Apple vs. Adobe vs. Content Creators

Lack of Flash support on the iPad could undermine publisher's tablet ideas

Remember when Wired’s fancy tablet demo made the rounds a few months ago? That Adobe Air-driven prototype certainly stoked the fires of iPad enthusiasm.

Tools of ChangeThere’s just one problem: It won’t work on the iPad. It won’t work natively on the iPad.

Leander Kahney at Cult of Mac explains why:

Apple has rejected Adobe technologies like Flash and Air — with extreme prejudice. No one at Condé Nast appears to have seen that coming, even though the iPhone OS hasn’t supported Flash since its launch in 2007.

Maybe Condé Nast developers thought the iPad would run Mac OS. Or maybe they just got ahead of themselves.

Update 2/5: Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson notes in the comments, and in a follow-up piece at Cult of Mac, that the iPad’s Flash limitations were known from the start. Wired will be available on the iPad, as well as Android and Windows.

Time Inc. ran into a similar problem just before the iPad’s launch. Its Sports Illustrated tablet prototype was constructed around a wish list, not tech specs.

This is the first sign I’ve seen that the Apple vs. Adobe spat is spilling beyond the tech space. Content creators accustomed to the Adobe toolset — particularly Air and Flash — will have to recalibrate if they want to be on the iPad (and really, who doesn’t want to be on that thing?). That means more development and a longer wait for consumers.

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