Nov 092011

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, just after disembarking from his corporate short bus (created in Pixelmator 2.0)

If you haven’t read Steve Jobs’s Thoughts on Flash, you should. It reads like a transcript of a Tyson fight circa 1989, with Adobe being the guy who invariably ended up seeing the big white light at the end of the long tunnel. In a war of words that featured Adobe and Google apologists running their yaps popularizing terms such as “open” and “the full web”, Jobs took his time, sat down and wrote why that was all bullshit and why Flash makes absolutely no sense on any mobile device. That pretty much ended it there.

But because Adobe maintains its terrible decision-making with a persistence that rivals Microsoft, they refused to abandon Flash on mobile, promising every 3 months that they were this close to nailing it, only to have the devices that relied on it laughed off the shelves in part because of their abysmal performance. But like Microsoft, Adobe finally did come around: they’re dropping support for mobile device Flash plugins, a move that is seen by many as heralding the end of Flash in general. But that doesn’t mean Adobe is willing to concede that Flash was shit:

I’ll catch only abuse for pointing this out, but for what it’s worth, Adobe saying that Flash on mobile isn’t the best path forward != Adobe conceding that Flash on mobile (or elsewhere) is bad technology. Its quality is irrelevant if it’s not allowed to run, and if it’s not allowed to run, then Adobe will have to find different ways to meet customers’ needs. -John Nack, Adobe Product Manager

That’s some fabulous logic until you consider that the reason it wasn’t allowed to run on mobile devices was because it was bad technology. Which is also the reason why Adobe kept appearing on stage for Android product announcements for years, grinning widely while churning out version after version of a battery-annihilating, suck ass runtime. Guess you guys are going to have to go back to spitting out overpriced creative software – at least until you fuck that up too.

 Posted by at 1:37 pm
Nov 092011

When Microsoft decided to model its shartphone OS after its tiled Zune HD interface, most rational people saw the FAILboat pulling into the dock for its inevitable, if not humorous capsizing. But I begrudgingly have to hand it to Redmond: instead of laughably knocking off iOS, they are trying something different, dare I say innovative? Besides, if the Zune and XBox – OK the entire Entertainment and Devices division of Microsoft – have taught us anything, its that the company will set fire to small country GNPs before it abandons a product.

Because Microsoft decided to wait 5 years to seriously re-enter the smartphone market, they’re still catching up to some features that have been on other platforms forever. Take video calling. The iPhone, of course, has FaceTime and I’m sure Android has 5 or 6 shitty apps that rat on your location to remote Chinese servers while simultaneously sending your credit card information to Russia. But Windows Phone has been lagging – until now. Meet Tango, a video calling app not to be confused with Mango, which is the version of the Windows Phone OS you need to run the app.Maybe there is only one way to represent switching cameras, like some sort of Platonic iconography. Or maybe shitty developers lazily knock off prior art instead of making – hell, at least improving – on original work. One of those two.

 Posted by at 10:48 am
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