Will the Apple iPad have Flash? Nope, and Adobe is mad.

The new iPad might be "the best browsing experience you’ve ever had." But it still won't load Flash websites.

Will the iPad support Flash? Don't bet on it. Apple has reportedly given Adobe the cold shoulder.

In introducing the iPad Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a clear message.

"It’s the best browsing experience you’ve ever had," he said, according to a transcript by GDGT. "You can see the whole [Web] page -- it’s phenomenal. It’s an incredible experience."

Right after the event, Adobe had a very different message.

"There's something important missing from Apple's approach to connecting consumers to content," the company says on its Flash Platform blog. "And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web. If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab -- not to mention the millions of other sites on the web -- I'll be out of luck."

Adobe Flash's software powers many complex, interactive websites – especially pages with video. Nike.com uses Flash to create sweeping graphics. Many online games and ads require it to pull off fluid graphics and controls. The Monitor relies on the software for our video reports, such this clip of MIT students playing with fire to create cheap energy.

While Flash is essential for most PC users, few iPhone owners were surprised by its omission from the iPad. Apple's smart phone will not recognize the plug-in needed to run Flash. The mobile Web browser simply replaces Flash sections with a puzzle piece image – cue the sad trombone.

Adobe has reached out to Apple but says it gets the cold shoulder. Some analysts theorize that Apple doesn't want Flash on its iProducts because Web applications could rival its own iTunes App Store. Why allow Internet games when Apple gets a cut of every program sold through iTunes?

Apple also may fear that Flash is too processor-intensive, and therefore energy guzzling. Customers will likely blame Apple, not Adobe, if their iPad's battery drains too quickly.

Much like Google's end run earlier this week, Adobe has found a way onto the iPhone – and soon onto the iPad, it says. The next version of Flash Pro will come with an option to turn Flash code into an iTunes app. This solution aims at stand-alone programs (games, animations, etc) and won't allow Apple's mobile Web browser to show Flash sites.

"We announced the Packager for iPhone at MAX 2009 which will allow Flash developers to create native iPhone applications and will be available in the upcoming version of Flash Pro CS5," Adobe says. "This technology enables developers to create applications for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (though applications will not initially take direct advantage of iPad’s new screen resolution)."

Check out the iPad's specs and our complete iPad coverage.


Do you want Flash on your iPhone or iPad? Do you not notice the omission? Let the world know in the comments and connect with us on our Twitter page.

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