Usability, Flash and the iPhone

As the battle rages between Adobe and Apple, developers are stuck in between. Adobe Flash is the premier cross-platform web environment used to develop media rich web applications. Recently Apple has announced that their latest version iPhone OS for iPhone 4 will not run Adobe Flash. While some mobile manufacturers have overcome this obstacle, Apple has drawn a line in the sand by saying they will not and do not have future plans to make Adobe Flash run on the iPhone OS. Apple cites a variety of legitimate and less than legitimate reasons. You can read more about Apples' thoughts on flash here.

Why does this matter?

As of May 2010, according to Quantcast iPhone OS has 58% of the smart phone market share. With such a significant market share, web developers must be sensitive to their target audience. This leaves a large percentage of visitors to your website unable to see Adobe Flash content.

Quantcast Graph

What can be done?

There are two primary options to alleviate this challenge.

  1. Building your rich media and interactive elements using Ajax, jQuery or other open source HTML 5 compliant technologies.
  2. Ensure your Flash content down grades gracefully when the Adobe Flash player is not present. Always have alternative content that displays instead of Flash.


As more users shift from using traditional browsers to mobile devices as their primary means of interacting with your website, you must make sure your website is displaying correctly in these various mediums. This means it is more important than ever to have a solid web development and internet marketing team who understands these complexities and can competently produce websites that are cross-platform compatible.

For more information, contact us.