quick comment below.

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  • stefan

    Flash is terrible, it has been for years and Adobe can get away with it on desktop platform as the processors are powerful and you aren’t using batteries to power them. On mobile, I think Apple have been 100% correct and this video is actually quite an eye opener for me as it runs worse than I thought it did.

  • Eric K

    Yeah, who the hells wants that kind of performance on a phone? its useless. Adobe sort it out.

  • Death Dealer

    Thats shocking, absolutely shocking. See how fast the iPhone is compared to the other two? thats Apple for ya !

  • Hi, who is a “Zardon”? It would be good to know realworld identity so that future readers can check on his/her record for accuracy. (ie, if after sober reflection we all agree that Flash works great on Android and other pocket devices, then this “Flash ruins Android” headline should pay the reputation cost.)

    Look at more than one set of evaluations… that would tip you off that you should look more closely at the one being spun as negative that you found. He used the non-hardware-accelerated preview on random sites which may or may not have ever tested their behavior in a small device. Most of it seemed to devolve to “Hey, if I don’t load interactivity or video, then pages load faster!” Even that didn’t control for browser-caching.

    How can you draw such a dramatic and damaging headline from such scanty and shaky evidence?


  • bullfrog

    He just needs to set the flash plugin to “on demand” to avoid loading unwanted flash content.

  • @ John Dowdell – My name is Allan Campbell, ive been in this industry for 10 years now and have managed several big tech sites. This news report has been based on the video shown in the newspost which I found most interesting. I actually have a handset which supports flash, and a handset which doesn’t and the differences in general browser speed with flash ‘enabled’ is quite dramatic – on the same sites.

    I appreciate you work for Adobe and you have to ‘spin’ this in whatever way possible, but I think its pretty much common knowledge that flash has some issues with mobile devices right now – such as hogging CPU resources and reducing battery life. You may argue the point that ‘ its loading more content so its slower’ but have you watched the section in which the guy is trying to scroll around the page after its loaded? its still consuming CPU time and resources.

    Incidentally I have no affiliation with Apple, before the point is made. This site is completely independent.

  • Well, this proves absolutely nothing, if not the opposite: when loading pages with no Flash content, Android is faster than the iPhone. When there is some Flash content, iPhone is faster. Wow. What a surprise. It does not have to load the video, the plugin and all of that stuff, IT’S CLEAR it is faster. It’s like when you take the same two trucks, and you load the first one with much more weight than the second one. Who’s going faster? The same happens when, on two PCs, you open Paint and Photoshop. The first PC won’t have to load filters, the whole environment, the interface…
    So what’s the whole point of all of this? Android gives you a CHOICE. If you don’t mind a little slowness in page loading and browsing, you keep the Flash enabled. If you don’t want to, you uninstall it. Yeah. And you don’t have to ask Steve for permission. The phone is mine and I decide what to do with it, not some tripping out-of-date hippie.

    Good one Zardon, now I’m more than ever convinced to buy an Android 😀 LOL.

  • @Francesco it actually proves many things (outside of iphone speed debate) – when flash content is loaded on a page, regardless of load times that the whole interface is drastically slower, ruining the end user experience. Its clearly seen within part of the video. Its a little like browsing flash sites on an Intel Atom powered Netbook, just worse.

    As for missing the flash content, most sites have fallback methods such as youtube, which not only load faster, but they hog less processor time and use less battery. Tests have shown that displaying flash content can actually reduce battery life by 50%

    If you are convinced on this video to buy Android to have the option for a slower interface (watching flash content), then I suggest you just use your pocket watch to browse the internet at home too. its basically the same principle but at least you won’t have to worry about 50% less battery time. added bonus.

    HTML5 is the future.

  • Francesco

    I totally agree with you. HTML5 is the future, but it’s still poor, and you cannot do what you can do with Flash as of today. I’ll tell you more: I hate websites made in Flash only, they load slowly, they consume CPU-time, and when I’m on Firefox, sometimes it crashes (when on Chrome, well, the plugin simply stops and I can restart it :D). So, for now, let’s just keep them both, only time will tell what’s best. And the one in the video is a beta, so it means that we don’t know how good (or bad) the public release will be.
    You said: HTML5 is the future. Well, the iPad has an Apple A4 based on a Cortex A8 working at 1 GHz, the Nexus One has a Snapdragon working at 1 GHz too. At the 2010 Google IO, they made a test. Watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY3U2GXhz44 from 17:00 to 18:35.

    Enjoy! :p

  • Gomez

    So if i had the chance of having Flash or not on the Iphone could i Get it? NO
    If i had the chance of gettting Flash on an Android could i get? YES
    You can enable flash content when ever you want to use it. So if im looking for a flash content website, that would be the only time i would use it. like most of the online radio stations have flash as its main source of output and i could just use flash but not with an Iphone i know their is apps but how many different apps do i need when i can just use flash to get what i want now. The market is about NOW not Later and Adobe is leading and leaving HTML5 out of the game.

