Apple’s hostility to Adobe products: the impact on websites

As a web designer / developer, search engine optimization specialist, and website administrator and supervisor for my clients, I have logged many of the websites that I have created with Google Analytics, an enormously useful tool for monitoring visitor sources, interests and preferences. Every day after checking my email, I spend a generous chunk of my morning analyzing your reports including how many visitors viewed each website, how they were referred, what keywords they used, what pages they visited, how much time they spent on each page. and which service provider they use, among other things. I check the last item because it often specifies the name of a company, university, government agency, or other specific source rather than a giant IT provider like Verizon or Comcast. This is often critical information about who visits our sites.

Recently, and I admit I was late to address this topic, I have been intrigued by the page they “landed on”. The reason for my interest has to do with a concern about its ability to receive Flash, currently a contentious issue due to Apple Computer’s refusal to include this technology in some of its latest and very popular products that include the iPhone, iPod and the iPad. .

As a lifelong Mac user and lover, I generally admire and support anything and everything about Apple, based on positive first-hand experience with their great products and stock performance. I have benefited greatly from both. However, having purchased the Creative Suite software from Adobe several years ago and having gone to great lengths to learn Flash myself, I have a great interest in being able to continue to use those sophisticated files on many of my main websites, especially since my clients have paid for their creation and add glamor and pizzazz to any page they appear on.

But sadly, this recent development appears to be little more than a nasty competitive rivalry between two prominent tech companies. Whether it’s driven by gluttony for market dominance or a lack of engagement or cooperation under the guise of a better user experience, it has impacted everyone who has a website that uses Flash in their presentations. In researching the consensus of opinion on this topic, I read the account of a professional woman who was entertaining business guests in Britain. One of the guests proudly displayed his new iPad and asked for the host’s URL so that they could admire her website together in this new setting. What happened next was what caused my concern. When it came to your website, all they saw were big black holes because your website relied heavily on Flash. His embarrassment was mortifying.

Upon realizing that the home page of my own company website is made up of three fairly large Flash files along with some necessary HTML text, not to mention that some of my clients’ recently displayed home pages also flaunt large Flash movies to inspire, dazzle, and impress, I focused on my recent curiosity about some of the Google Analytics reports I’d seen showing 0:00 time spent on the landing page. In the case of my own website, the landing page is almost always the home page. It occurred to me that if visitors came there to see nothing but black, who could blame them for defecting immediately? Could those visitors be using the latest Apple products? Although Google Analytics does not specify the brand or type of computer or device used, it does identify the operating system and the browser, which in this case would be OS X and Safari.

Changing what happened in the past is a fruitless pursuit, so my goal now was to control website visits in the future. Having used Adobe’s Dreamweaver software to create my Flash files, I was aware and had already used a behavior check that places a sensor on the page to identify if a visitor has the Flash software necessary to view a Flash movie. Otherwise, the visitor is automatically redirected to an alternative page created specifically without Flash to accommodate this somewhat unusual situation. But as with everything we come across these days, the sensor doesn’t work with all browsers (in this case, the old standby culprit: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which historically, in my experience, has always included ever-present roadblocks to ease. of use) so the web designer is left with a dilemma. To do? While the intuitive sensor gives you the option to choose to redirect the visitor to a new page or simply allow them to stay on the original Flash page if detection is not possible, this does not solve the problem. Everyone knows that Windows and Internet Explorer have been the predominant platform for most Internet use, despite Apple’s rise in popularity in recent years. But it looks like Google’s new Chrome browser just surpassed that honor. That means it probably makes sense to allow such visitors to stay on the original Flash page, as they would in all likelihood have the Flash reader. After all, it was the Mac user who caused this dilemma, and only some Macs. And supposedly the sensor could detect the presence of Flash on a Mac OS. To confirm this assumption, I did more research and found that Flash 10.1 Adobe is officially linked to WP7. This new update will be released for all WP7 devices; This means that the entire Internet will be available in the browser of the latest Microsoft mobile platform. Google’s Android operating system was the first to receive support for Flash 10.1 in version 2.2 Froyo of the open source mobile platform. According to Adobe, the Flash player will also adapt to other operating systems, with the exception of Apple. “

Next hurdle, how do you replicate the sophistication of Flash in an alternative page without Flash? After doing a bit of research through a variety of Google searches, I learned that Apple is promoting an open source coding language called html5 for that problem. For me, that was not an option, as I have not recently upgraded my operating system beyond Mac OS X 10.4.11 to the required advancement level, 10.5.8. The other possible solution was to use javascript in some kind of slideshow. There is also another solution, but it is not very effective if you have large original Flash files. If you have a subtle little effect created in Flash, you can choose to convert that file to an animated gif file which may be larger than the original Flash file, but it may still suffice as a replacement in this case.

While these suggestions may be an acceptable stopgap strategy, I believe this conflict of interest is the beginning of a changing of the guard on the Internet as I realize that more and more websites are removing Flash from their files and converting to use html5 or javascript instead. Similarly, reports that a new enterprising company is taking advantage of this situation as a business opportunity with the launch of a new product to receive Flash on iPhone: “… now you can get a very alpha version of Flash (aka Frash) to work directly on your iPhone 4. “How many more innovators will soon be following this trend? I’ve already seen the mobile phone market rush into the fray with cheeky marketing messages about the warm reception of Flash in their products Meanwhile, Apple has clarified its “hostile” stance by saying that its decision to restrict the inclusion of Adobe Flash Reader on its newer machines that can still receive Flash was made with concerns that users will receive the latest version of that. software that they can get for free directly from Adobe. Okay, that makes sense. But where is Apple going to draw the line? What’s the plan for Adobe PDF technology? Will they ban it too?

Although I was hoping to try to get one more year out of my current operating system and dependent software, I think I have faced a major reason why I need to upgrade soon, probably before the end of the fiscal year to get the benefit of these necessary services. business expenses. Unfortunately for me, that will mean a possible expensive or cumbersome conversion to OS X 10.6.5, along with the need to reinstall Parallels to simultaneously run Windows, allowing me to check how each browser and operating system displays my website creations. And as if that wasn’t enough, doing such an update will really be the proverbial “open a can of worms” because now I will need to update all my other creative software, the least of which will include Quark 8.0 (which, by the way, now offers Flash creativity (a feature I have been snubbing until now), Adobe CS5 Photoshop, Adobe CS5 Acrobat Professional, Adobe CS5 Illustrator, and Adobe CS5 Fireworks. What’s missing the most from that list is my beloved Adobe CS5 Dreamweaver. Unable to predict the future, who will prevail in the tech wars over open source vs. proprietary encryption, or if we will all eventually switch to smaller devices for internet access, the question remains: Flash or not Flash?