Dumping Flash Pays Off In Extended User Engagement

In early May, Scribd announced its plans to ditch Adobe’s Flash and began the arduous process of converting every document (of its “tens of millions”) to native, HTML5 pages…

That gamble has paid off handsomely for Scribd. Although the number of unique visitors still stands at roughly 50 million per month, those users are spending significantly more time perusing documents and sharing with friends.That growth in user engagement has rapidly accelerated in the past month. On May 25, at TechCrunch Disrupt, Friedman said user engagement had doubled— implying strong acceleration in the last three weeks.

A richer user experience that simultaneously doesn’t slow the system/browser down is used by people more? A lot more? Yes. Duh.

To those companies thinking a switch from Flash gains them nothing because the content is already viewable: Think again.

Apple’s Philosophy Summed Up By Steve Jobs Quote From the D8 Conference

We have at least the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re gonna leave it out. Some people are gonna not like that, they’re gonna call us names, it’s not gonna be in certain companies’ vested interests that we do that but we’re gonna take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers. And we’re gonna instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think they’re gonna be the right technologies for customers and—you know what?—they’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do, is to try to make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy ’em, and if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.

Lots of good observations from Jobs’ D8 interview, but the above might say the most.

It’s Adobe Flash he’s talking about leaving out, but the gist of the quote has little to do with Adobe or Flash. It’s about Apple’s philosophy of trying to build the best product and then letting the end user decide. Not some IT group. Not some research or analytics firm. Not some tech pundits. Not some advertising company. Not some record label or movie studio. The end user.

You’ve got Microsoft trying to please the enterprise, Google trying to please Madison Avenue, NBC, ABC and CBS trying to please cable operators, etc. In each case the consumer is dealt with using rules and practices designed primarily to keep the pleased entity happy, not the end user. The end user comes second. By contrast, Apple takes their products to the consumer, trying to please the individuals that vote by paying with their own money.

Apple Antitrust

It’s bad enough there’s no monopoly in phones for Apple to be accused of abusing, and nearly every article complaining about Apple admits this. Yet the subject keeps cropping because Apple’s competitors are asking the feds to slow Apple down, and it’s good PR for politicians. Whatever.

But now it’s gone so far as this:

But, Apple is walking a fine line, and will be increasingly scrutinized by the government. Each time provides additional risk for regulation.

This is nonsense. 

Let’s put it in sports terms: “Well, Bob, New York’s had three hits down the baseline that were close to being foul. The umpires will increasingly scrutinize further such hits. Each one provides additional risk for being foul.” 

That’s absurd. The thing is either fair or foul. No matter which, it’s over, done with, and has no bearing on future hits. Like flipping a coin 10 times in a row with tails, the next flip is still just 50-50 tails (spare me the mathematical precision that says I’m off by a few hundredths, the point stands).

This isn’t some freakin’ game where not only can you not break a rule, but apparently you’re only allowed a few times where you allegedly come close to breaking a rule—never mind Apple’s not close. This is lobbyists in Washington playing with politicians in Washington. It’s companies trying to to get their money’s worth. We should be appaled, not happy, if they succeed.

Adobe Soon is Adobe’s most popular mobile product

Adobe’s newest Flash Player 10.1 will soon be available on Google’s Android “Froyo” 2.2 operating system for smartphones and other devices, and Adobe’s Murarka said other smartphones would soon support Flash.

“You’re going to see Flash not only on Android. Consumers will see devices from Palm, Research in Motion Ltd’s Blackberry, Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 support the full Flash Player,” Murarka said.

Emphasis mine. It’s always “soon” with these guys.

Evil’s new career in marketing

I can’t help feeling that Evil is secretly scratching its scaly head over this whole situation, and is probably just “doing it for the money.” After all, the fact that Apple and Android have different philosophies is what gives people true freedom of choice. Slamming Apple for not being like Android is pretty pointless.

I tweeted this morning that I was tired of people using Apple as a club to hammer me with their (nonsense) political/philosophical views. The whole “evil” thing is a big part of that. This article gets it right.



image source

I will post and tweet a lot less the next few days as I enjoy a week off. No time for normal news, but if something truly unusual happens (e.g., Google actually does something “open”, Adobe goes a week without whining, Microsoft introduces a product or strategy that makes sense), by all means let me know.

Computerworld on Why Apple is right about Flash on smartphones

For all this expensive posturing the one thing we still don’t have is a version of Flash for smartphones that doesn’t leech performance and battery life.

Hey look! A technical publication not just repeating the propaganda from Adobe about “freedom” and Flash. An article where the author put down the press release and looked at what was really going on. How refreshing.