  • “My name is Allan Campbell…”

    Cool, thanks… we’re getting raked these days by writers-without-disclosure… appreciate that you’re “owning your words”.

    “I think its pretty much common knowledge that flash has some issues with mobile devices right now…”

    That’s almost by-definition… the world is “having issues” with developing functional mobile handsets at all. What counts is how quickly and responsively adaptation and progress occur.

    “…such as hogging CPU resources and reducing battery life….”

    Those Jobsian talking-points have been amplified, but not substantiated, particularly comparatively to other technologies attempting similar tasks. Apple’s hitpieces don’t account for the memory and processor optimizations which have been developed in this latest round of mobile work, and which are now migrating back to the desktop:

    “…have you watched the section in which the guy is trying to scroll around the page after its loaded?”

    I skimmed through his set of two ten-minute videos yesterday, but was setting up a new computer and did not have the time to rewatch, note, and turn his observation into text. I recall him choosing random sites, rather than comparing with all the other sites people have been using this weekend which do not have “mobile blockers” in their content. Today I want to visit the sites he visited and look at their markup… suspect there’s some combination of high framerate and perhaps superfluous requests for browser-redraws. (Rephrased, it takes longer to analyze and really hear what someone is saying than it does to make a headline characterizing it.)

    The headline “Adobe Flash proven to ruin Google Android” still seems ‘way over-the-top, however. Blogospheric dramatics tend to feed on themselves.


  • Hi John, I am not anti adobe and I am sure you have seen the adobe photoshop benchmark I created years ago – it has received over 2 million downloads with V4 just released. http://www.kitguru.net/site-news/zardon/kitguru-photoshop-benchmark-v14/

    So I would like to reiterate that while I appreciate you are probably fielding a lot of
    ‘commentary’ from Apple fanatics, I can categorically state that I am not one of them.

    I appreciate flash, I actually code with actionscript and have made many a site over the years with it.

    My main concern is that negating all the other sites, journalists and blog reporters, and just taking my own findings with the plethora of hardware I have had over the years, I have always seen flash having such a huge hit on CPU time. The fact they have added GPU support into the drivers of both AMD and Nvidia cards is a huge step forward, but I still feel that flash as a platform is not ideal for some content, such as movies. It appears to be quite inefficient although im not egotistical enough to ignore any valid commentary on the point if you have an argument.

    The last netbook I tested with an Intel ATOM processor was capable of playing 720p MP4 HD content within an MKV container yet struggled to maintain a flash movie on a website. These are the points im trying to make and when you factor in the widespread abuse of flash on many websites and so many wasted processor cycles it is an issue. Should adobe be blamed for author abuse? no, but I feel if they had placed a lot more development time into the code that it would be more efficient in key areas.

    Will this improve when the current release comes out of beta? I hope so.

    Appreciate the debate John and I thank you for stopping by.


  • Pingback: Video probando que Flash aruina el rendimiento de Android 2.2 [ENG]()

  • Tom

    This just in: “JPEGs proven to ruin iPhone performance”.

    I have a video that shows a page on iPhone that loads Jpegs images, and my Blackberry browser with images turned off. My Blackberry finishes displaying the page faster than the iPhone. Therefore, the iPhone is a lousy device.

    (Note for the sarcasm-impaired: the above is illustrating how nonsensical and misleading Zardon’s article is.)

  • Hi Tom – as far as im aware, my blackberry Curve doesnt grind to a halt when I scroll around webpages with jpegs on them. Last time I checked it was just as fast as the iPhone.

    I think people are misinterpreting ‘load times’ for ‘overall slowdown due to processor hogging requests”.

    I think people should actually watch ALL the video rather than the first minute before commenting 🙂

  • Roridge

    GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and my screen reduce my battery life too… perhaps I should turn them off as well?

    This whole anti Flash thing is absurd.

  • Terry Luke F

    @ Roridge – from what ive seen, you would just be as well turning the screen off if you wanted a responsive mobile device when flash is on the screen. Totally agree.

  • Roridge

    I think the key on this Video is when he downloads the Flash BETA… Everyone remember Flash content 10 years ago?

  • @ #15 : Replace the word JPEG with JavaScript and you get the reality on iPhone… there are JavaScript heavy pages, that will really ruin the browsing experience on iPhone or iPad. Still, I haven’t heard Apple wants to remove JavaScript.

    I am glad that Android gives me option to see Flash if I want, because it is reality now, it has nothing to do with the fact you either like or dislike Flash, as it is now, it is still reality. Current iPhone and iPad will be obsolete before Flash become irrelevant.

    Note : the Flash plugin is still beta and it is known the HW acceleration is still not there. The final product might have a different level of performance. Even if it stays the same as it is now, it is better than have the blue rectangle missing plugin experience iPhone provides.

  • tim

    its seems like Androids would have a better time competing will apple without Flash on the their devices. This type of crappy performace could ruin them, especially you see the competitors phone working flawlessly. I think most people will turn the flash feature off, looks like crap. i was really considering the HTC phone coming out, but after seeing the Iphone CS so high, I think I’m going to see what happens next month with a new Iphone before deciding.