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"Flash on Android is Startlingly Bad" - /. story

Discussion in 'Technology' started by acheron, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    Video: Flash on Android Is Shockingly Bad

    "Ryan Lawler writes on GigaOm that although many have touted the availability of Flash on Android devices as a competitive advantage over Apple's mobile devices, while trying to watch videos from ABC.com, Fox.com and Metacafe using Flash 10.1 on a Nexus One over a local Wi-Fi network connected to a 25-Mbps Verizon FiOS broadband connection, mobile expert Kevin Tofel found that videos were slow to load, if they loaded at all, leading to an overall very inconsistent experience while using his Android device for video. 'While in theory Flash video might be a competitive advantage for Android users, in practice it's difficult to imagine anyone actually trying to watch non-optimized web video on an Android handset,' writes Lawler. 'All of which makes one believe that maybe Steve Jobs was right to eschew Flash in lieu of HTML5 on the iPhone and iPad.'"
  2. Dialog

    Dialog TRIBE Member

    And the Fandroid Comment Section Massive is outraged.
  3. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member


    using my Nexus one and Meta cafe, i was able to load a HD non mobile optimized video, and watch it, not well, it skipped, but it was a HD non optimized stream.

    i then watched the buried trailer, that was optimized and not in HD, and it loaded with in 3 seconds, and played flawlessly, and that was on my 3g connection.

    i call bullshit, when actually trying to view media for mobile devices.


    ps - couldnt test ABC.com as we are blocked form the video feed as per US law, or something.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  4. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    everything I've read seems to suggest that flash on mobile devices sucks and is far from being a ready for prime time solution.

    HOWEVER i still think a flawed solution is better then no solution at all. From what i understand the flash plug in is just a quick button tap to turn on or off on android phones, which would seem to be the right kind of implementation.

    Ideally I'd like to see a flash plug in for the iphone where it was a downloadable plug in (not installed by default) and implemented with a click to flash feature (so only flash content i WANT to see gets loaded).

    That way only users who want the option of going with flash are exposed to all of the bugs a flash mobile player is expected to have in the early days.

    I think flash for video is most certainly on it's way out (although still a couple of years away), but flash does have other uses and just because html5 is coming it doesn't mean it will offer better solutions for EVERYTHING flash can currently do.
  5. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    Once flash is installed, when you browse to flash heavy pages, its just a little green arrow, and then it loads if you want it to, its always enabled, and just does nothing till you ask it to when browsing.

    so far, with media, youtube videos, basically anything that is not some large res non optimized video stream, i have not had it fail on me, or not produce once.

    and though it may struggle with a HD stream, well, ANY mobile device will do that, if they can even play it.

    i do find it entertaining though that the above person who posted his article/comments didnt actually go into the fact that he was trying to load non optimized content.

    so he = an asshat.

  6. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    not really. What percentage of flash content is optimized for mobile viewing? I imagine it would be a single digit.

    If someone was going to go in and re-optimize video content why wouldn't they future prof themselves and go with html5? That's what the southpark site did.
  7. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    actually there is a ridiculous amount of online content that is optimized for mobile devices.

    especially for popular sites.

    first off they can tell if you are browsing from a mobile device, when you go to their site, and they can choose to offer optimized, or both optimized or non optimized.

    and with the insurgence of the mobile device market the way it is, large sites would be foolish not to.

    its actually HARD to find a site, with non optimized versions, to test out load speeds etc, as i wanted to see how fast my browser would load an actual page.

    so i stand by my early claims.

  8. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    I don't care about HD movies, how will it play Mafia Wars on Facebook? :)
  9. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    hrrrrmm never tried it, is there any other flash games on sites that are not associated to bookface, i refuse to install the applicaitons or games they offer.

  10. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    i don't doubt that there is a ridiculous amount of online content optimized for mobile devices....but in the big picture of flash on the internet i would be absolutely SHOCKED if optimized content was 10% or higher of all flash content. I just can not possibly grasp how it could ever reach that amount.

    It would be foolish not to just go html5 (for video) and just future proof yourself for all devices.

    Of course sites with a lot of money & resources can afford to put content in every format possible to reach the widest audience, but for most content providers who have a bottom line they have to be careful about i would think putting up content just once would be the way to go.
  11. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    which i completely agree with, but HTML5 has yet to become, and adopted official web standard, and that is the difference.

    people that initially put all their efforts into Flash, that dont have the capital, will stick with it, as its the cheapest solution.

    and while i do agree that even if 10 % of all flash out there is web optimized, the amount of available media that is h.264 or HTML5, etc is miniscule compared to the flash content.

