Adobe CTO defends Flash against battery life criticism
In response to Ars Technica's recent finding that running Adobe's Flash Player on the new MacBook Air cut battery life by up to a third, Adobe's CTO, Kevin Lynch, has come out in in defense of his company's plugin during an interview with Fast Company. "It's a false argument to make," he claims. "When you're displaying content, any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content. If you used HTML5, for example, to display advertisements, that would use as much or more processing power than what Flash uses."
That's a nice theory, but that's not what Ars Technica's battery life results show. Given that multiple advertising services now fall back on HTML5 or a static ad in order to serve ads to devices which either don't have Flash installed or don't support it, it's unlikely that Ars Technica's testers were "missing out" on much content. Note that Ars Technica's tests didn't involve video playback at all, only some light web browsing; the only differentiating factor in their battery life results was whether website ads were running via Flash Player or not. The argument isn't sounding so "false" anymore.
Lynch also bemoaned Apple's stance on Flash, claiming the company is "inciting" and "condoning" attacks on the plugin. "We don't think it's good for the web to have aspects closed off -- a blockade of certain types of expression. There's a decade of content out there that you just can't view on Apple's device, and I think that's not only hurtful to Adobe, but hurtful to everyone that created that content."
My translation: "Apple shouldn't be the gatekeeper of the Web's video content. Adobe should."
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