Thoughts on Flash: 3 Years Later

Three years ago today, Steve Jobs published a controversial letter called “Thoughts on Flash.” In it, he put an end to years of speculation and debate as to why Apple wouldn’t let Flash on its mobile devices. He gave six reasons, but in general it was all about openness, performance and not being at the mercy of third parties to ensure quality.

Long before that letter came out, Apple wouldn’t let Flash on its other mobile touch devices, the iPhone and iPod touch. But the launch of long-anticipated Apple tablet brought things to a boiling point. This was a new era of mobile content publishing and Flash wasn’t invited. At the time, the vast majority of web video was Flash powered. Interactive sites and rich experiences were practically all Flash. There was a feeling that, if Apple devices didn’t have Flash, then they didn’t have access to the “full web.” When Jobs gave the world its first ever glimpse of the iPad, browsing the web from a leather couch on stage, a big fat missing Flash plugin icon stood out on the screen like a sore thumb.

Out of this situation emerged HTML5 as the Web’s new hero, and in the three years since Jobs’ letter, this open, standardized Web technology has made tremendous leaps and bounds. There is no longer any worry about “the full web.” Video is alive and thriving on mobile. Apple still leads the tablet market. And Flash support has been stopped.

At Pressly we know the power HTML5 brings to content creators and users. We are very proud to have been taking part in this new era, by bringing the most cutting-edge content experiences to the mobile Web. And we love that we have helped make the Web on tablets and smartphones just a little more “full.”

Here’s to the next three years!

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