The world’s attention has been focused on Apple’s purportedly revolutionary iPad since its introduction a few months back. Apple, of course, managed to astound the world despite its lack of Flash support. However, there were plenty who complained about this lack of Flash, which got other tablet makers thinking how to exploit this complaint. And OpenPeak took this iPad weakness to its unfortunate logical extreme.
Behold: the OpenPeak OpenTablet 7. It is a Linux tablet running on the Intel Moorestown 1.9 GHz chip. For those of you who don’t remember, Moorestown is an Atom-derived CPU for mobile platforms like smartphones. What is more interesting, however, is the fact that the Linux base is all wrapped up under a Flash interface layer. Despite this, the UI is well polished and very responsive. The screen is a 7” 1024 x 600 LCD. There are some other interesting features like a 1080p front facing webcam, 5 MP rear camera, microSD slot, and HDMI out.
Still, to use a Flash interface is peculiar, as Flash isn’t exactly cherished for its performance abilities. Moreover, Flash is a dying technology. The Apple detractors do not claim that Flash will stay as a permanent application platform, they simply point out the lack of Flash allows Apple and software developers to remake free Flash sites into pricey apps. The OpenPeak tablet is targeted to very niche markets, namely home automation and video conferencing based on the press interviews. It will be paired up with AT&T and will probably be priced comparably to the iPad. Let’s see if it can stay alive long enough to be relevant.
In an ideal world, executives wouldn’t feel obligated to make outrageous claims and justifications for their product’s shortcomings. However, in an ideal world, the iPad would also have Flash support. So we know we don’t live in an ideal world. And here is the corresponding outrageous claim: Steve Jobs has told the Wall Street Journal that Flash would reduce the iPad’s battery life to a pathetic meager 1.5 hours.
There are so many things wrong with this assessment that it would be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact Jobs seems serious to stand by this justification. First off, this metric is highly deceiving, as simply supporting Flash would have no effect whatsoever on battery life. Only usage of Flash would cut down on battery performance, a reality I am sure most users could come to terms with.
The other question we are forced to ask is by what standard was that original 10 hour figure measured. If continuous Flash usage causes an 85% drop of the supposed battery life, then the odds are that the original battery life is only in terms of very non-intensive usage (i. e. sitting on the home-screen). This would really come to no surprise to anyone, but it ultimately means his point regarding a decreased battery life is moot. Either way, it would be better for all parties involved if Jobs were honest regarding this matter, instead of childishly deriding any prospects and treating his end-users like children.
In response to Steve Jobs’ jabs at Adobe Flash, Adobe’s chief technology officer Kevin Lynch has defended Flash and accused Apple of not wanting to cooperate with his company and add Flash support for the iPhone and iPad.
Lynch wrote in a blog entry expressing Adobe’s willingness to enable Flash for the browsers on the iPhone and iPad if Apple would be willing to cooperate. Jobs recently said that Apple is unwilling to have Flash support on its mobile devices because Flash is too buggy. Lynch disagrees, saying that Flash is not released with known crash bugs and it could not have achieved its popularity if it were as buggy as Jobs says it is.
Furthermore, Flash will be available on all major smartphones—with the exception of the iPhone. Flash support could give iPhone competitors an edge.
Lynch also said that he does not see HTML 5 replacing Flash, though Steve Jobs does. 75 percent of video on the Internet uses Flash.
Though I do love Apple and Apple products, I agree with Adobe on this. The iPhone’s biggest flaw, in my opinion, is its lack of Flash support.
Via PC World, image via Adobe.