One of the missing links on the Apple iPad is the continued absence of Flash as detailed here. How can you have the Universal Mobile Media Device of choice and not support the media software of choice, Adobe’s Flash Player. While investigating this inconsistency, I found initially a litany of Mac users complaints about the speed of Flash on Mac [try googling “Flash speed performance on Mac”]. But further searches revealed the following – which is typical: “Ok, after testing it I figured out that its not Snow Leopards fault or Flash fault but its Safari[browser] in SL that makes it slow nevertheless I had Safari 4 in Leopard aswell it was smooth. Flash nicely works and flies in Firefox, Flock, Camino and Opera so only Safari 4 is slowing it down big time. Good I can live with browser change only.

Curious about this I decided to do some tests using Safari 4, Chrome 4, and Firefox 3.5 on my Windows 7 PC using FotoFlexer, one of the better online photo editing apps. Fotoflexer is a Flash app at its core. My tests showed that Fotoflexer, using a 400K and then 1,500K image, ran in the following fashion: fastest in Safari, a very close second in Firefox and, to my surprise, Chrome 4.0 trailing 10-20% behind the others. And I had Task Manager available to follow CPU and memory usage patterns for the tests and could see no notable differences. This appears to confirm what I had observed on a Mac Power PC version of Flash – okay performance by Flash , nothing to complain about.

Question: why does only Snow Leopard+ Safari 4 combo cause Flash to perform so poorly on the Mac???

Only the the Shadow [of Steve Jobs] knows and he is saying about Adobe:

They are lazy…. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.

Hmmm … the Shadow of Steve Jobs is pretty cranky about this – consider that with with the $25B in cash on the Apple balance sheet, Steve could buy Adobe at 25% premium and still have $4B left over. Now Apple + Adobe, that would be a Mobile Media powerhouse.