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Category Technology

So Long, Flash

A devastating exposé on the incompatibility of Flash content with touchscreens.

Many (if not most) current Flash games, menus, and even video players require a visible mouse pointer. They are coded to rely on the difference between hovering over something (mouseover) vs. actually clicking. This distinction is not rare. It’s pervasive, fundamental to interactive design, and vital to the basic use of Flash content. New Flash content designed just for touchscreens can be done, but people want existing Flash sites to work. All of them—not just some here and there—and in a usable manner. That’s impossible no matter what.

The author, a Flash developers, goes on to describe how none of the work-arounds will solve the problem.

The implication is that Flash has evolved around an obsolete input method and it can no longer adapt to what is rapidly becoming the de-facto interaction method of hundreds of millions of mobile computing users.


The Dynabook

Alan Kay, regarding his reaction to the iPhone in January 2007:

When the Mac first came out, Newsweek asked me what I [thought] of it. I said: Well, it’s the first personal computer worth criticizing. So at the end of the presentation, Steve came up to me and said: Is the iPhone worth criticizing? And I said: Make the screen five inches by eight inches, and you’ll rule the world.

http://gigaom.com/2010/01/26/alan-kay-with-the-tablet-apple-will-rule-the-world/

See also: Dynabook


Android Device Dashboard

A Google spokesperson confirmed for eWEEK that there are 16,000 Android free and paid apps, not 20,000 as others previously reported. (iTunes App store is around 120k now with over 130k apps having been “seen”).

A few more data points re. Android:

  • There are 5 Android instantiations of varying distribution through the first two weeks of December: 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 and the fresh 2.0.1. It seems Google is prepared to see that number go much higher. You can see the distribution of platform versions in a pie chart here:

http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html

  • If a developer chooses only the most popular platform version, he gets to target about 54% of the installed base.
  • Motorola’s Droid ships with only 256 MB available for app storage. Google Android does not support installation of apps to SD cards, so developers face a very real limit. Many of the most popular iPhone apps (games) easily exceed 100 MB, so not very many quality apps would fit on Droid (and some won’t fit at all: Magellan RoadMate app ($59.99) alone weighs in at 1.36GB). That’s why Droid only offers users three measly panels for displaying apps; users probably won’t even be able to fill up two before they run out of storage space.

Droid comes with a built-in turn-by-turn app Google’s Maps Navigation likely because no other nav app would come close to fitting into the Droid’s limited 256MB app storage space.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Google-Android-Device-Dashboard-Highlights-Fragmentation-804428/?kc=EWKNLITA12222009STR4