Well, unless you have been living under a rock you have probably come across the news of Apple’s latest invention, the iPad. We at Visual Purple think it’s way cool, BTW!!! Back in January when Steve Jobs unveiled the 1.5 pound innovation, many Apple junkies were star struck. Will the 75 million people that have bought into the iPhone and iPod Touch believe in the iPad as well? What could this potentially mean for web developers? Many Apple followers are already saying that they will not buy the iPad simply because it will not support Flash. But for a starting price of $499, what more could you expect? Well you could start by expecting to pay more than the publicized low $499 price tag.
Yes, I will admit back in the day when tablets first hit the market – I was a tablet fanatic. While my awe with them has dissipated a bit the talk of the new iPad coming onto the market brought back some ancient memories. I will acknowledge that I am not an Apple junkie, however I am still intrigued with what the iPad could potentially offer (and not offer). However I am disappointed by the news that they are passing on Flash capability. Adobe claims that Flash is installed on 99 percent of Internet-enabled computers and plays over 75 percent of videos that are viewed online, could this be a transition to the future of the Internet when Flash is no longer supported? What this means to me is that Flash-based 3-D virtual worlds and the future of browser-based virtual worlds cannot function on the iPad (unless you’re using the Unity 3D plug-in). While so many of us virtual world evangelist thought we were close to mainstream adoption another hurdle pops up. Could this potentially be the writing on the wall for Flash? Flash based MMO communities are wildly popular adding to the fact that all 3 major operating systems currently support Flash, I just don’t see how Flash could fall to the wayside.
The fact of the matter is Flash is cool and all, but is it all really that practical. I will even be one of the first ones to admit that we were awed by Flash’s capabilities and recreated our main company website around flash. But that newfangled technology has lost a lot of its glitz and glamour… hey, look the page flies! So my thought is that Flash will not disappear completely, but rather may not be seen on the all alluring Apple iPad (even with potential conversion capabilities in place). Could this be the next game changer, are we really ready to lead a Flash-free existence? What about playing a YouTube video? Can something weighing only 1.5 pounds really cause such a stir? Could this be the tablet that we have waited on for so long or just another step on the ladder to getting a worthy tablet device in the near future? Will the PC market be able to hold up to this – do they have anything under the radar being developed to counter Apple taking center stage?