  12. oddmyth

    oddmyth TRIBE Member

    I love how Jai can call bullshit on a guy he also calls an asshat about something that has a proven internet record of being faulty and slow.

    Sure YOU don't have any problems with your limited testbed of one, but the number of people who do have problems with mobile Flash is astounding in comparison to the number of people who aren't.
  13. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    thats fair, i do give you that, most phones on the market cannot utilize flash well, but this test is only about the nexus one, and i am calling bullshit via experiential use.

    and this morning i decided to test out HD flash video playback, streaming via my measly 10Mbps wireless network, and it in fact loaded faster than the optimized for mobile browsing via 3G, and played two separate trailers, flawlessly.

    so either he got a lemon, or he is bad at life on some level.

    the entire point is that they said it is shit on the N1, and unfortunately thats just not the case.

  14. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    How Flash Can Be Actually Useful on an Android Phone

    How Flash Can Be Actually Useful on an Android Phone

    Some have stated that the Flash video on Android phones is "startlingly bad." That might be true, depending on your setup. But there are smarter ways to set up Flash on an Android, and get some real use from it.

    First Things First: Make Flash "On Demand"

    One of the biggest complaints about Flash on Android, as it is on desktops and laptops, is that it pops up everywhere, without warning, making the most annoying ads and page controls float over what you're trying to focus on.

    To fix that, at least on phones with the stock Android or generous manufacturer modifications, open your phone's stock Browser, hit the Menu key, choose the More option, then pick Settings. Scroll down to find the "Enable plug-ins" entry, tap it, then pick "On demand" from the options that pop up. Now when there's a Flash video or control on a page, it shows up with a downward-facing green arrow, which you can click to activate Flash for just that page. It's a lot more hospitable than just hoping that sites have a good mobile version with minimal Flash.

    Watch Shorter Videos, or Use Mobile-Friendly Sites

    In many tests of Flash video, the videos being loaded are longer takes or extended trailers in HD—the kind of thing you'd normally sneak into a lunch break at work. Depending on your device, this either works out decent, or results in a kind of slide-show-like stuttering. That has to do with memory as much as processing power.

    It's not quite the advice you'd like to hear, but stick to shorter videos, if you're going to play them through Flash, and try to hunt down the non-HD version whenever possible. If you're finding a video just impossible to play, head to m.youtube.com or m.vimeo.com, where most videos are available for non-Flash, HTML5 streaming direct to Android phones—usually at better resolutions and rates than through Flash or the YouTube app, too.

    Use Flash Where It's Useful:
    Work Sites, Restaurant Menus, Logins... Honestly, Flash isn't something the Lifehacker editors use all the time while browsing on their Android phones—the editors that do have Android 2.2 running, anyways. It's just something that's available for sites that need Flash to work properly—for better or worse.

    Lifehacker reader @soul4real uses Flash to get at the educational web sites she needs access to, and that makes sense. Many sites, like @sabiddle's bank, use Flash elements for login forms, in part to offer secure "virtual keyboards" and other elements that can't be trapped or traced as easily as HTML. Lifehacker's own content editing system uses Flash to upload and modify multiple photos, and I've used it from my Nexus One in a pinch (usually with an assist from the handy Dropbox app).

    @keatonreckard noted that many restaurants, and some businesses, simply love Flash for displaying menus or even simple contact information. You can feel free to call up these businesses and browbeat their web managers, or refuse to frequent them on the principle that they must have hired a scammer for a web developer, but in the meantime, it's helpful to have click-on Flash access to the information you'd like to know.

    Alternatives for When Flash Simply Won't Work

    Had it up to here with too-slow Flash on your device, but still want access to nifty videos around the web? You've got options, in the form of free apps.

    Skyfire offers a browser that detects Flash videos on any site you're looking at. Hit the Video button in the lower-left, and Skyfire sends the video to its servers, then pushes it back to your browser in a more mobile-friendly feed. Dolphin Browser HD can download YouTube and a few other Flash video sites' contents straight to your SD card for better performance and later viewing.


  15. KodiaK

    KodiaK TRIBE Member

    /. is still relevant these days?

    im surprised it's still around. Quite honestly i havent heard of that website in years.
  16. RumRogerz

    RumRogerz TRIBE Member

    I'm giving it about 3 years. Conservatively.

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