No Flash For The iPhone

Via TechCrunch I noticed that there won’t be flash player for the iPhone anytime soon. I’m not surprised. I said this before.

Apple doesn’t want the iPhone to get the reputation of having poor battery life. Apple is said to have avoided 3G thus far because of power consumption reasons, instead opting for a lower powered EDGE chip. When Apple moves to 3G later this year, they will want to at a minimum keep the same battery life. Having Flash on the iPhone will mean a likely drop in battery life. Something they don’t want.

I suspect in 12-18 months when H.264/AAC is a more common encoding scheme, I think we’ll see a Flash component for QuickTime that can take advantage of the hardware on the iPhone. Right now there’s too much vc6 stuff out there.

Apple doesn’t want anything released to drain battery life or it will be accused of misleading consumers about average battery life. Keeping the CPU idle will help keep that time up.

I suspect the SDK will have some limitations on CPU cycles an app built can consume before it’s throttled in some way. For the exact same purpose. That’s fine for most things, most users won’t notice, but for video, any slowdown or bottleneck becomes very visible.

Safari On The iPhone

There is a message on the Surfin’ Safari blog about the new iPhone, but it doesn’t say as much as I had hoped it would. I want to know the following as a developer:

  • How close is Safari on Mac OS X 10.4 to how the iPhone renders? Are they the same version of WebKit or a fork? How can developers test without an actual phone? Is any Mac with Safari a good method? For the Blackberry we have the simulators. How does it differ?
  • What if any plugin support exists? Does it support QuickTime? Flash? Acrobat (or Preview.app)? Can it handle attachments? Can users download third party plugins? Or are they limited to capabilities of the phone as it ships (or through official software updates)?
  • What will the UserAgent be? Will it be the same as desktop Safari?

The phone is touted as pretty much a full browser, and Safari is up to the task. But I wonder how well it handles rich media through plugins. From the Google Maps demo, I think it’s safe to say xmlHttpRequest is supported.

I’d really like to see some documentation on how webmasters can prepare and ensure an optimal experience on this new device. Ideally it would be given in advance so one could ensure the best experience possible.

The Apple Worm?

According to Norton AntiVirus, Apple’s own QuickTime.com website may be a threat to the safety of my (and your) computer. I was trying to view the M:i:III Trailer (link below in plain text, so you can think twice before clicking).

I’m not sure who is at fault. It’s either Apple with a contaminated server, or Norton who incorrectly pushed a bad Virus definition file out. Either way it’s a bad thing.

Apple Integer Overflow

Details: Attempted Intrusion “Apple Quicktime MOV Integer Overflow” against your machine was detected and blocked.
Intruder: movies.apple.com(62.153.251.222)(http(80)).
Risk Level: Medium.
Protocol: TCP.
Attacked IP: XXX(192.168.xxx.xxx).
Attacked Port: 2499.

The URL in question is (proceed with caution):

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/missionimpossibleiii/large.html

Anyone want to take a guess who is at fault? This is with Norton 2005 with 3/15/2006 Definitions.

Edit [3/16/2006 10:36PM EST]: Changed title to accurately represent dialog trojan worm. Added Norton Version.
Edit [3/17/2006 10:58AM EST]: Symantec acknowleges a problem with AOL in it’s latest update.
Edit [3/19/2006 5:30PM EST]: An document about the vulnerability (no mention on this bug), and update documentation.

QuickTime 7 Disappointments

It’s not a secret that I’m an Apple Zealot. I was eagerly looking forward to QuickTime 7 since its announcement. I installed Tiger on my Mac mini, and was impressed with the H.264 codec, despite it not really supporting my mac mini (not enough CPU apparently, even though it’s rather new) and still working fairly well. When the Windows preview came out, I naturally installed it and gave it a go. At about 2:30 today I uninstalled it. In my opinion it was either released way to early (even for a preview), or a very poor upgrade. It didn’t meet the quality I expect of a public preview by a long shot. I had several issues that led me to remove it and revert to 6.5:

  • iTunes reports no CD driver is installed when QuickTime 7 is installed. Go back to 6.5 and it’s having no problems. Why an incompatibility with a fellow Apple product (and a very popular one)?
  • Sllooowww. It was significantly slower when opening QuickTime compared to 6.5. Not to mention viewing a movie in my browser was much slower thanks to the plugin needing so long to load. I want thinks fast and simple. Not slow.
  • Marketing mania. If I don’t have the pro version, just hide the menu’s and go with that minimal UI stuff that made Apple great. Don’t gray them out and shove them in my face. I like Apple products because they don’t fall for this Microsoft like marketing push. QuickTime 7 broke that trend.

Media Players stink. The big 3 are now bloated garbage. Real Player was first to become so bloated it’s useless. Then came Windows Media Player. QuickTime was my last safe haven of clean simple media. Yes I know there are other products out there, but lets face it, they aren’t as good at handling video and have their issues (especially in regards to browser plugins).

I know some Apple employees read blogs, hopefully from the QuickTime team takes a moment to realize this and look at their product from the customers point of view. It’s a great platform, great video quality, but their player is becoming bloated and slow. It doesn’t feel like a normal Apple product.

Come on Apple. Think Different. Think simple. Think clean, fast, usable applications. Go back to your roots with great Applications. QuickTime 7 isn’t the best you can do. The only good thing in there is H.264. That’s it.

The last Macworld for the OLD MacVillage.net

I anticipate this to truly be the last MacWorld for the old MacVillage.net. The new system is nearly complete, and most likely reliable enough for this, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough with it to speed up the process and roll out last night. I made the decision about Dec 26. So I will keep the News site idle, and just handle Mac PR as usual.

So far the QuickTime stream is pretty very crappy. Things better shape up!

More later.